Shhhh…Mum’s the Word

Official poster

Imagine with me. You’re sitting by the fireside with the radio tuned to your favorite radio program, The Adventures of Basil Bremerton, the thrilling detective serial where your favorite sleuth hunts down the obscure clues to collar his culprits. But this broadcast suddenly goes wrong. Just before Basil was going to reveal the solution, the actors break character. There’s a panicked scuffle. A woman screams. You hear the swish of a knife, a few choking cries. Then silence. And Basil himself is silenced forever. Until now. Listen to the last adventure of Basil Bremerton, alongside the period news programs detailing the backstage drama of the program, to see if you can discover the final puzzle piece to solve our ambitious 27th Master Mystery Production…

MUM’S THE WORD

The Adventures of Basil Bremerton, starring the eccentric English detective known for unraveling the most impossible crimes, ruled the radio waves for years as the world’s favorite mystery radio program in the 1940’s. Basil’s simultaneous love for obscure clues, loud clothes, and the meticulous scraping of evidence from a crime scene made him a household name and beloved the world over, much to the pleasure of the actors performing in the series week after week. But at the broadcast of “Mum’s the Word,” Basil’s latest adventure at an elite English girl’s school to solve the strange disappearance of a student who was part of a mysterious clique, some villain broke into the studio and murdered Aaron Astley, the man who brought Basil to life every episode, and left this adventure forever unfinished. Until today. Listen to the last adventure of Basil Bremerton and see if you, from the comfort of your home, can figure out the finale of this unfinished episode as well as who took Basil off the air for good.

Mum’s the Word started life as a digital commission for MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights, IL. With their students studying mysteries, in particular reading Sherlock Holmes stories in class (Why didn’t I have those kinds of teachers?), we decided to create an homage to a Holmes-style detective story using an old radio show as our creative medium. Sherlock Holmes was also radio character during the 30’s and 40’s, so we wanted to create our own original detective and a fresh story that paid tribute to these classic ideas. The result was this amazing and unique production. Framed as the famous unfinished episode with a dramatic ending, the episode is broken up with “News of the World” segments providing clues to the mystery of the murder as well as a few Master Mystery Productions Easter eggs from shows past. While the show is primarily audio, video and images of clues and red herrings will appear on screen to help you focus on the details and figure out the mysteries.

Logo art by Devanne Fredette

Mum’s the Word contains an all-star cast of amazing voice talent, performers with a long history of theatrical performance alongside MMP legends. Four-time Diamond Mask Award winning actor Calvin Johnson leads as the infamous Basil Bremerton, a role which won him a historic FOURTH Diamond Mask, the first performer to claim that honor in MMP history. Skeleton Key Winner (Woman in the Walls) Davis Kunz plays Benjamin Anders, Basil’s assistant and ever-amazed audience. Two-time Diamond Mask Winner Jonathan Blair doubles up as both the Announcer for the News of the World segments and Inspector Harlow. 2020 Founder’s Award Winner Beth Sparks-Jacques brings authority and passion to Miss Whitmore. Two-time Diamond Mask and 2019 Founder’s Award Winner Janis Kunz brings us grace and professionalism as Miss Drummond. Grace Lloyd won her first Diamond Mask Award for her nuanced performance as Amelia Brent. MMP Hall of Fame Artist, Diamond Mask, and 2018 Founder’s Award Winner Devanne Fredette gives us the coy and catlike Sarah Green. Rebecca Witherell took home her third Diamond Mask Award for her chilling portrayal of Helen Marshall. Natalie Murphy won her first Diamond Mask Award with a heartfelt, emotional performance as the beleaguered Daphne Evermore. Three-time Diamond Mask Award Winner Cat Kreidt shows her brilliance as a performer once again as Margo Evermore. And longtime performing veteran, with numerous stage and film credits, Rodney Connors joins MMP in his debut role as Kenneth Evermore. Below is a list of all the characters and their descriptions.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Basil Bremerton — An eccentric, genius private detective known for his slick hand with impossible crimes and an unconventional approach to solving them. Between the clashing colors of his wardrobe and his fondness for the odd, obscure, and unusual, people tended to underestimate the brain behind the charming smile. Played by famous actor, Aaron Astley, for fifteen unbroken years.

Benjamin Anders— Basil’s eternal shadow and echo who is a devoted assistant and an easily impressed audience. Of conventional brain and conventional outlook, he served as the perfect stabilizing yin to Basil’s oddball yang.

Announcer/Inspector Harlow — As the Announcer, he is the voice of the News of the World segments that form the commercial breaks between scenes. As Harlow, he is the Detective Inspector put in charge of the case involving the student’s disappearance. His by-the-book investigation surprisingly irritated the bookish Miss Whitmore for reasons he couldn’t fathom.

Miss Honoria Whitmore — The accomplished, indefatigable headmistress of the Granger School for Girls. She’d weathered everything from demanding parents, recalcitrant students, and all manner of disasters in between that a disappearing student hardly rocked her boat.

Miss Althea Drummond — Matron and watcher of the dormitories at the Granger School for Girls. Too concerned with her charges’ misbehavior to notice when one of them disappeared from her dormitory without a trace.

Amelia Brent— The missing student who vanished one chilly February night into thin air. Everyone agreed there was nothing unusual or mysterious about the sweet, placid Amelia…except that her roommates refused to talk about her to anyone. Age 17.

Helen Marshall— The scholarly and eldest of Amelia’s roommates, it was clear that Helen had the brains to plan anything and everything her heart desired. She felt a catlike delight in sending Basil on a wild goose chase. Age 18.

Sarah Green — The outspoken and friendliest of Amelia’s roommates, she liked to scoop up the girls who felt a little uncomfortable at the school and let them in on a secret. She preferred to tease the police rather than give them anything useful. Age 17.

Daphne Evermore — Young, pretty American daughter of Margo and Kenneth and a new student at the Granger School. She felt like a fish out of water in England, but her new friends kept her from drowning in the deep end…and under her mother’s possessive eye. Age 16.

Margo Evermore — Wealthy American heiress, wife of shipping millionaire Kenneth, and mother to Daphne. She tended to think the world would be better if it ran to her exacting demands and qualifications.

Kenneth Evermore — Immensely rich American shipping magnate who has forged business relationships in Europe and aims to educate his daughter, Daphne, at the finest school in Britain, the Granger School. He was a little too aware of how the disappearing student helped his business…seeing as the girl’s guardian was his biggest rival in the market.

A mysterious note found at the Granger School for Girls…

Mum’s the Word is streaming exclusively on Vimeo on Demand from May 19 to May 28, 2021. You can rent the show for a whole week for only $5 per device. Here’s the link to the show page with the details: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mumstheword. You can either sign up for a free Vimeo account or use your Facebook account to watch the show with a valid purchase. And, as a free bonus, we’ve attached the official at-home Mum’s the Word program you can print out. It contains a synopsis, scene division, a space to write your detective notes, cast list and bios, and so on. Click on the link below to download and print your very own program, just like you would receive in a theatre. It’s our gift to you.

Watch the trailer for the new production below! Clink on the trailer to travel to the show page on Vimeo on Demand to pre-order the show now. You will receive an email on May 19 when the show is available to watch! Enjoy!

We are so excited to share this new adventure with all of you! We hope you enjoy Mum’s the Word! And let us know if you were able to solve both mysteries. We love hearing from you. After May 28, the show closes and will become a digital package patrons can purchase through our website for private functions. We will also have a school version, based on the one we did for MacArthur Middle School, which includes discussion questions, worksheets, and more to help the students solve the crime. This showing will be the only public showing of Mum’s the Word.

Read the testimonial of a teacher who watched the school version of Mum’s the Word here.

Take care! And don’t fret…there are many more secrets and surprises up our sleeves for the future. The show will always go on. Can you keep a secret? Remember…mum’s the word…

–Master Mystery Productions

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