Jack the Ripper: Monster of Whitechapel

by  Joe Dickinson

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  6m, 8f

A comical but scary treatment of the serial killer who terrorized London in the 1800's. Many of the characters and events are taken right from history, but others are pure comic invention.

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Jack the Ripper: Monster of Whitechapel

by  Joe Dickinson

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 8f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce, Mystery/Thriller, Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

A comical but scary treatment of the serial killer who terrorized London in the 1800's. Many of the characters and events are taken right from history, but others are pure comic invention, such as Pegeen Macdougal, a practitioner of white magic, and her "familiar," Hogarth, who speaks only in cookbook terms.
All of the roles are amusingly drawn, from the frustrated physician, Dr. Forbes Winslow, already henpecked by his fiance, suffragette Ernestine Pankhurst, to manservant Phillip Poole, who is bound and determined to solve the murders in the style of his hero, Sherlock Holmes. There are several murders, but these are given a wickedly humorous touch by the victims themselves!

The story, briefly: Jack's reign of terror has begun, and Sir Charles Warren, a totally inept British Lord, has been appointed Commissioner of Police to apprehend him. The author has selected a theory (which some actually believed at the time) that the murders had an occult connection. Jack, it seems, practices black magic, which requires murderous sacrifices to assure him additional years of life. Four women are murdered, and the play revolves around the attempts to save the fifth Angela Ellison, a reformed girl of the streets, who is the last required to complete Jack's evil ritual.
Jack's identity is not revealed until the end, and the author has provided three alternate endings, each with a different character exposed as Jack. So, should the director have a fiendish streak, the ending could be selected by pulling straws to keep everyone - including the cast - guessing until the final scene.

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Keywords

Death

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 19th Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: London
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

6m, 8f

MRS. DOBBS - A cleaning woman
OFFICER O'CONNELL
PHILLIP POOLE - Manservant to Dr. Winslow
ERNESTINE PANKHURST - A suffragette
WILLIAM - Duke of Clarence
FORBES WINSLOW - A physician
SIR CHARLES WARREN - Commissioner of police
ANGELA ELLISON - A reformed girl of the streets
PEGEEN LASZLOW MACDOUGAL - Practisioner of white magic
HOGARTH - Her familiar
ANNE CHAPMAN - One of Jack's victims
KATE EDDOWS - Another of Jack's victims
ANNE KELLY - Yet another of Jack's victims

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Flexible casting
  • Local Celebrity Cameo
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

ANNE CHAPMAN, KATE EDDOWS, and ANNE KELLY can all be played by the same actress.

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Authors

Joe Dickinson

Joe Dickinson

Jack the Ripper - Monster of Whitechapel was first performed on March 28, 1986, at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre in Dallas, Texas and was directed by Rodney Dobbs.

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