Curtain Up on Murder

by  Bettine Manktelow

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3m, 5f

An amateur theatre company is rehearsing in the theatre at the end of the pier. Storms rage overhead and the doors are locked — they are trapped! Then a mysterious, ghostly presence passes across the stage, and when the Assistant Stage Manager falls to certain death through a trapdoor, the remaining…

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Curtain Up on Murder

by  Bettine Manktelow

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 5f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

An amateur company are rehearsing a play in an end-of-pier theatre when inexplicably they are locked in and one by one begin to die...
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.."this skilfully written piece of suspence..." East Kent Mercury

‘Curtain up on Murder’ was written by Bettine Manktelow in 1997. Manktelow, who has lived for years in Kent in SE England, has written around 30 crime/comedies. This wonderful production is being presented by the Ellenbrook Theatre Company at the Civic Centre. The play is very well structured, and the playwright’s dialogue superb, just the right amount of humour and a few clues being dropped, along with a shoal of red herrings. This is a well-written, piece of fun and suspense, presented by a friendly team and talented cast. Try to catch it. - Gordon The Optom


Love, Marriage


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • No Special Cautions

License details

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



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: An empty stage with part of a set in the process of being built. 
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)


3m, 5f

Linda:  attractive, smart, capable. 20s

Ginny:  earnest and naieve.  18

Sandra: Bright and confident. 20s

Harry:   The caretaker, a garrulous old boy.

Alex:    attractive, conceited, self-interested, the romantic interest.  Late 20s

Sylvia:  glamorous, the leading lady type, in love with Alex but married to Martin. 35

Martin:  self-confident, pompous but charming. 40s

Moppet:  messy, untidy, sweet, likeable.  50s

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Casting Notes

Ages of Men (35, 40, elderly), Ages of Women (18, 20, 28, 40, 50s)


Available Services



Bettine Manktelow

Bettine Manktelow was born Bettine Stratton in Gillingham in Kent, and is the middle daughter of three.She became stage-struck at an early age andworked in a repertory company atChatham Theatre Royalat the age of sixteen as an assistant stage-manager, learning stage craft from the bottom up and graduating to acting par ...

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1998:   First produced by the Guild Players at the Kilshawe Theatre, Deal, Kent.

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