by  Don Nigro

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  7m, 5f

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is being made available now in manuscript form prior to its publication.

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    7m, 5f
  • Duration


    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In haunted Edinburgh, in the 1820s, Dr. Robert Knox, of Surgeons Square, needs fresh corpses to dissect in his anatomy demonstrations, and these are scarce, because the law forbids dissection of anyone but an executed criminal. So the profitable business of Resurrectionism is born: enterprising fellows referred to in local legend as Body Snatchers who sneak into cemeteries late at night and steal corpses to sell to the doctors. Enter the infamous Burke and Hare, who stumble upon a more lucrative business model: since the fresher the corpse, the more money they get, why not murder the residents of their lodging house and haul them off to Dr Knox in a tea chest? The pay is good, and Dr Knox wants the corpses enough to not ask any questions. But when a beautiful young prostitute, the lover of one of Knox's young assistants, is hauled in, the interns can no longer hide from themselves what's going on. But to reveal the truth could destroy their careers and ruin their hero, the celebrated and charismatic Dr Knox. Meanwhile, Burke and Hare, and their accomplices, Helen Macdonald and Mrs Hare, are murdering more and more people, drinking too much, and getting careless, and Mr Burke seems to be losing his mind. Laced with eerie and haunting ballads sung by the old street singer McGonigle, this very dark and very funny play raises some grave and troubling questions about the relationship of science to morality, and of free enterprise to murder.
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Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Nudity Nudity/Partial Nudity

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: 19th Century
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


  • Musical Style: Folk
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus


7m, 5f
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

All necessary music materials can be found at the back of the acting edition. 



Don Nigro

Don Nigro is among the most frequently published and widely produced playwrights in the world and has continued to build a deeply interrelated and diverse body of dramatic literature, employing a wide variety of dramatic conventions and styles of presentation. He has written monologues and epics, spare realistic dramas ...

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