Learning by Doing?: 
Didactics 8-13 and Crime Fiction Are On the Case

On March 4, students from Crime Fiction and English Didactics for Grades 8-13 met up at The Cat’s Meow to dance their cares away, Roaring 20s style. They came dressed for a good time, and the jazz music, free-flowing drinks, and card games certainly contributed to a jumpin’ scene. All of the glamorous party people were there – flappers, fashion designers, musicians, artists, gamblers, and actors mingled with high-strung professionals such as doctors, accountants, writers, lawyers, and stockbrokers looking to let their guard down a little for just one night. One and all were served by the dedicated staff of The Cat’s Meow – the ‘vintage champagne’ was ice cold, and the jazz was scorching hot. Little did they know that they would be required to solve a ‘murder’…

Felix Fontano, owner of The Cat’s Meow, was found looking a little bit worse for wear in a supply closet, just as the evening’s Charleston contest was at its peak! Who could have done such a terrible thing? It’s true that Felix had a lot of enemies, and a whole lot of – shall we say – entanglements, so The Cat’s Meow quickly turned into a room full of suspects… and if the police became involved, the speakeasy might be shut down forever!

Luckily, old Frank Fontano, Felix’s father, knew that something was a bit off, and had the good sense to secretly employ a private detective, P.I. Ripley (played by third-year LESAMF student Alexander Jæger Williams). Once PI Ripley was on the scene, the party quickly turned into a search party, as teams went out to look for clues. From there, PI Ripley methodically interrogated all of the guests – Dr. Ronnie Mason (played by second-year BAENG student Amatullah Abedah), famous actress June Palmetto (played by second-year BAENG student Solveig Landsem), track owner Duke Carillo (played by third-year BAENG student Alaa Alsalama), among many others, one by one. Soon, it was time to find out, at last, whodunit. 

While many of the guests thought that the ‘murderer’ must have been Felix’s wife, Edith (played by year-long exchange student Alizée Gosset), as she was tired of Felix’s womanizing and bad investments, a few keen detectives were able to deduce the real killer based on the evidence. (We won’t reveal that here…innocent until proved guilty in a court of law!) In addition, Karri Borrison (played by third-year LESAMF student Thea Emelie Buarøy) won a prize for best costume, Bess Bailey (played by semester exchange student Gaia Andreatta) was voted “most energetic dancer,” and Alexander Jæger Williams, pulling double-duty as Felix Fontano and PI Ripley, took the prize for best acting.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Not only were English students working with basic communication skills, but also role-playing, memorization, logic, rational deduction, teamwork, and a little bit of American history thrown in there as well! But don’t take our word for it:

“I truly enjoyed the live action role-play experience. Despite being a little bit nervous, I felt supported in participating, and I learned a lot. Truly a unique and memorable experience!” – Ehsan Farrokhnia (third-year Circumpolar and Nordic Studies student; played Edgar Fitzgerald)

“For me, the best part of the game was getting to know my own character, as well as everyone else’s. It was so much fun to see how much thought everyone put into their acting, and then seeing how everyone interacted with each other. I think a few of us grew a bit attached to our roles, I know I did!” – Thea Emelie Buarøy

The murder mystery game was sponsored by the Languages and Literature subject group, led by Dr. May Line Tverbakk. Food was provided by local Bodø restaurant Lystpå (with a delicious cake provided by Duke Carillo – perhaps to throw us off?), and Pias balletstudio graciously assisted with the costumes.

Hot off the press! Keep up with the style, scandal, and skulduggery of the day with the Nord Chronicle gossip column by Nelly Jones (Maria Montori), Karri Borrison (Thea Emelie Buarøy), and Jamie Lee Elmer (Ulrika Grinberga):

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