A comic murder mystery by Neil Harrison
There is a madman on the loose, crushing his victims and leaving childish rhymes on their bodies: â€˜Roses are red, the cook is deadâ€™.
Set in the 1920s, Whodidit? is a rather bawdy parody of the Agatha Christie murder mystery, with a richly drawn gallery of ridiculous yet recognizable characters, including the arrogant novelist husband, his absurdly conventional wife, her brash sister, his mad uncle, a hideous cook, the scatty maid, an upleasant gardener and a very strange butler. A country house is thrown into chaos as an innuendoobsessed inspector struggles to uncover the identity of the killer before anyone else meets their untimely end.
Whodidit? can be acted by a cast of five playing multiple roles, or by a larger cast (anywhere between 6 and 17). It is played on an empty stage with an imaginary set and minimal props. The various settings are achieved by lighting, sound effects and some very fast costume changes. It runs for one hour and twenty minutes.
DARLING: Need I remind you, Inspector, that the murders began when you arrived? UNCLE: Yes, just who are you, Inspector? Where did you come from? INSPECTOR: I told you: my car is stuck in a ditch half a – DARLING: You don’t really expect us to believe that do you, Inspector? I had Shutters go down the road to see. There is no such car in any of the many ditches that surround this house. I don’t even think you’ve got a car. And do you know what? I don’t even think you’re in the police force. You’ve probably never been in a ditch in your life! I bet you don’t even know what a ditch is! (Pause) I don’t like you, Inspector. I don’t like you one bit! I don’t like your manner and I don’t like your mind. I don’t even like your shoes. (He looks away, speaking quietly) I, ah, quite like your pipe...
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“Side-splitting parody.” Dailyinfo.co.uk “Wonderfully silly.” Edinburghguide.com “Even Queen Victoria would have been amused.” The Scotsman. SCRIBBLES: If I get killed can I have the day off, sir? DARLING: Laura, you’re fired. SCRIBBLES: Oh, thank you, sir!
Whodidit? is a fast-paced, uproarious farce which sends up the smug conventions of the traditional English murder mystery.