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The Butler Did It (Kelly)

The Butler Did It (Kelly)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Tim Kelly
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
# of Pages: 70
Pub. Date: 2021
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0874409799
ISBN-13: 9780874409796
Cast Size: 5 female, 5 male

About the Play:

The Butler Did It is a full-length comedy whodunit by Tim Kelly. This delightful comedy spoofs English mystery plays. Eccentric Miss Maple invites a group of detective novel writers to her home for a "Mystery Weekend". Each of them arrives in the persona of their main character and during the course of the first evening one of them is murdered. Laughs collide with thrills as the zany would-be-sleuths trip over both the clues and each other! Can they catch the killer before he or she strikes again?

The Butler Did It parodies every English mystery play ever written: but it has a decidedly North American flair. Miss Maple, a dowager with a reputation for "clever" weekend parties, invites a group of detective novel writers to eerie Ravenswood Manor on Turkey Island where they are to impersonate their fictional characters and try to solve a fake murder. The hostess has arranged all sorts of amusing incidents: a mysterious voice on the radio, a menacing face at the window, a mad killer on the loose. Who is that body in the wine cellar anyway? Why do little figurines keep toppling from the mantle? But then – of course – a real murder takes place, and Miss Maple is outraged. She offers an immense reward to the "detective" who can bring the killer to justice. And what an assortment of zany would-be sleuths! When they're not busy tripping over clues, they trip over each other! Hilarity ensues as the survivors seek the killer, and the climax is a real seat-grabber as the true killer is unmasked, and almost everyone turns out to be someone else!

The Butler Did It can be played as a pure farce, or as humorous satire. It remains a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 female, 5 male

About the Playwright:

Tim Kelly (1931-1998) is often regarded as the most-published playwright in America, with over 300 titles to his credit under both his real name and at least four pseudonyms (Vera Morris, J. Moriarty, Robert Swift, Keith Jackson). Many of his plays, like Les Miserables, M*A*S*H and The Uninvited, are adaptations of novels, films. or television series, although he also wrote a host of parodies a well as original scripts and musical libretti. While his plays have been performed off-Broadway and by such companies as the Royal Court Rep, the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) and Seattle Rep, he is best known for writing for university, community and school theatre.

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