The Story: Mr Million is rich and is just about to celebrate his thirtieth Birthday.
While his wife adores him, a sizeable number of guests and gate-crashers at his party have good reason to wish him dead. The play exposes the various strained relationships between Mr Million and his employees and family until he is murdered with poison at his own celebration. The visiting Chief and Inspector are by chance on the scene, and set about interviewing the guests as suspects. Written clues allow for audience participation and the final revelation scene neatly ties the clues together, showing there is only one person with motif and opportunity.
The script, a lively Murder Mystery for a cast of twenty different characters is suitable for Middle and High school students who are able to concentrate on building confidence in characterisation through this traditional, one location play. There is humour within the dialogue which can be developed alongside grown-up character relationships, in a play which introduces young students to the mechanisms of 20th century Murder Mystery Drama.
The Play is written for a large cast of 20, in order to accommodate larger school class sizes, though roles could double for a smaller cast, and adjustments could be made to final revelation scene to accommodate this. The roles as written requires 12 Male, and 8 Female characters.
I have taught this twice, and the parent audience enjoyed the performance and seeing their children imitate grown up characters. We rehearsed it for a complete term and a half and performed it just before a holiday. The children really got into the plot, and also provided many ideas of their own for props and costume. Many spent time researching by watching detective shows to help them develop a particular character, and they enjoyed developing the humour and drama as they grew in confidence in performance.