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Gift of Murder!

Gift of Murder!
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: George Batson
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 89
Pub. Date: 1974
ISBN-10: 0822204436
ISBN-13: 9780822204435
Cast Size: 5 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Gift of Murder! is a full-length comedic mystery thriller by George Batson. The story of a famous actress, who has many secrets in her past and more enemies than she realizes. Deftly combining humour and suspense, Gift of Murder! brings together a cast of thoroughly charming and witty "theatre people" and plunges them into an ever-thickening plot of murder, mayhem, and disguised identity.

Gift of Murder! is about an eccentric and beautiful actress whose plan to relax at an English estate cottage is thwarted by the arrival of fellow theatre people – and mayhem and murder. The scene is a rented cottage in the north of England in the mid-1950s, where the revered stage star Stella Cavendish, accompanied by her lovely young niece, Mary, is recuperating from a hectic season and a bit too much high living. They are looked after by a cook-housekeeper (and local character) named Wimpi, and are soon joined by Dennis Mordaunt, Stella's producer and would-be suitor, pitching her a new play, and her fellow actress and arch rival, Flavia Dartega. Add in the surprise appearance of Oliver Keane (Stella's former leading man) and his dashing young nephew Peter (who is immediately captivated by Mary), and both the plot and the romantic possibilities quicken. The arrival of the bustling Nurse Pepper, sent by Stella's agent to see to her recovery, rounds out the cast and begins the progression of chilling (and frequently funny) events (including murder, actual and attempted), leading on to the unexpected and ingeniously devised denouement – in which the true identity of the villain is shielded until the last possible moment.

Gift of Murder! has been performed in regional, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 female, 3 male

What people say:

"George Batson ... has crafted a nifty British drawing-room comedy-mystery spiced with tons of references to the thea-tah." — Backstage

About the Playwright:

George D. Batson (1916-1971) was a prolific American playwright specializing in comedies and farces. As a screenwriter, he contributed to several television anthology series in the 1950s, including Actors Studio, The Clock, Lights Out, The Bigelow Theater, and Climax! He also was active as a producer in England and in American stock and repertory theatre.

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