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Game's Afoot, The - Full Length Play, Comedy

Game's Afoot, The

Ken Ludwig

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Full Length Play, Comedy

3m, 5f

ISBN: 9780573700460

The Game’s Afoot gives you everything you love about great live theatre. Billed as a comedy thriller you will find yourself swept along for a wild and funny ride.” - Cleveland Fine Arts Examiner

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Media | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $100 per performance


Full Length Play


Farce, Mystery/Thriller, Christmas/Holiday

120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - 1930s

Settings Of Play - The living room of the mansion of William Gillette on the Connecticut River near East Haddam, Connecticut.


Physical Comedy, Stage Combat, Special Effects

Monologues, Scene work, Competition or audition material

Interior Set, Opportunity for Spectacle

Period Costumes


Gun Shots


Appropriate for all audiences


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Large Stage

Winner! 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards – Best Play!
It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

“An inspired whodunit…a snappy, clever drawing-room mystery. There are twists in playwright Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot that cause the audience to gasp.” - The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Game’s Afoot is Murderously Funny!” - Broadway World Cleveland

“The play evolves like a mystery thriller, as one tantalizing clue leads to another….In 1936, at the height of the Great Depression, people flocked to the theater for a few hours of escapism from hard times. Today, in our current recession, here is an antidote and the ideal holiday present - the gift of laughter.” - Cleveland Jewish News

“Ludwig demonstrates the theatrical equivalent of perfect pitch, both in this new work and in his past efforts.” - Cleveland Scene

“From the intriguing opening mini play within a play to the surprise last scene a split second before final curtain, The Game’s Afoot gives you everything you love about great live theatre. Billed as a comedy thriller you will find yourself swept along for a wild and funny ride.” - Cleveland Examiner

“A hilarious, quirky and thrilling alternative to your standard holiday entertainment. The Game’s Afoot is the perfect gift for the holidays..a fantastically fun night out at the theatre. It’s something we can be proud of as a city” - ClueintoCleveland.com

The Game’s Afoot will be performed by professional and community theaters across the country. Certainly this production is Broadway quality.” - TalkinBroadway.com



3m, 5f


Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Parts for Senior Actors


  • Meet The Playwright: Ken Ludwig

  • Ken Ludwig's "The Game's Afoot" at Peninsula Players Theatre

  • Asolo Rep's The Game's Afoot

Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright whose work is performed throughout the world in more than thirty countries and over twenty languages. He has written twenty-four plays and musicals, with six Broadway productions and seven in London’s West End. His Tony-winning play Lend Me A Tenor, was called "one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. Other ... view full profile

Now Playing
John Hardaway 3/19/2017 1:48 PM
I bought the manuscript version of this script years ago in anticipation of it's publication. It looks like I will now get a chance to direct it this coming holiday season. I am really looking forward to this and think that the cast and audience will both find a great deal of fun in the show.
Diane Collins 3/23/2016 8:34 AM
Have just read this play in one sitting prior to deciding whether to audition for the local am dram production. Very impressed with the hilarious plot, the pace and characterisation throughout. A challenge for set building sound effects and props department, but having successfully tackled a couple of Christie plays, I think cast and crew will rise to the challenge with great aplomb!
John Middlesworth 9/24/2015 10:37 AM
A mystery with 8 characters typically has someone relegated to a tiny role bringing on tea or something, so to have Ken Ludwig's play with juicy roles for every actor AND to have the majority of the cast be female is very welcome.  With Ludwig, I hardly need add that the play is funny, face-paced, and cleverly constructed.

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