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Strong Poison, based on Dorothy L. Sayers' hilarious crime novel published in 1930.
Performances held at An Unlikely Story, 111 South St, Plainville, MA
-Friday, August 12, 2016 @ 7 PM
-Saturday, August 13th @ 2 PM
Funds raised will go towards:
-payment for An Unlikely Story's $180/hour rental fee ($3000);
-paying the non-refundable royalty fee of £170 ($243.44) to the London publisher, David Higham Associaites, (PAID on April 4th);
-purchasing costumes and props;
-printing costs for posters and programs, etc.
More about Strong Poison:
Miss Harriet Vane is on trial for murder.
It's a most scandalous case. The victim, Philip Boyes, was not only an author who advocated free love and anarchy—he was the accused murderer's lover for more than a year. But following a nasty split, Boyes started falling ill, and always after a chance encounter with Miss Vane. Until one evening in May, when a bad stomachache turned fatal, it was revealed that it was no gastritis that had afflicted Boyes.
It was arsenic.
The police, the public, and the court all concur that Miss Vane is guilty. She's a mystery writer well versed in murder, and she has already confessed to buying more than enough arsenic to kill a man; as research for her newest novel, she claims, but nobody believes that.
Except Lord Peter Wimsey.
Wimsey, the gentleman criminologist, is convinced that the clever author is being framed. More than that, he's fallen in love with her from afar and is determined to not only clear her name and save her from the gallows, but to make her his wife.
What follows is a convoluted case of squandered inheritances, fake séances, evangelical safecrackers, wild Bohemians, an agency of lady spies masquerading as secretaries, a most ingenious means of poisoning, and a very unusual courtship full of witty repartee.
Already madly in love with the hopeless Harriet, Peter's first actual conversation with her is indicative of all of their exchanges to come:
“Oh, by the way—I don't positively repel you or anything like that, do I? Because, if I do, I'll take my name off the waiting-list at once.”
“No,” said Harriet Vane, kindly and a little sadly. “No, you don't repel me.”
“I don't remind you of white slugs or make you go goose-flesh all over?”
“I'm glad of that. Any minor alterations, like parting the old mane, or growing a tooth-brush, or cashiering the eyeglass, you know, I should be happy to undertake, if it suited your ideas.”
“Don't,” said Miss Vane, “please don't alter yourself in any particular.”
“You really mean that?” Wimsey flushed a little. “...Only don't hesitate to say if you think you couldn't stick it at any price. I'm not trying to blackmail you into matrimony, you know. I mean, I should investigate this for the fun of the thing, whatever happened, don't you see.”
“It's very good of you—”
“No, no, not at all. It's my hobby. Not proposing to people, I don't mean, but investigating things. Well, cheery-frightfully-ho and all that. And I'll call again if I may.“
”I will give the footman orders to admit you,“ said the prisoner gravely; ”you will always find me at home.“
Dorothy L. Sayers is known as ”The Mistress of the Golden Age Mystery“ for good reason. Her novels are clever and beautifully written, full of scholastic allusions—Sayers was one of the first women to obtain a degree from Oxford, and she gave the world a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy that is still widely read today—and plenty of commentary on contemporary global events with many of her characters directly affected by the Great War (and aware of the shadow of the next).
Her best loved creation, the sophisticated sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, may not be quite the household name Sherlock Holmes is, but he's an equally vivid and colorful character. With his fair hair, trademark monocle, sharp suits, sleek Lagonda, and slightly effeminate mannerisms, he's the classic picture of British nobility.
Along with his title and his buckets of money, Lord Peter has a faithful manservant and cohort in crime-solving, the dryly observant Bunter, who could very well be Jeeves's long-lost brother. The relationship between the pair is not merely that of a fond employer and a devoted servant. Bunter served under Peter in the Great War, and their bond is one of unshakeable brotherhood that leads to some rather touching moments throughout the series.
But, by far my favorite thing about this gentleman sleuth is his way with words. Peter could talk circles around a flock of parrots, throwing so many literary references and dashes of Latin into his conversations that it pays to have Google on hand to clarify things. ”If anybody does marry you, Peter, it'll be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle," says Harriet Vane on more than one occasion.
Strong Poison is the sixth Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, but it's the first I tend to recommend to people. Mainly because this is the novel that introduces the sharp Harriet Vane, and I greatly prefer the dynamic of Peter/Harriet to any of his standalone outings....
Risks and challenges
At this point we are looking to cast 37 people in various roles from lead roles, to supporting roles, to minor roles, to extras. If we don't find enough people, I will have actors either double up or edit the script to eliminate less necessary characters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)