What to expect from JURY DUTY

What is the aim of the game?

During Jury Duty, you and your fellow jurors will have one hour and forty-five minutes to come to a verdict in an online trial. You will be given evidence to review and discuss, given access to the Defendant to ask them any questions you have about the case, and given time to talk as a jury about what you think is the truth.

What will I have to do?

Strictly speaking, you don’t have to do anything. As a juror, you can be as active or as passive as you like, and can even abstain in the final vote if you really don’t feel comfortable doing anything other than watching. 

The show is much more rewarding if you participate, however, to whatever level you’re comfortable. 

Please be mindful of others when playing. A jury that works together effectively won't miss vital clues. 

What things can I do?

There will be evidence to read and listen to. It’s recommended that audiences divide up this evidence, so you may want to take responsibility for a specific exhibit and then report back on it to your fellow jurors. 

You may also come across codes and puzzles that hold more information about the case. If you crack these, make sure you let your fellow jurors know what you find.

What makes Jury Duty unusual is the presence of a live actor playing the Defendant. You can interview them at various points in the show, and how you do that is up to you. They will respond to your questions and may wish to help you if you seem like someone they can trust. Talk to them and see if they can shed light on anything the evidence doesn’t explain.

What if I get stuck?

There is no right or wrong way to play Jury Duty, but if you find you’ve run out of things to explore, talk to one another. Your other jurors may be onto something, and you may be contacted in unexpected ways with new leads. 

If you really run out of leads as a group, talk to the Defendant. Maybe they’ll have something to suggest.

How many people can play Jury Duty?

The game is designed to work for 12 people, to best represent a jury trial. However, it can function with as few as five players and as many as 20. Through testing, we have found that roughly 12 is the optimum number for everyone feeling involved. 

How long does it last?

You and the other players will be asked to come to a verdict in the trial around one hour and forty minutes after the show begins. The show will end when you give your verdict.

How is it structured?

The basic structure is that in the first half of the game, you and the other players will be divided into two subgroups to assess the evidence and talk to the Defendant separately. You will be able to talk to one another over Zoom, or communicate and swap theories using a shared notes document over Google Docs. You will then come together as a whole jury for the second half of the game, at which point it really is up to you how you proceed. Before the end of the show, there will be one short session where the Defendant is questioned by the whole jury. You can ask to speak to the Defendant in pairs or on your own at pretty much any other time as well.

Any advice?

Think outside of the box. Talk to your fellow jurors to make sure you haven’t missed evidence that they’ve read and you haven’t. 

Remember that the Defendant is not an automated puzzle but a real person who will reward creative questioning. Remember also that they may know things that aren’t necessarily explained in the written evidence.

Oh, and keep your phone on and your emails open. You never know who might want to talk to you.

Click here to find out more about what to expect from THE INQUEST