"Murder Mystery Evenings" are special events where attendants are given a particular character to act out as everyone tries to solve a mystery surrounding a simulated death.
You may recall the concept from films like Clue. The film shows people dressing up in costumes to get into characters. The participants then try to track down the killer, who is among the guests.
It is a great opportunity to get out and mingle with others, these types of theme nights can be truly entertaining and very fun to be a part of.
Luckily, Istanbul now has a couple of expats who are organizing these sorts of theme nights with the next one coming up on Saturday, June 9. The event is titled "Murder in Margaritaland."
Expats Gerrit and Jennifer are the masterminds behind the event "Murder Mystery."
I had the opportunity to meet the founders of Theme Parties Istanbul and find out more about how this fun new events series began.Organizing the event are Gerrit and Jennifer, a German and Canadian couple. Captivated by Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, they have lived in Turkey for a combined decade. They organize a new event every weekend to bring together Istanbul's English speaking community.
Telling me how it all began, Gerrit and Jennifer said: "We were hosting our friends at different events in our home in 2016. They included everything from board games, themed dinners, and murder mysteries. After we received some tremendous feedback we decided to rent a space in Galata. There the guests would be served dinner while remaining in characters throughout the dinner party. After a while, we realized that there was a demand for these events as more and more colleagues and friends asked when the next theme night would be."
After attending a few events in the charming SUPA Suriye Pasaj Salon, a beautifully restored 230 square meter venue, they decided to set up a meeting with the owners to discuss organizing future events for them.
"What's more, By Retro, a nearby costume store, agreed to give our cast a members a discount. This was a month ago and the ball has continued rolling since."
Earlier murder mystery theme nights have included "80's Prom Gone Bad" and "Murder in Margaritaland." The latter was chosen by a poll to be the theme of the next event on Saturday, June 9.
"The concept itself is wonderful as people must sign up in advance in order to be given a character that they read about and take on in both appearance and attitude," explains the duo.
"At the start of the event, they are each given objectives that can only be met by asking every guest questions while still remaining in character. One of the members will be "murdered" and the clues around them will help to solve the mystery.
Throughout the night there will be activities that relate to the theme and ballot boxes that allow us to award winners at the end of the night." For example, participants are awarded for best dressed and most believable character, they explained.
"This is a passion project for the two of us, as we not only enjoy hosting these parties but like being a part of them too. So in terms of future theme nights, we hope that polls by game-goers can determine what we offer. For instance, a few friends have mentioned a 1920's theme with jazz, flappers and the Charleston."
To sign up for the next event on June 9, visit Gerrit and Jennifer's Facebook page "Theme Parties Istanbul" or visit the SUPA Salon, located in the Suriye Pasajı.
There will be 30 characters playing the game, which will begin at 8 p.m. with a reception and a welcome drink. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Discounted drinks and finger foods will also be available.
Once you sign up to attend, Gerrit and Jennifer will assign you a character and provide background information as well as a coupon for a discount at the costume and vintage shop By Retro. The shop is also conveniently located in the Suriye Pasajı, which is in İstiklal's hip Asmalı Mescit neighborhood.
A getaway with Spirited Away
The fifth "Spirited Away" festival will be taking place this weekend from May 31 to June 3. Organized by Dream Yoga Events, the festival takes place in Kabak Valley, a tranquil retreat area with relaxed tree house and bungalow style accommodation in a valley which offers a spectacular view of an area Aegean and Mediterranean meet.
Well known as an area immersed in nature, people come here enjoy a peaceful and spiritual experience with yoga and meditation. The "Spirited Away" festival will transform the entire Kabak Valley into a getaway with a wide variety of healthy practices being taught in workshops by trainers who will be flying in from all over the world.
The event will take place at six different venues in Kabak Valley, namely Sea Valley Bungalows, Turan Hill Lounge, Latcho, Shambala, Lilith and Yerdeniz. There will also be workshops every day focusing on yoga styles, tai chi, meditation, ayurveda, astrology and acupressure.