Something's Afoot

by  Robert Gerlach, Ed Linderman, David Vos, James A. Mcdonald

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  6m, 4f

A zany, entertaining show that takes a satirical poke at Agatha Christie mysteries and musical styles of past years.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 4f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


    Mystery/Thriller, Parody / Spoof
  • Accolades


    Olivier, From Broadway, From West End
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult

Additional Info

A zany, entertaining musical that takes a satirical poke at Agatha Christie mysteries and musical styles of the English music hall of the ’30s. Ten people are stranded in an isolated English country house during a raging thunderstorm. One by one they’re picked off by cleverly fiendish devices. As the bodies pile up in the library, the survivors frantically race to uncover the identity and motivation of the cunning culprit.

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  • Nominee! 1977 Olivier Award, Best Musical of the Year
    Nominee! Two 1973 Joseph Jefferson Awards 



"The audience adored the show." - The New York Times

"Engaging, funny, refreshing and original." - New York Post

"An enchanting spoof." - New York Daily News

"Both a spoof and a tribute to Agatha Christie [...] played with fine tuned, flamboyantly melodramatic affectations." - Los Angeles Times


  • Production Trailer - Pioneer Theatre Company
  • Production Trailer - Goodspeed Opera House
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Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre


  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: 1930s, 19th Century
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    Late spring, 1935. Rancour's Retreat - The country estate of Lord Dudley Rancour, located on an island in the middle of a lake, somewhere in the English lake district. An entrance hall not like any entrance hall one has ever seen.

  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music, Special Effects
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus


6m, 4f

LETTIE - the saucy maid
FLINT - the caretaker
CLIVE - the butler
HOPE LANGDON - the ingenue
DR. GRAYBURN - the family doctor
NIGEL RANCOUR - the dissolute nephew
LADY GRACE MANLEY-PROWE - the grande-dame
COL. GILLWEATHER - the old army man
MISS TWEED - the tweedy, elderly amateur detective
GEOFFREY - the juvenile

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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

All of the characters are British stereotypes: two of them, Lettie and Flint, are Cockney. The situation is farcical, but, because the plot is a murder mystery, the characters should play the play for real.


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

11 Piano/Conductor Score 

Reed I (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto & Tenor Saxophones)
Reed II (Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto & Tenor Saxophones)
Percussion I & II (2 books) (Timpani, Xylophone, Drums—2 books)

SFTracks Available (Additional Fee)

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Robert Gerlach

Robert Gerlach

Ed Linderman

Ed Linderman

David Vos

David Vos

James A. Mcdonald

James A. Mcdonald

Something's Afoot premiered at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta in 1972, and was then produced at the Goodspeed Opera House, in East Haddam, Connecticut, at the American Theatre in Washington, D.C., and by the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The play opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City on May 27, 1976. It was produced by Emanuel Azenberg, Dasha Epstein, and John Mason Kirby. It was directed and choreographed by Tony Tanner. It was subsequently produced on the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre in London in 1977.

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