A play to be perfomed as part of a 3-course meal,
in which the elements of a 'murder' are revealed for the audience to ponder
Cast: Male 1, Female 5 [or could be Male 3, Female 3]
We are in the house of Mrs Brenda Pressing, President of Binford WI. She has a table set for six. A three-course meal plus coffee is served to both cast and audience. You may serve them what you will according to budget! There should also be glasses for sherry set out for the cast.
Before coffee is served at the end, the audience is asked to give their opinions on a number of issues which arise during the play not the least being, 'who killed Bill?'
© John Owen Smith 2005
Those who are familiar with the Jobsworth series of radio sketches will already know the characters of this play.
Bill Turner, caretaker of the Binford Assembly Rooms, has been found dead head-first down a drain manhole. Who did it?
Never happy with Mr Turner's work, Mrs Pressing, forthright president of Binford Women's Institute, has immediately called a meeting at her house of interested parties to discuss how things at the Assembly Rooms can be run better from now on.
The audience eavesdrop on this meeting and although it is only supposed to be an informal meeting, Mrs Pressing is out to impress with her catering and has decided that a 3-course supper shall be served to her guests.
But the evening does not turn out quite as she planned
Brenda Pressing, President of Binford WI
Moira Tripp, ballet and dance teacher
Hilary Hooker, of Binford Amateur Dramatic Society (BADS) [Note this can be played as a male part (Henry) if necessary]
Anthea Ackroyd, curator of antiquities at Binford town archives [Note this can be played as a male part (Andrew) if necessary]
Mme Frederica Guillotine, recent immigrant from the French twin-town of Graingué
Fred Nesbitt, odd-job man at the Binford Assembly Rooms must be old enough to be Mme Guillotine's father!
Coffee, during which the audience are invited to write down their answers. These are collected before the next scene.
Scene 5 - Dénouement
Announcement of winners
Pressing Madame Guillotine and I have met on a previous occasion, have
Guillotine The memory is engrained on my heart, madame.
Pressing She came over on the first Twinning visit and claimed Mr Nesbitt was her father the result of a wartime dalliance between him and her mother.
Ackroyd A man of odd jobs indeed.
Hooker And what does fearless Fred have to say about it?
Guillotine You do not make fun of my papa, Madame Dramatique.
Hooker Pardon me I speak only the truth if your mother was like you.
Guillotine This accident to Mr Turner it is known who did it?
Pressing It is not.
Guillotine He was not a good man, Mr Turner.
Ackroyd Now just a minute what right have you to say that?
Guillotine He tells my papa to ignore me. Ignore 'is own daughter. Pah!
Pressing Excellent advice, in my opinion.
Guillotine I do not ask your opinion, madame Institut of Women. I just want my papa.
Hooker But papa doesn't want you.
Guillotine He might do, now that Mr Turner is gone.
Pressing Madame, this is not an agency for reuniting parents and children this is a committee whose sole aim is the smooth running of the Assembly Rooms.
Guillotine And my papa will be part of it.
Pressing Possibly, but it cannot be guaranteed.
Tripp May I say something?
Pressing If it is germane to the original purpose of this meeting, Mrs Tripp, yes.
Tripp I'd just like to say that, in my opinion, both Mr Turner and Mr Nesbitt were very nice men.
Guillotine Were? Madame Dancing, is my papa gone also?
Tripp Oh, no, I'm sure Mr Nesbitt is fine and dandy.
Pressing Thank you for that contribution, Mrs Tripp. Now if you don't mind I shall call this meeting to order before we completely lose the thread.
Guillotine You will not lose my Fred.
Pressing Thread, woman, not Fred. Is my diction so bad? Let me order the next course and perhaps we can regain some direction after we have eaten. (Rings a bell)
Guillotine We eat, 'ere?
Pressing Were you not informed that there would be refreshments served?
Guillotine I was not. Mon Dieu it will not be the marmite sandwiches again?
Pressing Restrain yourself, madam you are to receive a lesson in English cuisine.
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