Composers and their stage works 


Murder Assured

Thriller. Tony Clayton
M4 (middle-age) F2 (20s, middle-age). A living-room.

The problems arise when bad times hit previously successful writer Stephen Ryder, forcing him to auction his very large and expensive insurance policy. This presents his wife, Sheila, with the opportunity to cash m by plotting Stephen's death with 'friend of the family' Gordon Crawford. But how many people is Gordon fooling'? Is old flame Harry Manley as naive as he appears and how does Christine, Stephen's faithful secretary, fit into the scheming The final twist leaves the audience buzzing.
ISBN 0 573 01611 9

Murder at Deem House

Play. Sam Bate
M4 (20, 40, middle-age) F6 (young, 20, 40, middle-age). A living-room.

When Nurses Iver and Boone inherit £100,000 after years of looking after old Mrs Deeming rather than the £500 everyone had expected - it appears that something sinister is going on. When the lawyer of the deceased asks Nurse Boone for a signature, he is later shot dead. But then, it could have been his wife who shot him: she had just surprised him kissing his secretary. Helped by the flighty servant Flora, Superintendent Forrest sifts the clues.
ISBN 0 573 11292 4

Murder at the Vicarage

Drama. Dramatized by Moie Charles and Barbara Toy from the novel by Agatha Christie
M7 (young, 16, 30, 40, elderly) F6 (young, 17, 35, middle-age). A living-room.

Everyone has a motive for wishing Colonel Protheroe dead. Amidst the heightening tension fostered by anonymous letters and bogus telephone calls moves the gentle figure of Miss Marple, whose old-maidish exterior conceals a very shrewd brain. She has the uncanny knack of knowing most people's secrets and it is she who is ultimately responsible for solving the mystery.
ISBN 0 573 01291 1

Murder by Appointment

Play. Frank Williams
M4 (young, 17, middle-age) F2 (young, middle-age). A drawing-room.

This play cleverly manipulates modern trends and conceptions of behaviour to the murderer's advantage. Building on present psychological ideas of heredity and sexual tendencies the author has designed such a plot that not only is the murderer's identity concealed right to the end but the audience is lured into condemning the wrong man, not once, but twice. Red herrings abound to make this into an exciting and devious thriller for ambitious societies and adult audiences.
ISBN 0 573 01621 6

Murder by Misadventure

Play. Edward Taylor
M3 (30s-40s) F 1 (30s). A penthouse flat.

Laughs, thrills and mind-boggling twists abound in this ingenious thriller which played at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1992 with a cast including Gerald Harper and William Gaunt. Despite their success as authors of TV thrillers, Harold Kent has become dissatisfied with his writing partner, and wants to dissolve their association. So he takes inspiration from one of their scripts ... 'It has a lastscene denouement which turns every available table, until you are left giddy with bewilderment ... ' Evening Standard
ISBN 0 573 01835 9

Murder by the Book

Thriller. Duncan Greenwood and Robert King
M3 (late 20s, middle-age) F2 (early 20s, mid-30s). A drawing-room.

Crisp, witty exchanges of dialogue pepper this light-hearted and inventive thriller. A thriller writer indulges in vitriolic verbal duels with his estranged wife, until she turns a gun on hi and fires. An amateur detective from the next flat attempts to solve the murder puzzle- then the 'corpse' rises, full of life, and the tables are turned, more than once, for victim and killers alike ...
ISBN 0 573 11300 9

The Murder Game

Play. Constance Cox
M2 (28, 40) F2 (26, 35). A living-room.

Brian and Sheila Hamilton live in apparently affluent comfort; but in reality their marriage is breaking up. In fact, it would be considerably to Brian's advantage if Sheila were to die. His friend Gerry suggests a fool-proof method of bringing this about. The murder is carried out - and successfully-but it is not long before Brian realizes that, by putting himself in Gerry's power, he has indeed exchanged the frying-pan for the fire.
ISBN 0 573 01222 9

A Murder Has Been Arranged

Ghost Story. Emlyn Williams
M4 (young, 40s) F6 (young, 20s, middle-age, 45). A stage.

There is a legend concerning a murder once committed at the St James' Theatre, that a dumb woman will appear on stage to reveal the murderer. Sir Charles Jasper holds a dinner-party in the theatre. Tonight he will come into a vast fortune. Should he die before eleven, his nephew Maurice will inherit it. Maurice arrives and engineers his uncle's murder. Then the dumb woman of the legend appears ...
ISBN 0 573 01294 6

Murder in Company

Play. Philip King and John Boland
M4 (21, 40s) F4 (20s-40). An empty stage.

A dramatic society is assembling on the stage of a church hall to rehearse a production of a mysterythriller. The rehearsal proceeds under difficulties until the mysterious death of the caretaker brings the situation of the whodunit even more closely into real life. It transpires that almost everyone might, and could have, murdered the dead man - eventually the identity of both killer and prowler is revealed.
ISBN 0 573 01289 X

Murder in Green Meadows

Thriller. Douglas Post. 2 men, 2 women. Interior.

Thomas Devereaux, a successful architect and local contractor, and his beautiful wife, Joan, have just moved into their dream house in the quiet suburban town of Green Meadows when they are visited by their new neighbors, Carolyn and Jeff Symons and a friendship develops quickly between the two couples. But underneath the cool, middle-American exterior, something is truly rotten. A previous sexual relationship between Joan and a teenage lawn-boy is revealed, as is the fact that Thomas learned of the infidelity and may have murdered his wife's lover. To make matters worse, an affair has begun to develop between Joan and Jeff Symons. One summer evening, following the Symons departure after a friendly game of cards, Thomas lets Joan know that he is aware of this new deception, and his violent, possessive nature surfaces. He makes two demands of his wife: one, she must stop seeing Jef. Two, she must kill him. What follows is a diabolical plot that continues to thicken through the final showdown between a murderer and an aggrieved widow.
ISBN: 0-8222-1517-9

Murder in Mind

Play. Terence Feely
M5 (young, middle-age) F2 (young, slightly older). Extras 1 M. A hall/sitting-room.

Mary, an international art dealer, arrives home to find her house occupied by three 'strangers' claiming to be her husband, cousin and sister. Even more mysterious is the fact that they seem aware of details of her family life which could only have been known to her most intimate circle. The nightmare situation becomes more and more complicated, including the sudden appearance of a murdered man ...
ISBN 0 573 11303 3

Murder in Neighbourhood Watch

Thriller. Stewart Burke
M4 (30s-50s) F3 (teenage, 30s, 40s). A living-room.

Panic grips West Lynstead when a famous dress designer is raped and strangled. Andrew Wingate, headmaster of the local school, sets up his own 'neighbourhood watch' and, disguised as a woman, walks the woods at night, laying himself open as bait for the killer. Suspense builds in this exciting play as Andrew is accused by an anonymous caller of attempted rape and a schoolgirl is lured into the hands of the killer ...
ISBN 0 573 11290 8

Murder in Play

Play. Simon Brett
M3 (30s, 40s, 60s) F5 (20s, middle-age). A living-room box set.

Boris Smolensky's budget repertory production of "Murder at Priorswell Manor" is looking decidedly shaky. The cast are more interested in their egos than the play and life imitates art when Boris's wife, Renee, is murdered on stage. Simon Brett's hilarious text, a worthy companion to his Charles Paris theatrical thriller novels, ruthlessly satirizes the politics of the inept company and the numerous red herrings keep the audience guessing until the final moments of the play.
ISBN 0 573 01840 5

A Murder is Announced

Play. Agatha Christie. Adapted by Leslie Darbon
M5 (young, 20s, 50s) F7 (20s, middle-age, 50s, elderly). A drawing-room.

The 'announcement' is in the local paper, stating time and place of a murder to occur in Miss Blacklock's early Victorian house. However, the victim is not one of several occupants, temporary and permanent, but an unexpected and unknown visitor. What follows is a classic Christie puzzle, with Miss Marple on hand to provide the final solution in a dramatic confrontation scene just before the final curtain.
ISBN 0 573 11295 9

Murder Mistaken

Melodrama. Janet Green. 2 men, 4 women. Interior

Murder is his business and generally speaking Edward Bare is a successful "business man." Married first to Monica, rich, doting and many years his senior, Edward waits amicably for her to die. It is not "poor Monnie's fault" that he comes one day to the mistaken conclusion that she is about to make a will in favor of her sister, and decides that, his only course is to hasten her end. But Edward has misjudged the old woman for she meant to leave him everything. As it is, he finds himself with less than he had when she was alive. Edward is not daunted: he looks around for another rich fish to net, and finds the answer to this pressing necessity in the person of Freda Jefferies, wealthy widow of a hotel proprietor. Freda, who has always seen that her head ruled her heart, marries Edward, at the same time keeping a tight hold on her purse strings. This does not suit Edward and when Charlotte Young, another rich woman, arrives on the scene, he is all set to remove the one that irks him most. Charlotte appears easier game than the tough Freda, and Edward sets about staging the scene for an exciting last situation. Which lady will receive the brunt of his murdering tactics? Packed with suspense and thrills, the machinations of the killer's mind are laid bare for the observation of the audience, and the twists are unexpected and spine-chilling.
ISBN. 0-8222-0790-7

Murder My Sweet Matilda

Thriller. Janet Green. The original play on which the motion picture Midnight Lace was based.
9 men, 3 women. Interior

Lesley Paul, young wife of a prosperous London bookmaker (gambler), lives, quite literally, like a "bird in a gilded cage." Home is a posh maisonette in a small section of London, her husband is adoring and attentive, and there is money enough to satisfy her every wish. Then the shocking phone calls begin. An unearthly sing-song voice tells Lesley that she will be killed before the month is out. Not once, but again and again the strange voice mutters its ugly threats - but only to her. At first Max Paul finds it difficult to condone his wife's growing terror. She is, in his mind, -still the childish "Matildâ who shouted "fire" when there was no fire at all. Gradually, as the uncanny omniscience of the killer seems to draw him nearer and nearer, the doubters are shaken in their doubts. Max, Lesley's Aunt Bee, Peggy Thompson the neighbour who lives downstairs - all who had scoffed at Lesley's fears begin to sense the gravity of her plight. The nearing presence of the unseen murderer throbs like a macabre counterpoint beneath the even tenor of their lives. How it all ends adds up to one of the most chilling and exciting climaxes ever written for the theatre. No one will guess the outcome - but no one will forget it either.
ISBN: 0-8222-0791-5

The Murder of Maria Marten or The Red Barn

Melodrama. Brian J. Button
M5 F8. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

In 1827, Willam Corder murdered Maria Marten, the mother of his illegitimate child, and buried her body in the Red Barn. Because of his wife's recurring dream, Thomas Marten searched the barn and discovered the body of his daughter. The fact that this production gets unsullied, hearty fun from these macabre ingredients is proof of its sureness - of its energy that pushes aside any attempt to think seriously about the horrors. Period 1820s

Murder on the Nile

Play. Agatha Christie
M8 (young, 28, middle-age) F5 (young, 24, 60). A ship's saloon.

Simon and Kay Mostyn are honeymooning aboard a Nile steamer. With them, apparently by accident, are Canon Pennefather, Kay's guardian and Jacqueline, Simon's ex-girlfriend. During the course of the voyage Jacqueline works herself into a state of hysteria and shoots at Simon, but only wounds him in the knee. A few minutes later Kay is found shot. Canon Pennefather lays bare an audacious conspiracy and ensures that the criminals shall not go free.
ISBN 0 573 01298 9

Murder Once Removed

Mystery/Drama. Irving Gaynor Neiman. 5 men, 2 women. Divided Interior.

A respected member of the community, Dr. Ronald Cato has prospered in carrying on his father's medical practice. But there are those who harbour suspicions about his past activities - particularly one patient, Walter Manning, who also suspects (correctly) that his wife and Dr. Cato are having a clandestine affair. Manning has engaged a private detective to investigate Cato's past, and the evidence gathered is so damning (although Cato tries at first to discount it) that the doctor's only course is to murder his patient. His clever and coolly executed plan of action shifts suspicion to another patient, and suspense builds as it appears that the good doctor may have committed the perfect crime. In the end this proves to be not so, but the method of Cato's undoing - and the surprising twist which follows it - will keep the audience guessing until the final, shocking moments of the play.
ISBN: 0-8222-0793-1

The Murder Room

Mystery Farce. Jack Sharkey
M3 (young, 40s, 50s) F3 (young, 30s, 60s). A livingroom.

Two days after their marriage Edgar catches Mavis, a villainess if ever there was one, telling obvious lies about where she has spent the evening. After a first attempt to kill him by poisoning his cocoa fails - the cat dies instead - she fires three shots into him and phones her lover. Later it transpires that the pistol contained only blanks, and Edgar's body vanishes. From then on complication follows complication until chaos reigns supreme.
ISBN 0 573 61283 8

Murder with Love

Play. Francis Durbridge
M6 (28, 40s) F3 (young, 30s, middle-age). Split set: two living-rooms.

Many people dislike Larry Campbell but none feel more embittered than David Ryder. Ryder pursues his vendetta by nefariously obtaining a key to Campbell's flat to kill him. Deceit, suspicion blackmail and incrimination are woven into the web of crime which is completed by a second killing and a tantalizing twist at the climax.
ISBN 0 573 11302 5

Murdered To Death

Peter Gordon : Comedy Thriller 5M 5F Interior set

This play is an hilarious spoof of the best Agatha Christie traditions, with an assembled cast of characters guaranteed to delight: Bunting the butler, an English Colonel with the prerequisite stiff upper lip, a shady French art dealer and his moll, bumbling local inspectors and a well meaning local sleuth who seems to attract murder - they're all here, and all caught up in the side-splitting antics which follow the mysterious death of the owner of a country manor house. But will the murderer be unmasked before everyone else has met their doom, or will audiences die laughing first?
ISBN: 0 85676 105 2


Play. Anthony Shaffer
M2 (35, 40s) F2 (25, 30s). A living-room, bathroom and sauna.

An unusual and macabre beginning to this play sets the audience's nerves twitching well before any dialogue confuses their minds! Norman apparently murders his girlfriend, Millie, and is in the process of disposing of her body when he is interrupted by a Sergeant Stenning. The ensuing hunt for the victim and the ghoulish discovery of a head burning in the stove is fiendishly climaxed by the revelation that it is only a dummy. Yet is Millie really dead or not? For connoisseurs of murders only. (NB This play contains violent scenes)
ISBN 0 573 01590 2