MURDER BY APPOINTMENT.
6 Characters. 4 Male. 2 Female.
One set. The drawing room of a house on the coast.
The action of the play takes place in the 1970's.
David Langton, a young man in his mid-twenties returns home, clearly in a state of great agitation. When he hears his parents Joan and Richard, returning from a dinner dance he lies and tells them he has been in all evening. Then his eighteen year old brother, Charles, arrives with the news that there has been a murder on the cliff top. Richard, the editor of the local paper goes out to the scene of the crime with his younger son, to get the story. The next day, when Joan Langton hears details of the crime, - the murder victim had been beaten with a riding crop before he was killed, - she too is clearly very worried. When Detective Sergeant Bradley arrives, ostensibly to ask Richard to put a picture of the murder victim in the paper to aid with identification, Charles, who is still at school, seems almost to go out of his way to talk about corporal punishment and his own experiences of it, both as a junior boy receiving it, and now as a prefect administering it. Things come to light about David’s past which suggest that there might be reasons why he could be interested in this particular type of murder, and when Celia Masefield, a friend of the family who has a crush on Charles, lets it out that she knows David was actually out and in the area of the cliff top on the night of the murder, David clearly becomes the prime suspect. Eventually, with all the circumstantial evidence against him, David is arrested, tried and found guilty of the murder. Then he escapes his police escort and his mother, left alone in the house is believed to be in danger. However, it is in this situation that she is able finally to get at the truth.
"Skillful mixture of tragedy and comedy...A true thriller." - Barnet and District Times