A Play Begun, Not Ended

Title: Hugh Done It
Tagline: “A Parody of mystery plays like the ones Agatha Christie was wont to write. God, she was a woman. Full, passionate, rich. I miss her so.”

The program needs to have something like (or this could be a “doctor” moment before the curtain rises),

“A fair warning to all ladies and gentlemen present: there is a moment in the first act in which a loud noise comes suddenly. Sometimes Sabetha, I mean “the murderer,” gets carried away. In this likely case there could be more than one successive loud noise. Hopefully this will provide ample warning as to the potentially startling noise, and apparently as warning of who is the murderer. (note to self, re-write before going to press.)”

But of course, no rewrite.


(Lead) Richard Richardson. He is a private detective. As it might be pointed out at some place in the play. He is mild mannered, shy, single, and quite handsome. He looks a lot like me. He is also very slow to catch on to sexual innuendo. Also much like me.

(Lead) Sabetha Monrow. She is an heiress or some such nonsense. She is filthy rich. A sexual predator, and an amazing cook and artist. But around RR, she is shy, somewhat coy, and only lets the sexual predator out when other people are around.

Janet Vise (pronounces Veesay). Janet is an ode to Rocky Horror Janet. She is Sabetha’s mentee, at Sabetha’s behest and is the opposite in every way from Sabetha, but of course is drawn to her. She is in love with Sabetha and sees the budding relationship between SM and RR as a problem. She is always caustic to RR.

Raynaldo Fazmal (pronounced fahjmal). A gay porn mogul. He is filthy rich and is trying to get Sabetha to do a movie with Janet entitled “Two Women Have Sex.” Apparently the gay porn industry is tired of coming up with titles that are innuendo. As Reynaldo will put it at some point, “Most of our titles zing right over the heads of our main audience, so I figure we have to give them what the want, and what they are able to understand.”

Tabetha Monroe. Tabetha is Sabetha’s mother. A dottering old woman who approves of nothing that Sabetha is interested in, which includes breathing. She is constantly trying to commit suicide in order to keep Sabetha from getting even more money. However, she finds a reason to live when she meets Reynaldo, and doesn’t care one whit if he is a gay porn mogul, or apparently if he is a gay, porn mogul.

Hugh Monrow. Husband of Sabetha in name only. Yes, Sabetha was once named Monroe, but when she married she took Hugh’s name of Monrow. Same pronunciation though. Hugh is fated to die in the first act. Sorry Hugh.

Scenes to write the entire play around (because every great play started out with only a few snappy one-liners):

Richard: That’s right. Richard Richardson, no, that’s not a stutter. (Chuckles to self at oft told, yet unfunny joke.) I am a private detective. (Or detective for hire)
Reynaldo: Richard, doesn’t that makes you a private…
Sabetha (walking in from SL): Dick!
Richard (to Sabetha): Richard!
Richard (to Reynaldo): Detective.
Janet: Rocky!
All: Uh!

Richard (to Sabetha): Is it always like this?

Other silly scenes:

Richard: I am sorry to have spoiled you dinner plans, what were you having?
Sabetha: We’re having… red herring.
[Orchestra plays brief suspense music]
Richard: Never had it. I’ve had Red Rockfish, Monkfish, Ahi Ahi… Red herring you say?
Sabetha: Yes. You won’t have spoiled my plans if you decide to join us.
Richard: That would be nice. Frankly, I was hoping you’d ask.
Sabetha: Well, then. Since I am on an asking roll, would you like some… Champaign?
[Orchestra plays brief suspense music]
Richard (looking about, confused): Yes, Champaign would be fine. (Looks at painting above fireplace.) Did you paint this?
Sabetha (about to pop cork): Yes… I did. (Cork pops)
[Orchestra plays brief suspense music]
Richard walks over to orchestra pit (or area) and says to the conductor: Do you mind…?
Conductor: Sorry.


Janet (to all): Reynaldo is a gay porn mogul. He’s loaded.
Sabetha: Is that gay, comma, porn or just gay porn?
Janet: Both actually… I think.
Reynaldo (enters): My ears are burning. (and then as an aside, almost to the audience) And for the first time this month my ears are the only part of my body that are on fire.

And in the shakedown scene:

Richard: And I’ve posted guards (police) at each entrance to the house; at the foot of the main and back stairways; by the fuse box in case of an ill-timed power outage; by the outside telephone lines, in case of “accidental, rapid fraying,” and of course behind one of the lamps in this room. No one leaves here until I solve this case. And it should prove rather easy, since the murderer is in this room. And, no, it’s not me. And, no, it’s not the one behind the lamp.

Categorized as Plays Tagged