Murder mystery heads to court

Enjoying the summer drama school and dressed in character are Ben Jurd (barrister), Laura Hyde (gardener), Maddie Webb (Lady Trott's daughter Mary Rose Butcher), Zoe Ritchie (drama teacher Tulip Wilting), Dominic Jurd (Dr Angel Trumpet) and Mungo Gormley (Queen's Counsel).

A classic whodunit, with suspects and motives aplenty, has slowly unravelled at Trott’s Garden this week and there’s a formal trial at Ashburton Courthouse today to delve deeper into who murdered Lady Edna Trott.

Youngsters at this year’s Big Little Theatre Company (BLTC) summer drama school have been having fun with a script straight out of the books of Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh.

All 19 cast members were given bespoke roles ahead of the start of the summer school on Monday and each has dressed and acted in character.

“Everyone has the means, motive and opportunity to have carried out the murder, but no-one knows who did it,” said BLTC director Jackie Heffernan.

Some 18 clues were buried around Trott’s Garden at the beginning of this week, each shedding a little more light on the murder mystery.

Today’s courthouse trial would feature barristers, forensic scientists, photographers and the press, as well as a jury made up of family members of the young actors, Mrs Heffernan said.

It would be the first trial in the courthouse for 2021 and she was very happy that BLTC had been allowed to use the very appropriate venue.

The classic whodunit was her favourite genre and the young actors had well and truly embraced it over the week.

The colourful characters in her scripted play include Lady Edna Trott’s gardener, her bumbling doctor, her glamorous daughter and a disgruntled drama teacher who has had her funding pulled.

The full play will be re-enacted by the young actors at Trott’s on Friday and only then will Mrs Heffernan reveal who actually murdered Lady Edna Trott.

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