Murder by Appointment

by  Frank Williams

Full Length Play, Drama  /  4m, 2f

"Skillful mixture of tragedy and comedy...A true thriller." - Barnet and District Times

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Murder by Appointment

by  Frank Williams

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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

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

    MURDER BY APPOINTMENT.

6 Characters.  4 Male.  2 Female.

One set.  The drawing room of a house on the coast.

The action of the play takes place in the 1970's.

David Langton, a young man in his mid-twenties returns home, clearly in a state of great agitation.  When he hears his parents Joan and Richard, returning from a dinner dance he lies and tells them he has been in all evening.  Then his eighteen year old  brother, Charles, arrives with the news that there has been a murder on the cliff top.  Richard, the editor of the local paper goes out to the scene of the crime with his younger son, to get the story.  The next day, when Joan Langton hears details of the crime, - the murder victim had been beaten with a riding crop before he was killed, - she too is clearly very worried.  When Detective Sergeant Bradley arrives, ostensibly to ask Richard to put a picture of the murder victim in the paper to aid with identification, Charles, who is still at school, seems almost to go out of his way to talk about corporal punishment and his own experiences of it, both as a junior boy receiving it, and now as a prefect administering it.  Things come to light about David’s past which suggest that there might be reasons why he could be interested in this particular type of murder, and when Celia Masefield, a friend of the family who has a crush on Charles, lets it out that she knows David was actually out and in the area of the cliff top on the night of the murder, David clearly becomes the prime suspect.  Eventually, with all the circumstantial evidence against him, David is arrested, tried and found guilty of the murder.  Then he escapes his police escort and his mother, left alone in the house is believed to be in danger.  However, it is in this situation that she is able finally to get at the truth.

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Reviews

"Skillful mixture of tragedy and comedy...A true thriller." - Barnet and District Times

"...a gripping tale, stirringly told in lucid, taut dialogue..."  - Hendon Times

"...literate and amusing play...would that all thrillers were as good..."  - Chesterfield Star

"...characters are so well defined that the audience cares passionately about the outcome."  - Boreham Wood Post

Keywords

Betrayal

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • Caution Animals Animals
  • Caution Drugs Drugs
  • Caution Flying Flying
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes
  • Caution Nudity Nudity/Partial Nudity
  • Caution Open Flame Open Flame

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £69 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1970s
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

4m, 2f
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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Mother and father, middle class, in their 50s.

Two sons, 18 and mid-twenties.

Young girl, late teens.

Detective Sgt:  late thirties.

Resources

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Authors

Frank Williams

Frank Williams

1985     Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, UK     Malcolm Knight Productions

1985     National UK tour     Malcolm Knight Productions

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