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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > The Playwrights' Gym - Re-writes > How do you get rid of the bodies?

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How do you get rid of the bodies?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jan 31st, 2007 11:06 pm
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theatralite
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Mana: 
I've had this farce on the table for a couple of years now. In the first act due to careless handling of an old war pistol three unsavoury characters are killed. At the beginning of the second act these have been hidden in an ottaman, a cupboard and a put-up bed.But ...
Can I as hell work out how to get rid of the bodies.
Any ideas?

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 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 06:32 am
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Poet
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Mana: 
A door-to-door house clearance company calling to buy up old furniture? Bailiffs possessing it because of a debt? A landlord replacing it in an upgrade? 

Or did you mean that a character in the house needs to get rid of them?

 

 

 

 

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 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 07:47 am
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Anubian Nights Theatre Co
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Mana: 
Perhaps you don't need to get rid of the bodies and part of the farce can be the fact that they exist and only the killer knows it.

See the play 'LOOT' by Joe Orton and the old movie 'ARSENIC & OLD LACE' for inspiration.

Regards TKL

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 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 12:57 pm
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theatralite
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Thanx
Sounds good.
The main characters are a man of the world 50's-60's
and his two daughters.
The play inspired believe it or not by Antigone starts with one unsavoury character already dead behind the couch/bed. Killed in a quarrel by accident by the younger daughter, an ex-prostitute.
His equally shady partner in crime arrives looking for him and a bundle of money and is killed again my accident by the elder daughter, a nurse.
Dad tries to enlist the help of the younger daughter's ex-madam and again the middle-aged old lady is accidently shot by the father.
In the final scene of Act One, a copper arrives and conveniently takes away the gun as part of a weapons armistance.
Hope that gives some of idea of the state of play?

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 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 06:09 pm
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Mana: 
Always a bad thing and poor form to suggest plot rethinks, I know, but you did say you'd had it on the blocks for a while, and (for me) that sometimes means there's a plot/planning problem.

What if the reveal is that the three 'corpses' knew the money was there, and (it is later shown) swapped the bullets for blanks so they could play dead and stay in the house to find it when everyone else was asleep?

The audience would be led up the blind alley of the 'it's a how do they get rid of the bodies' gig, but you could have characters creeping around in the semi-darkness who the audience must assume would be the living cast, but are actually the 'dead' cast, the cop returning to try and make an arrest for murders which were never committed... especially if there is some clothes-swapping going on.

... sorry, Theatralite (isn't that a Duracell battery) but I've had a bad day at work, I'm on my fourth pint of cider and am waffling - but it might set the juices flowing (oooeeer no, missus, no, yes, now, ahhh... don't laugh, no, it's wicked).

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