Review: Dale Butler’s ‘Fun Murder Mystery’ Play

June 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Peggy Burns]

Holistic therapy is what I needed and received when I attended the Play, a fun murder mystery set in a rest home full of quirky ageing musicians, which ran from 7th to 9th June, 2024 at the historic Leopards Club International Bermuda, 12 Brunswick Street, Hamilton HM 10. The production’s run was sold out.

The Play was written and produced by Dale Butler and directed by Rotimi Martins. The cast consisted of 17 actors from different backgrounds, ethnicity, gender and ages.

  • Live music and sound: Saxophonist George [Keith] Lee
  • Stage director: Debbie Correia
  • Lead parts: Deborah Joell, Matron, John Dale, Chief Inspector Duvon, and Taur Caisey and Cindy Swan, investors who helped save the rest home


The Play, in all its abundant variety, was therapeutic; in that it provoked my sensibilities with a full course serving of the following. Join me in the shifting scenery.

It was sheer delight being fully conscious, appreciative and basking in an historical place; founded by five Black men on the 24th February, 1949.
The interior décor of the Main Hall exuded a foreshadowing of what was to come. Numerous photographs of local musicians and a beautiful stage garden.

All seats were occupied; no room to play musical chairs. The air of joviality in the room was infectious. Bottled water and cutlery awaited every attendee at their white and gingerbread coloured table clothed dining table.

The show began promptly at 6.30pm; everyone quietly seated. A storyteller starts to highlight the history of “The Heartbeat of Hamilton” when her statement about “The Lion’s Den” opens a book of worms that reveals the struggles of “The All Saints Gingerbread Rest House,” which survived numerous rumbles that threatened its future.

The storyteller is jolted by a seasoned reporter to reveal what happened, and the audience is given a real eye-opener in more ways than one. The mysterious, looming trail of literary breadcrumbs of the Play had everyone spellbound.

First intermission: Individual finger food baskets comprising of flavorful breaded fried fish, toss salad and a condiment were tray-passed. Sliced tasty gingerbread topped with a mild sweet sauce was served during a brief intermission prior to the culmination of the evening’s literary trek – its beginning fraught with suspense and its ending pleasingly arresting.

Following the delivery of an acapella song the audience voices rang out, over and over, “we want Celeste!” At this juncture the Play appeared so real that people actually thought that Celeste [Spencer] Robinson [1916-1985] “Bermuda’s Queen of Calypso” was going to give a concert at the Warwick Rubber Tree. I heard folks near me excitedly exclaim, “she is; when?” I’ll confide here: momentarily, I wondered the same thing too.

A chance to win a door prize was open to everyone in the room. A chance to win a variety of gifts was open to only those raffle ticket purchasers.

All performers delivered with artistic fluidity and naturalness neatly packaged heartstring tuggers; nothing short of splendid, their diverse stories gift wrapped into a specific storyline which awakened fond memories of historical facts and truths about our past; together with other features that propelled us into the realm of fiction which evoked smiles or explosive laughter and applause; punctuated by shrill sounds of an unseen whistler in our midst.

I sum up my evening’s edutaining [educational and entertaining] experience by saying the little bit of good which each performer together wrought onto the stage was overwhelming. I’m grateful! The following quote befits my statement: “do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world” – Desmond Tutu [7th October, 1931-26th December, 2021].

We attendees received a helluva lot more than our money’s worth.

I would love to see “A Rumble in the All Saints Gingerbread House” staged wherever cultural literacy is revered and celebrated. Dr. Asa Grant Hilliard, III [1933-2007], psychologist, educator, author and supporter of African-centered pedagogy shared this quote: “our cultural base is the tie that binds. It is the source of our unity and power.”

- Peggy Burns [aka Nana Peggy] is an artist, author, co-founder of the School of Afrikan Learning, co-founder of The Black Collective, co-founder of M.O.V.E., creator of a calendar of summer activities for the children of Bermuda, entrepreneur, humanitarian, innovator, life scholar, minimalist, poetess, unconventional thinker, and vegetarian.

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