Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Call Off The Search.

Bored with the ‘Hat Game’? Tired of ‘Mafia’? Too old for ‘Spin The Bottle’?

Well, worry not, because Brede McDermott and I have invented the perfect parlour game. It needs no dice, boards, playing pieces or chips. No gambling is involved. It will not make people cry like ‘Psychiatrist’ or drunk like ‘I’ve Never’.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to introduce to you your new favourite game, ‘The Mirror Crack’d’.


If you are unfamiliar with the work of Agatha Christie, spoilers may lie ahead.


Welcome back, the rest of you. Right. Here are the very simple rules of the game.


2 players, a timekeeper, and some onlookers.

PLAYER ONE is Marina Gregg (Elizabeth Taylor, Claire Bloom, Lindsay Duncan)

PLAYER TWO is Heather Badcock (Maureen Bennett, Judy Cornwell, Caroline Quentin)


PLAYER TWO must engage PLAYER ONE in conversation for fifteen seconds, during which PLAYER ONE is not allowed to speak. PLAYER TWO must talk about being a huge fan of PLAYER ONE, but can otherwise say whatever he or she likes, in whatever accent(s) he or she chooses. PLAYER ONE must make appropriate ‘being talked to by a fan’ faces, and maintain eye contact.

At any point of his or her choice after the fifteen seconds, PLAYER TWO must mention the words ‘German Measles’. The moment the words ‘German Measles’ have been said, PLAYER ONE must immediately look away from PLAYER TWO, and stare at a fixed point in the distance for fifteen seconds. PLAYER ONE must at this point have a completely neutral expression- no smile, no laughing, no anger, no regret. His or her gaze must remain fixed. The neutrality of PLAYER ONE’s expression will be adjudicated by the ONLOOKERS, and the fifteen seconds timed by the TIMEKEEPER. During this time PLAYER TWO can continue speaking, saying whatever he or she wishes.

If PLAYER ONE maintains the fixed neutral expression for fifteen seconds, the mirror is crack’d, and PLAYER ONE gains a point, and vengeance. If PLAYER ONE’s expression flickers (for example by laughing) then PLAYER TWO doesn’t drink the poisoned cocktail and gets to stay alive (and also a point).

There are possible extra rules, but I will spare you those for now. They mainly involve poisoned hay fever remedies.

Anyway. Try it. It is the best game ever.

Happy New Year.