A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody

by  Ron Bernas

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 2f

"A delightful surprise...an evening of fun just on the proper side of slapstick." - Lansing State Journal

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A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody

by  Ron Bernas

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

This six-character comedy is a spoof of and love letter to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and to stage mysteries in general. It is a one-set, two-act piece featuring witty dialogue and slapstick comedy.

The play opens with the rich, bored Matthew promising to kill his rich, bored wife Julia so he can become a jet setter like his friend who recently lost his wife. Julia, who's always about three steps ahead of him, plays along. And so the game begins - a hilarious year-long match of wits and the witless.

During the year the play takes place, there are several mysterious deaths that occur on the grounds of the family estate, a butler who is not what he seems, a detective who can't buy a clue, and two innocents (sort of) caught in the hilarity as they plan their wedding. While Julia cleverly dodges Matthew's devious murder attempts, the Perry friends and staff are dying off mysteriously. It seems Matthew is successful in murdering everyone but Julia.

As the bodies fall, dim-witted daughter Bunny contemplates calling off her wedding to unwitting Donald since all the intended gift-bearing guests are dying. Enter Detective Plotnik - a Sam Spade reincarnation who suspects everyone, but hasn't a clue. That is, not until Donald stumbles upon Julia and gentlemanly butler Buttram in what Donald mistakenly perceives as a compromising situation. Donald jumps to the conclusion that Julia is the murderer - trying to murder Matthew!  It ends in a nice bang and with a bit of a message about the importance of love.

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Accolades

  • Winner! Community Theatre Association of Michigan New Plays Competition

Reviews

"A delightful surprise...an evening of fun just on the proper side of slapstick." - Lansing State Journal

"Comedy packs laughs...a delightful play...a medley of laughs...the play has charm, and is really funny." - News-Herald, Southgate, MI

Keywords

Love, Marriage

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: A mansion's study, with exits leading to a patio and a passageway to the kitchen and the front of the house.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 2f
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Resources

Available Services

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Authors

Ron Bernas

Ron Bernas is the author of several plays, most of which are in his desk drawer or propping up a rickety table in the basement. His award-winning mystery comedy A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody is published by Samuel French and has been performed all over the country, as well as in Germany, Israel, Australia, and Can ...

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This play won the Michigan Playwriting Competition and was first performed in 1991 by Grosse Pointe Theatre, Michigan's premiere community theater.

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