Small UK Female founded murder mystery business goes global

Jo visits Hunsfos Opplevelse

Hunsfos Opplevelse in Norway, are mere weeks away from delivering the first murder mystery event created by UK Crime Writer, Jo Smedley of Red Herring Games.

GRIMSBY, N.E. LINCS, UNITED KINGDOM, April 17, 2023/ — Hunsfos Opplevelse, a converted paper mill close to Kristiansand in Norway, are mere weeks away from delivering the first of what will become a regular series of murder mystery events at the venue created by UK Crime Writer, Jo Smedley who heads up Red Herring Games.

“It’s the first time I’ve written a play specifically for a Norwegian audience” Jo Smedley said. “So I knew I needed to do my research properly to ensure it was set correctly for the culture.” She was invited to visit the site by the team in Spring 2022 with a view to creating a series of scripts based on the paper factory and the people who worked there.

“Hunsfos Opplevelse is an amazing development” Jo Smedley said. “The directors behind the renovation have been really sensitive to the history of the site, and we could learn a lot in the UK about creative redevelopment of old industrial factories from them.”

While in Kristiansand Jo met with director Agnar Espegren and Elisabeth Hoibo who was involved in marketing the redevelopment. There were meetings with the history team, tours of the area, and some general rooting through photographs, newspapers and documents from the time the mill was open. “It was a very short, but very focussed trip” Jo said, “Allowing me time to explore the culture and history of the area and the factory.”

Jo then returned to the UK with copious notes and photos, where she converted all her research into fictional, but plausible plots that were engaging, but above all, fun.

“What came across in everything was the family atmosphere of the place.” Jo said. “They played pranks, they did things together, they looked after each other. I wanted to make sure I had that element of fun and family rooted in the stories so that it really shone through.”

The scripts were finished in late autumn 2022 and passed to the translation firm Andiamo! Language Services Ltd who painstakingly translated each nuance from English to Norwegian ensuring it was culturally relevant and grammatically and conversationally correct.

“There are a lot of phrases we take for granted in English. But you have to be 100% clear that you know the meaning of them when translating, so there was a lot of backwards and forwards between us as we clarified phrasing and meaning.” Jo said.

Hunsfos Opplevelse have engaged a Dramaturg from Kristiansand who will direct the first play and rehearsals are underway.

“It’s all very exciting” said Jo. “Sadly I can’t speak a word of Norweigan so I’d be no help out there directing the first show, but from experience, I know the way we structure our plays means that it will work beautifully, and with the additional direction from the Dramaturg it is a guaranteed success.”

As well as custom writing a unique set of scripts, Jo Smedley has also craftily given the team more bang for their bucks by creating a unique format of play.

“I knew the game would need to be translated,” Jo said. “So I wanted to give the team at Hunfos scripts that were as adaptable as possible. With the scripts provided, they can run standard dinner theatre evenings, our most popular multi-room style and combine the pair to create a weekend experience too.”

But it’s not just traditional dinner theatre. Jo has also worked with them to provide an option for a digital experience.

“We had a lot of success with our digital murder mystery game after we created one for our local Fishing Heritage Centre and I wanted to make sure the team had options to turn what they had into a digital event too.”

Hunsfos Opplevelse are working with local company Wingboot to create a game-like journey turning the murder mystery created for Hunsfos into a unique digital adventure.

“I know the team in Norway are hoping to win prizes for the interactive experience and it’s lovely to have been part of the journey with them. They were so generous hosting me over in Norway for the few days I was there.” Said Jo, “I wish them every success.”

Jo Smedldey
Red Herring Games
+44 1472 348909
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