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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / TV, Movies & More  / Stage  /

Plays in General
mike morgan - 12:12pm Mar 15, 1998 PST

A lot of plays with mystery/suspense elements have been written and are regularly produced professionally and at the community level every year. What plays, new or old, has anyone seen and/or read lately?

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (2 previous messages)
Rich Weill - 01:23am Apr 11, 1998 PST(#3 of 9)

Mike: Your "Angel Street" posting prompts this more general comment. I have noticed how many local theaters include one stage mystery among the plays they perform annually -- or at least biannually. Because there aren't very many good mystery plays, at least in comparison to plays of other genres, the same ones seem to be repeated over and over again. One would think, therefore, that the demand for a good new mystery would be high, and writers with this bent would produce work to meet this demand. I recognize that these play are most difficult to write, particularly given their premium on originality. Nonetheless, I'm most dismayed how long it's been since a really terrific new thriller has surfaced. Going commercial isn't the worst thing in the world!

mike morgan - 12:03am Apr 16, 1998 PST(#4 of 9)

Rich I agree wholeheartedly with you. I have noticed that many writers seem to be going the spoof route. particularly, and I think I've mentioned him before, a writer named Tim Kelly is cranking out a lot of spoofs on the mystery play such as "Murder in the Magnolias" and "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night." Have we gotten to the point at which writers think mystery plays are only good for laughs?

mike morgan - 06:00am Nov 8, 1998 PST(#5 of 9)

A few notes on recently produced mysteries in my area: A local group just put up The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard. Not strictly a mystery, rather a well-known absurdist farce about two theatre critics watching a stage mystery, who are slowly drawn into the plot on stage. I highly recommend this play for reading, watching and performing, though it does poke fun at the genre's conventions. Another groups is preparing to do The Mousetrap, and yet another group is getting ready to put on Knock 'em Dead, which I don;t know but is apparently an interactive kind of show with lots of endings. The ending presented is based on the audience's vote at the end of the night. Has anyone ever seen/heard of this play? Also, Granville Little Theatre in Oxford, NC will be doing Tim Kelly's Murder in the Magnolias in the spring. I have mentioned his works several times on this site. Is anyone else familiar with Kelly's works?

Timothy Newman - 07:24am Dec 12, 1998 PST(#6 of 9)

Has anyone heard of the play "Musical Comedy Murders of 1940"??? It's great! It's a take-off on The Mousetrap and Clue and all the classic murder mysteries. It's really funny and entertaining I recommend it to all you theater and mystery buffs out there! They are doing it at my school and I'm the props manager and I will tell you that we needed to find lots of guns, knives and alcohol for this play!

Alex Dickinson - 08:11am Mar 3, 2000 PST(#7 of 9)

hi,i am putting on a play at my school, its a house competition, and I wondered if anyone knew of any 30minute plays that were funny and either had an all female cast or very close to.I'm after something modern, nothing Jane Austen or Shakespeare-esk!!! Thanks in advance for suggestions. Email me at

Andrew Jones - 10:09am Oct 23, 2000 PST(#8 of 9)

About Tim Kelly: I was a student at Northern Michigan University (Marquette, MI) in 1980, and I was fortunate enough to see the very first production of a Kelly play which won NMU's playwriting award, and as such was being a full production by NMU's theatre department (I was a theatre student). The play was then called "The Ripper," but has since been published as "Bloody Jack." It is, as you might guess, a Jack the Ripper speculation, and that's all I'll say about the plot (except that Kelly appears to agree with G.B. Shaw about the Ripper's motive). Mr. Kelly actually came to NMU to see the premiere, and I - an aspiring playwright, then as now - got a chance to speak privately with him. (A nice, professional man who still had a New England accent despite his years in Hollywood.) He even sent me an autographed copy of his "Ripper" manuscript, which I still have.

Robin Nipper - 08:18am Nov 15, 2003 PST(#9 of 9)

There is a really good play called accomplice. It is a mystery, but more for the audience than on the stage. On the stage it switches from what you think is a play to what you are not sure if it is reality or a play. Very interesting. Some of the audience may leave upset though because they feel they have been tricked. I can't remember the author though.

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