Murder in the Bunker

DORCHESTER Arts and the town’s Shire Hall Courthouse Museum get together on 17th January for Murder In the Bunker, a new play by Vince Jones and James Cuthill,

It is the 1956 annual dinner of the Dorchester Preservation Society at Shire Hall. The guest speaker is property developer Gerald Chillingdon, who is planning to outline his plans for a new estate built on Dorchester’s beautiful water meadows.

Everyone is looking forward to an evening of honest conversation, spirited debate, and thoughtful discussion … but who knew murder was on the menu? And who could have done this dastardly deed?

Murder in the Bunker is a new joint project between Shire Hall Historic Court House Museum and Dorchester Arts, with proceeds going to support both charities. The evening begins with drinks, and a tour of in the old cells, courtroom and Cold War bunker in the museum on High West Street.

The play pays homage to the 1950s and the writings of Agatha Christie, Dorset playwrights Vince Jones and James Cuthill describe it as a murder mystery night with a Dorchester twist! Vince says: “It’s set against the backdrop of an annual meeting of the Dorchester Preservation Society – they are trying to protect the county town from development after the Second World War. The keynote speaker is a local property developer who wants to develop the town with a bypass and estates, and he has his eyes on the water meadows to the north of the town. We have tried to give it a modern feel as the themes are still relevant today.

“Then during the evening, a murder occurs, and Inspector Bradshaw comes in to interview the suspects, and after dinner he will pronounce his verdict and the audience can guess who did the dastardly deed too.”

And in a real-life twist, Inspector Bradshaw is played by Al Jenkins (pictured), who was a police inspector before he retired.

Those attending are being encouraged to dress in 1950s inspired outfits to create the right atmosphere, and after dinner can guess whodunnit for a chance to win a prize.

Tickets, including a welcome drink and light dinner, are available from the Dorchester Arts box office on 01305 266926, or visit

Curtain up at 7pm for this dramatic evening in Dorchester’s most atmospheric venue.