Play Dead London A Deadly Dose within the Old Operating Theatre London

It was a dull dreary wet Friday evening and a murder had taken place so an autopsy was required at the Old Operating Theatre, with the investigation on the way with Play Dead London detectives on the case. For one night Daggers Productions gave keen amateur detectives a night of murder to solve within the Old Operating Theatre.

On a complimentary gifted basis I and Bianca we took our souls and minds back to 1879 to try and help solve what happened to Mr Jacob John Canning which was fittingly held at the with the Old Operating Theatre.

Play Dead London and Daggers Production

Play Dead London was created back in April 2018 by Creator and Artistic Director, Emma Crocombe. Emma came up with setting up her own murder mystery productions when she helped fund raise for a murder mystery event within Bangalore for Limited Resources Teacher Training. From there she then set up her own murder mystery company along with her talented friends.

She brings to London numerous murder mysteries all set within unique locations giving the plays a real air and soul to them.

Daggers Production is a South West London based theatre production company specialising in bringing horror to the stage.​

Their most recent production A Deadly Dose was set within the Old Operating Theatre in London.

The Old Operating Theatre in London

Housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas’ Hospital, this atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients’ medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was included. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe.

A Deadly Dose has taken place

The year is 1879 and there is an autopsy of Jacob John Canning being performed. But something is wrong….very wrong. It appears that Canning’s death wasn’t natural causes – who done it?

There has been a murder and it was up to me and other audience members to try and solve what happened to poor Mr Jacob John Canning.

Accessing the Old Operating Theatre which is up a narrow 52-step spiral staircase we came across the poor soul of Jacob who’s corpse lay there upon the operating table ready for a post-mortem with the question on everyone’s lips how did he die? and who murdered him?  

Play Dead London Old Operating Theatre

Taken back to the year 1879, we found out by Dr. Thomas Theobald that poor Mr. Jacob John Canning body was found dead in Miss Molly’s house who let’s say runs an escort service for men. However before Dr. Thomas Theobald is about to start the post-mortem within the old operating theatre on Jacob he is stopped by the police whom name him as one of the suspects in Jacob’s death.

Listening to what the police had to say and Dr Thomas Theobald plus the other suspects who were bought to the Old Operating theatre the question is who done it and why?

Could it be either

  • Jacob’s sister Lady Susanna Beechworth who had recently fallen out with her brother for some reason?
  • His brother-in-law Lord Archibald Beechworth who owed him a lot of money?
  • Dr. Thomas Theobald whose questionable research methods have compromised his career?
  • Madame Scarlett Dubois who dabbles in the esotheric arts as well as in shady dealings?
  • His ex-girlfriend Miss Annie Hughes who still holds a torch for him?
  • Miss Molly Cook who owns the establishment the victim was found in?

After listening to what the police had to say and all the suspects we were then given time to exam the evidence which the police had found and time to question the suspects ourselves as well as two witnesses.

Trying to discover the connections between them all, their past communications with Mr. Canning before his murder and the secrets they may hold the question is who is telling the truth and who is not?

Who done it?

After questioning the six suspects it was time for us all to gather our evidence to come up with the conclusion in who we felt murdered Jacob. We were all lead over to a pub across the street to a private function room for this last scene. Discussing amongst our teams and in my case Bianca we were then all asked to open up an app and vote who we thought was the murderer. After a short presentation, the murderer was revealed and for those who got it right were congratulated on their good work. Unfortunately we did not choose right, but there was a fair outcome of wrongful conclusions by others too.

However does that mean this murder mystery was hard to solve, or did we just not have enough time to ask the suspects what we wanted to puzzle the mystery of Jacobs murder together or was the story complicated?

I think the case was that we did not have enough time to be able to ask the suspects what we wanted.


I felt that The Deadly Dose was a great written out story and the acting was played out well. I particularly liked the fact that they wore Victorian style clothing really making you feel that you have been taken back to the early 1800’s. It was interesting immersing with the characters after hearing what the policeman had to say about Jacob and examining the evidence for ourselves. I also liked the idea of hunting for further evidence ourselves in seeking out hidden QR codes which gave us further hidden secrets and evidence to help us solve who murdered Jacob. However at times it did get a little crowded and hard to ask the characters our questions. However even though we may of not always got to ask characters ourselves what we wanted we could overhear questions and confrontations easily which helped us gather more clues and draw conclusions.

I think that the Old Operating Theatre was a great choice of premise as well for this murder mystery, as it was very in keeping with the era of the whole story.

I recommend checking out Play Dead London’s upcoming murder mysteries as they are played out well and always set within a unique venue in London.


Play Dead London discover more and check out for their upcoming murder mysteries click here.

Daggers Production discover more and check out for their upcoming murder mysteries click here.

Thank you to Play Dead London for inviting me and another community member down to try and help solve the murder of poor Mr Jacob John Canning.

Click below to be redirected to read all other community members blogs who joined me on the night and from past productions. Their views are of their own honest opinions.

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