Victorian Cut-out Theatre Episode 11: "A Touch of Murder"
When I was in high school, I had the pleasure of being in a murder mystery, senior year. The piece was called The Butler Did It, which seems to be a common piece performed at high schools and community theatres. It is a send-up of Ten Little Indians (which…ahem, was performed under two titles), and includes every mystery archetype from Sherlock Holmes to Sam Spade all gathered together in a mansion for a night of mirth and…MURDER. I remember having a blast in that play, despite having broken my jaw in the middle of rehearsals. I healed and am told that my clinched teeth performance of “Chandler Marlowe” was perfect for the Humphrey Bogart analogue.
This episode was partly inspired by my love of Sherlock Holmes and “old fashioned” mysteries. However, A Touch of Murder was most inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which serves as the blueprint for every mystery story where a group of people are invited to a mansion, and are murdered off one by one. This concept is now a cliché and can be seen everywhere, but as far as I know, that was the original as we recognize it today. Whenever I think of it though, I'm reminded of a particular episode of Fraiser.
Keen eyed viewers can see a series of easter eggs in the background. The items on the mantle are the murder weapons from the game CLUE (CLUEDO in the U.K.). There is also a bust of Prof. James Moriarty, the man Sherlock Holmes referred to as “The Napoleon of Crime”. The painting on the left is of Reichenbach Falls and the one on the right is a scene from E.A. Poe’s Murder’s in the Rue Morgue (The first mystery story). There is also a blatant reference to the film Blade Runner, as indicated by Murder-Bot’s final speech.
I’m pleased with how this episode turned out , I like the humor beats, I like the physical gags and I think the atmosphere of mystery comes across really well. My schedule has gotten substantially tighter and I was striving for a strong episode before I take my sabbatical. As it stands now, I couldn’t be more pleased. A video announcement will follow soon, where I explain myself a bit better regarding the move and what it means for upcoming Victorian Cut-out Theatre episodes.
Also if you like what you see, hit the share button, link back here, post to Facebook, twitter or wherever. I'd really like to get more eyeballs on this thing and I can only do that with your help. Thank you.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to clean out a storage unit. Ah, the glamorous life of an entertainer.