It's Murder!

To order scriptsSynopsisCast ListScenesExtract


This Murder Mystery play should be perfomed as part of a 3-course meal.

Cast: Male 5, Female 5 – [or could be Male 4, Female 6]

We are in a large conservatory at Colonel Rogers' mansion. There is a central table at which the cast will eat. Offstage there is imagined to be a buffet the cast exit to this at the end of each scene, returning with food of their choice which they eat while the audience are served their courses.

These breaks are unscripted, and allow the audience to interact informally with the cast who should reply in character.

Ideally there should be three separate ways for the cast to enter and leave the acting space these are referred to as 'house', 'kitchen' and 'garden' entrances.

© John Owen Smith 2009


The scene is the occasion of a weekend house party in Colonel Roderick Rogers' mansion to celebrate the birthday of his current wife, Sarah.

Colonel Rogers' first wife left him 20 years ago (he was then in his 40s, she in her 30s). They had one son, Julian now in his mid 20s/early 30s and of an artistic bent, of whom the Colonel does not approve. In particular, Julian does not want to join the Colonel's family business, and for these reasons the Colonel is talking openly of disinheriting him.

The Colonel wed again five years ago to Sarah, a young girl about the same age as Julian. They have no offspring.

The Colonel is constantly belittling Sarah, and this annoys her elder sister Emma Bristowe. Emma, recently separated from her husband, is on the lookout for another man.

The Colonel's bachelor nephew, Charlie Collins, is in business with him but he has lost money on gambling and is here to borrow money.

Bessie White, a widow, is a friend of the Colonel's first wife, and is here to intercede on Julian's behalf.

William and Hermione Watson are a mature couple whom the Colonel and Sarah met on holiday recently. She is despairingly flirtatious, while he is of the 'old school'.

Cast List . . .

Col Roderick Rogers (60s)
Sarah Rogers, his second wife (20/30s)
Emma Bristowe, Sarah's elder sister (30/40s)
Julian Rogers, the Colonel's son by his first marriage (20/30s)
Charlie Collins, the Colonel's nephew (30/40s) [could be played as a Niece]
Bessie White, friend of the Colonel's first wife (50s)
William & Hermione Watson, whom the Colonel & Sarah met on holiday (mature)
Theresa Blanchard, local doctor's wife (50s)
Jack Pratt, Police inspector

List of Scenes . . .

Scene 1 – Foreplay
Scene 2 – First Intercourse
Scene 3 – Second Intercourse
Scene 4 – Third Intercourse
Scene 5 – Dénouement

Extract from Scene 1

Sarah Oh, please don't do it here Jules.
Julian I'm always being moved on. I thought at least you were my friend.
Sarah I thought you were going to do it in the garden.
Julian I was, but the fruit caught my eye as I passed by.
Sarah We've guests coming. I've got to get the table ready.
Julian (Drawing a big 'X' over his work) There, another work of genius murdered at birth.
Sarah Julian! Grow up. You can paint [draw] anywhere you like, but not here, not now.
Julian Grow up? I'm almost the same age as you.
Sarah Well act like it then, and give me a hand. Please.
Julian Nobody appreciates me here - and it is my home too, you know.
Sarah I know now if you could just clear the table for me so I can put this cloth on …
Emma enters from the kitchen with cutlery
Emma Oh dear, have we disturbed the artist at work, Sarah?
Julian Don't you start.
Sarah You knew we needed to set the table.
Julian (Clearing his stuff up) I know when I'm, not wanted mother.
Sarah You are wanted. But you make things worse for yourself when you
Julian It's alright. I'll find somewhere else and leave you and aunt Emma in peace.
Julian exits to the garden with his equipment
Sarah when you still act like a teenager.
Emma (Clearing the table) He's not a happy bunny then.
Sarah Is he ever? I don't know what to do with him.
Sarah & Emma prepare the table during the following lines until their exit
Emma Not really your problem, dear.
Sarah He lives here that makes him my problem. Anyhow, I do have a soft spot for him, don't you?
Emma Mm bit young for me.
Sarah I don't mean that way, for heaven's sake!
Emma Mind you, I'd prefer him to Roderick.
Sarah (Ironic) Thanks.
Emma Sarah, why did you marry Roderick?
Sarah Let's not go into that again. He might walk in at any minute.

Return to Plays Page or Home Page