The deputy mayor, a social climbing bureaucrat, has invited a disparate bunch to his official residence for dinner. As well as his wife and daughter (Nicole), eight guests are to attend. The guests are:
- Pierre, Nicole's boyfriend, a left-leaning poet.
- Kirk, a self-centered American bar owner
- Otto, the local Gestapo representative, probably posted here to be out of the way since he seems to be mentally unbalanced
- A Russian Countess
- A Parisienne theatrical agent
- Cherie, a night club singer
- Ingrid, a Danish art dealer of dubious morals
- The Black Cat - an international mime artist and possibly a cat burglar.
On the evening of the dinner party, one of the guests - The Black Cat - fails to show. Just before the meal is due to start, the local police inspector enters unexpectedly and announces that The Black Cat has been murdered. The murderer(s) tried, clumsily, to make the murder appear to be a suicide. Since all the dinner guests knew The Black Cat in one way or another, the inspector believes that one or more of the guests has information which might lead to the discovery of the identity of the murderer(s)...
This was the (imaginary) setting of the dinner party thrown by my wife (with a little help from me). Our (real) guests had been allocated roles and had dressed appropriately. Marie had cooked an excellent meal in the style of WW2 French cuisine and we consumed copious amounts of fine red wine. We all had character booklets and instructions on how to participate, but basically, a framework for the dinner is provided and the rest is improvised by the participants. The result was a most enjoyable, laughter-filled evening. At the end, when the murderer(s) of The Black Cat was revealed, it was a surprise to us all - except the guilty, of course. None of us had taken part in this kind of activity before, and I can heartily recommend it. All you need is a group of friends prepared to join in the role play and glorious revelry is guaranteed to ensue.
Oh! - and Marie's anxiety took a holiday all evening