‘Speak easy boys, speak easy…’
‘The Chicago Caper’, a ‘How To Host a Murder’ game by Decipher Inc, is set in a ‘speak easy’.
A ‘speakeasy’ is a term used during Prohibition (1919-1933) to describe a place selling illegal alcohol. The style ranged from shabby hole-in-the-walls to fine restaurants, sich as New York’s ’21’ Club.
To enter ranged from using codes, stating who sent you, through to using businesses as fronts, with the speakeasy in the back rooms.
To create this effect, the front entrance of our house was set up as a printing company with printing presses, rolls of paper, moveable type and lots of books as props.
The ‘speakeasy’ entrance was blocked off with a ‘sliding wall’. When the code, which had been sent to guests earlier that day, was uttered, the wall slid open for them to enter.
Speakeasy’s were all about the alcohol, so the main feature in the room was a bar and shelves of alcohol. Even if you have empty bottles, no one will know (unless they reach for them!), so place them together for the overall feel.
The bar was a long wooden table with a long mirror placed on top, with two large palms in black containers (both from Ikea). Next to it, shelves with more bottles, cigar boxes (which I was able to buy empty from Devlin’s Cigars in Subiaco), and glassware. Secondhand stores are great for finding bits and pieces for this. Other things to include can be champagne buckets, glassware, mirrored items, and silverware.
Champagne cups were used in the 1920’s. These were purchased from Wheel and Barrow for $6.00 each, Not cheap, but they were a main feature on the bar with the champagne bucket holding the sparkling wine.
To create the restaurant feel, we used four tables from Ikea ($19 each) and covered them first with cardboard to cover the slated boards, then in white tableclothes (if you run out, white bed sheets work). Everyone sat two to a table.
Props were also left around making the bar the photo backdrop, allowing for action shots.
Including toy guns…
furs and feathers…
long cigarette holders…