MURDER MYSTERY: Actress Sharon Cawthorne as Lady Cecily Jape at one of Tall Tales Mysteries’ nights
MURDER MYSTERY: Actress Sharon Cawthorne as Lady Cecily Jape at one of Tall Tales Mysteries’ nights

A MURDER-mystery script-writer and her team of actors are in the running for honours after being shortlisted for the Rural Business Awards.

Sara West comes up with her plots at home Gainford and from there her stories are brought to life by a group of actors who perform all around the North East – from The Garden Rooms, at Tennants, in Leyburn, to social clubs in Northumberland and rural pubs along the way.

Now Ms West’s company, Tall Tales Mysteries, has become one of five to be shortlisted for the North East’s best creative of media-based business in the annual awards scheme.

The Tall Tales team will be up against artists and a web design company.

Ms West said: “We’re so excited to be shortlisted with the four other creative businesses. The awards ceremony doesn’t take place until October but just being recognised like this is a great compliment.

“It’s also a great recognition of my team of talented actors. Obviously I couldn’t do what I do without them but every time I give them a new character, it’s amazing to see how they pick up my script and turn it into a great night out for our guests.”

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The Rural Business Awards recognise businesses operating in rural areas across the UK.

Tall Tales Mysteries productions are often booked in rural locations, bringing in new and repeat visitors to venues and often selling out shows.

Ms West, a former journalist, said she loves Agatha Christie plots and good old fashioned crime and mystery stories and has put the focus of her business on “awfully British murder mysteries”.

She said: “We’ve got some fun murder mystery nights coming up, including one on the Wensleydale Railway, the fabulous Garden Rooms, at Tennants, and we’re helping the Derwent Walk Inn, near Consett, put on two murder-mystery nights to help fundraise for a cancer unit at a local hospital.

“W’ll be in Bolton in October for the north region Rural Business Awards ceremony where win, lose or draw we’ll have a great time learning more about the amazing businesses all based in rural locations.”