DOING WHODUNNIT by David Spicer

£3.50

The Golden Age Murder Mystery Theatre Experience company present their corporate murder evening ‘Murder by Frog’. Set at Cloderham Court in the desolate depths of darkest Dartmoor, billionaire, Sir Reginald Clichy has been murdered…but whodunit?

Was it his loyal secretary, Phyllida Mann? Or his sultry Venezuelan wife, Consuela Gabriella Espino de Villalobos? Maybe it was Manfred Albrecht Heinrich Von Klutsenburger, professor of reptiles? Or possibly it was Arthur Butler…his butler?

Nobody is above suspicion in this hilarious parody of every terrible whodunnit ever written…not even our very own Inspector Dike of Scotland Yard. But as the actors struggle through the show, not helped by their audience of two nerdish and irritating armchair sleuths, behind the scenes all is far from right with the company.

With more twists and turns than a cheap garden hose, DOING WHODUNIT will have you on the edge of your seats as our wannabe detectives try – but probably fail – to unmask the real murderer.

This comedy was written to be performed live on Zoom (or similar internet platform) by actors who are socially distanced and performing from different locations.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

In the original production of the play, the actors were all based around Liverpool area and this is referenced in the script. If the play is done by a company from a different area of the country, with different regional accents, then I would be very happy for those references to be to changed to suit the company playing it.

Description

CHARACTERS

TERRI             She’s is the co-owner of the theatre company and plays The Detective who introduces the suspects and leads the audience through the clues.

JUDITH           An earnest actress who is committed to the success of the evening. She plays The Private Secretary.

REBECCA        An actress with a broad regional accent who struggles to make the audience believe she’s Venezuelan. She is also practical and doubles as the company Stage manager when required.

JASON            Playing a mysterious German Professor, he is unconvinced by the old-fashioned clichéd plays the company does. He writes his own hard-boiled mysteries and is always trying to get Terri to read and produce them.

TOM & EBON   They are the audience. A pair of irritating, pedantic nerds who are obsessive fans of Midsomer murders.

 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

The play was first produced online in JULY 2020 by the Northern Comedy Theatre, directed by Shaun Chambers.The cast was:

Terri – Kathryn Chambers

Judith – Lauren Molyneux

Rebecca – Vikki Earle

Jason – Rob Hardie

Tom – Robert Stuart-Hudson

Ebon – Kieran Maleedy

 

REVIEWS

ONLINE THEATRE REVIEW: Doing Whodunit – Northern Comedy Theatre

Doing Whodunit is a live online whodunit murder mystery by Northern Comedy Theatre. David Spicer has written a satirical piece especially for these times where we find theatres shutdown. The company has been established since 2015 and been very proactive in doing online pieces since lockdown.

If I could compare this production to anything it would be something like ‘The Show That Goes Wrong’. Although beforehand I believed I’d be watching a murder mystery play, it is in fact more a comedy. The premise just happens to be that it is a bunch of actors performing a murder mystery party, and it all seems to fall apart along the way.

You don’t have to be a fan of murder mysteris to enjoy Doing Whodunit. In fact it makes fun of them more than anything else. Our host for the evening is Inspector Dike (Kathryn Chambers) who is almost like a Hyacinth Bucket style character – overbearing and dramatic with a fake posh accent.

I’m not sure where the actors got their costumes from but top marks need to be given for pulling out the stops for the production. The only slight snag was that the character of Gabriella wore a black veil – it looked the part, but it kept rubbing against the actor’s microphone so a lot of rustling was picked up on the sound.

The script was great and instead of thinking who the murderer is, you’re left thinking what could possibly go wrong next. The actors have clearly worked together before as they vibe off each other well. Sure there were probably a few things that could have been tighter, but this was a live online production with everyone working in isolation. Well done all, the idea is fantastic and can’t wait to see what they do next.

Reviewer – Brian Madden
on – 23/7/20

 

RUNNING TIME

Approximately 45 minutes

 

PREVIEW

Preview available here

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