The Case of the Villainous Vocalist
Set in an amateur theatre company. For 10 actors
Join the Ad Hoc Musical Society, a group of keen but amateur thespians, at their first meeting after the death of one of their members. Frank Vignetti was brutally killed in their rehearsal rooms shortly after their successful production of “Oklahoma” in which he, as usual, played the leading role. It seems that Frank was killed by one of the company, but who, and why?
The Case of the Poisoned Philosopher
Set in a University Philosophy Department. For 10 actors.
Professor Elizabeth Hong has been found slumped over her desk. Initial suggestions were that she had died of a heart attack, but subsequent postmortem results indicated that she had ingested a quantity of amphetamines. Professor Hong suffered from a weak heart and the quantity of speed she had ingested in her morning coffee had been sufficient to kill her. Because of this, Professor Hong’s death is being treated as suspicious, and talk within the shocked Department leads to the idea that she may have been murdered.
Death Among the Vegetables
A harvest festival murder mystery. For 7 actors.
The play takes place in a church hall during the Harvest Festival. Just a few days ago the Rev. Christopher MacAfee tragically fell from the belfry. Although initially viewed as an accident, the police are now treating his death as murder. Did the Reverend harbour suspicions about some unsavoury activity in the community? Or are his prize tomatoes a motive for murder?
Gone to Texas
A Wild West murder mystery. For 5 actors.
The action takes place in The Rose of the West Saloon, Model Valley, Texas around the 1890s. Present are Rosie Mitchell, who runs the saloon with her husband Jack and also earns her living doing ‘horizontal work’. Also present is Jem Brady, the owner of Brady’s General Store; Charlie Harris, a cowboy who arrived in town a few days ago, being just about to start a cattle drive; and Mahelia Werritt, a female gunslinger who has ended up in Texas to escape the law in Wyoming. All these characters are suspects in the murder of Daniel Henry Wright, a rich and powerful cattle baron who has been stabbed in an alley near the stockyards. Marshal Eustace Forfardy is charged with working out who did it, and bringing the culprit to justice.
The Bring-and-Die Sale
Set in a village hall. For 7 actors.
The play takes place in a village hall during the AGM of the Village Hall Committee, now sadly without its Vice-Chairman following the death by poisoning of busybody Duncan Paul. Did Duncan stick his nose into the wrong business? Or was the poison really meant for someone else?
Blood & Champagne
A hen night murder mystery. For 6 actors.
The play is set on a hen night, where Michelle Taylor is celebrating her forthcoming marriage to Tom Crombie. The hen party comprises Michelle, her mother, her two best friends and some colleagues from work. The hens have spent the afternoon in a spa, where one of their number, Anna Daniels, a colleague from Bargain Buckets, has been murdered. The hens haven’t noticed that she has gone missing until a detective arrives to notify them that she has been found dead, stabbed in the eye with a nail file.
The Virtuous Sweets
A celebrity chef is murdered on a book tour. For 6 actors.
"Eat like Shakespeare!" That's the catchphrase of celebrity chef and former Shakespearean actor, Leonard de Vries, who is here to publicise his latest Elizabethan cookbook, 'The Virtuous Sweets'. That is, if his enemies don't catch up with him first...
Written in the Stars
A member of a creative writing group is murdered. For 6 actors.
The Creative Writing Group at the Library were shocked when one of their members, Lavinia Couper, signed a million-pound book deal for her first novel. But now Lavinia has been murdered and they are all under suspicion
I write modern murder mysteries which are structured to allow the audience a long period in which to interact with the actors. This places the audience in the role of detective, trying to solve the mystery themselves. The format allows for reduced production costs as costumes and props are readily available, and an exciting and challenging role for the performers because of the improvisation. The structure that I write to is a short scripted first act which introduces all the characters and sets the scene of the murder. Then the audience are invited to mingle with the actors and ask them any questions they wish on a one-to-one basis. This ‘second act’ generally lasts for around an hour. The third act is also scripted, and is constructed as a golden-age-style reveal, with each character in turn having their motives revealed before the murderer is finally exposed. One person who has chosen the correct murderer and motive is then selected and awarded a prize.
The format has proved very popular and I have written a number of plays which are available to stage or for performance.
I am also able to write bespoke scripts on particular topics or with particular settings for specific events.
For example, I wrote ‘The Body on the Library’ for Newcastle City Library’s World Book Night event in 2011. The play was set at the memorial event for a librarian whose body had been found on the rubble of the old library building four years earlier. Her friends, family and colleagues had gathered to celebrate her life, but found themselves suspects in her murder. The production, directed by Tim Bennett, had a cast of seven, and was performed to an audience of 100 people across all floors of the library. It featured a filmed insert purporting to be the local news footage from the day the library reopened, which provided a motive and back-story for one of the characters. The footage, which was filmed by John Allen, featured Thom Freeth and Margaret Cowan, two actors from the production.
Fees depend on the size of the audience to make it cost-effective for producers:
Small-scale performance to small audience: £20
Anticipated audience numbers over 100: £50
New script written specifically to requirements: £100
Please contact Louise if you are interested in staging a play, and I would be happy to provide samples of my scripts and discuss your requirements.