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Deathtrap: A Thriller

Deathtrap: A Thriller
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Ira Levin
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 1979
ISBN-10: 0822202948
ISBN-13: 9780822202943
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Deathtrap has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male/Male Scenes.

Deathtrap is a full-length comedic thriller by Ira Levin. What would you kill for? Famous Broadway thriller writer Sidney Bruhl used to have his audiences lined up around the block, but these days can only write box office flops. When the perfect thriller manuscript, the only copy in existence, arrives in the arms of one of his students, Sidney wonders if he would, indeed, kill for another hit play. What if there was no way of getting caught, and if it meant you were once again the toast of Broadway?

Deathtrap has been called one of the greatest stage thrillers ever written. It is an ingeniously constructed play that offers a rare and skillful blending of two priceless theatrical ingredients – gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter. Dealing with the devious machinations of a writer of thrillers whose recent offerings have been flops, and who is prepared to go to any lengths to improve his fortunes, it provides twists and turns and sudden shocks in such abundance that audiences will be held spellbound until the very last moment. Seemingly comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a "dry" spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college – a thriller which Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway hit. Sidney's plan, which he devises with his wife's help, is to offer collaboration to the student, an idea which the younger man quickly accepts. Thereafter suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness, and with such an abundance of thrills and laughter, that audiences will be held enthralled until the final, startling moments of the play.

Deathtrap enjoyed a four-year run on Broadway, opening in 1978 at the Music Box Theatre, moving to the Biltmore Theatre in 1982 and is the longest-running thriller in Broadway history. The play garnered a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Play and was awarded the highly-coveted Edgar Award (the 'Oscar' of Crime) by Mystery Writers of America. A London production ran from 1978 to 1981. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male

What people say:

"...a most agreeable thriller — handsomely funny, totally undemanding, often, thrill-gaspingly surprising." — The New York Times

"It is a classic thriller, a genre with a style, a manner and an audience of its own. If you like thrillers, do see it. I promise you that it is vintage." — New York Post

"The intricately fashioned plot contortions brought gasps, the comedy lines drew delighted chortles…." — The Hollywood Reporter

"Two-thirds a thriller and one-third a devilishly clever comedy…Suspend your disbelief and be delighted. Scream a little. It's good for you." — Cue Magazine

"If you care to assassinate yourself with laughter, try Deathtrap." — Time Magazine

About the Playwright:

Ira Levin (1929-2007) was an American novelist and playwright. He was the king of the high-concept thriller. He was twenty-two when he wrote his first novel, the acclaimed A Kiss Before Dying. His debut won the Edgar Allan Poe Award as the best first novel of 1953, launching a career of over 50 years that was characterized by equal success as both a novelist and playwright. Three novels were massive bestsellers that were made into highly successful movies – Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys From Brazil. His most successful play, the comedy thriller Death Trap, ran for four years on Broadway.

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