As thunder and rain echo offstage the town Constable arrives at the isolated Warren household to report another in the series of apparently unprovoked murders that have shocked and terrified the village. Without exception the victims have been young girls—and all with a noticeable defect or imperfection of some kind. Because of this there is fear for the safety of Helen, companion of the bedridden Mrs. Warren, who has been unable to speak since undergoing the shock of witnessing her parents' horrible death some years before. The telephone wires have been downed by the storm; the Constable has stopped by in person to check on Helen's whereabouts—but neither Mrs. Oates, the housekeeper, nor Professor Warren, scholarly stepson of Mrs. Warren, has seen or heard from her since she went into the village earlier in the day. Their fears are allayed, however, when Helen, in the company of young Dr. Parry, is brought safely home. But the threat of danger still exists, for the murderer remains at large and his cleverness has denied the police any solid clues as to his identity. Warning everyone to stay behind locked doors, the Constable goes back into the storm leaving Helen to the care of the others. One by one, however, her protectors leave—or seem to—and as Helen's isolation grows, so does the threat of the killer's visit—leading to a denouement of chilling intensity. To say more would blunt the excitement of this thrilling climax where everyone, and most of all Helen, remains in doubt-filled suspense until the final, shocking moments of the play. PLEASE NOTE: The Play Service only handles the United States licensing rights for this play.
Based on David O. Selznick's famous motion picture, written by Mel Dinelli.