Frank Williams

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6 M 2 F characters. One set: The living room of a house in the country

The action takes place in 1951, the year of the Festival of Britain

This play is not a ‘whodunit’ but a ‘will he get away with it’.

Charles Jeffries, an unsuccessful writer, plots to murder his wife Marion. Through an advertisement in the personal column of a magazine, he makes contact with Richard Edwards, a lonely homosexual. He persuades Richard to help him create an unbreakable alibi, although Richard has no idea of the reason for this. Charles has also arranged the meeting in such a way that Richard will not be able to identify him or ever get in touch with him again. Charles suspects - wrongly – that his wife is having an affair with a young man, David Grant, who lives nearby and is a frequent visitor. With the help OF the false alibi, Charles commits the murder in front of David, in such a way that all the evidence points to David as the murderer. David is charged, convicted and sentenced to death. His brother Nicky, works against time to prove his innocence. In the meantime, Charles, the true murderer, is secure in the belief that he has got away with it. Then he begins to receive anonymous phone calls and his carefully arranged alibi appears to be in danger. The phone calls are followed by an attempt at blackmail. He identifies the blackmailer as Richard Edwards, who, in spite of all Charles’s precautions, has managed to find him. Charles decides that the blackmailer must be killed too. Having accomplished this, he feels that, at last, he is secure. Then he receives another anonymous phone call, and when the ‘dead’ man appears, his total disintegration as the truth finally comes out provides the climax of the play.

MASK FOR MURDER by Frank Williams

5 Characters. One set. The play is set in the Victorian era.

A wealthy woman, still comparatively young, whose first husband has died in suspicious circumstances, has married again. When she returns from her honeymoon in Italy, we learn that both she and her new husband have been ill while they have been away. Her nineteen year old son finds it difficult to accept his new stepfather. Her faithful housekeeper of many years also feels threatened by the new regime. The young doctor who lives next door and who is hero-worshipped by the son also knows that his relationship with the family will never be the same again. When the new husband dies and it is established that the cause of death was arsenical poisoning, the wife becomes the obvious suspect, especially after her first husband's body is exhumed and it is established that he too was poisoned. Although clear evidence points to one of the other characters, the true identity of the murderer is not revealed until the last few moments of the play.

MURDER WEEKEND by Frank Williams

7 Characters. One set. The play is set in the l950's with a re-enactment which takes place twenty years earlier in the l930's.

A newly married couple have just taken over an old country house which they plan to run as an hotel. They await their first guests, a group who have booked the hotel in order to play a murder game in which they re-enact a true murder from the past. They appear to be a highly eccentric bunch of people, yet when they begin their re-enactment, the characters seem to be much more normal and real. It soon becomes clear to the hotel owner that there is more to the weekend than just a game. The group have a purpose in their re-enactment, but what is it? As the weekend progresses we are led to wonder whether there was a miscarriage of justice in that murder case twenty years ago. If there was, is someone present that weekend the true murderer who got away with it all those years ago? The surprise ending reveals the truth, though not the truth that anyone had been expecting when they set out to begin their murder weekend.

THE PLAYING FIELDS by Frank Williams

4 Characters. One set. The play is set during the second world war.

RALEIGH and GROVES, two prefects at a minor public school, are in their final year. They know that when they leave they will be called up to join the forces, and that they may, therefore, be called upon to die while still young. Indeed, during the course of the play, news comes through that DURHAM, who was head boy at the school when they first went there has been killed in action. At the same time, they have having to come to terms with their own sexuality. GROVES has become aware of his interest in the opposite sex and breaks out at night to visit a girl in the nearby town. RALEIGH, on the other hand, knows that he is going to be homosexual. He develops a relationship of deep affection with his fag, a young boy in his first year. He is uncertain what to do about this relationship after he has left, but is helped to come to a conclusion by an old boy of the school, KINGSLEY, who was a great friend of his own boyhood hero, DURHAM.


4 Characters, One set. The play is set in the late 1970's

NORA APPLEFORD is a lonely old lady who lives on her own. She has become rather eccentric and to some extent, lives in a fantasy world of her own. She has got used to talking to herself and even having arguments with herself. A young man from the flat below her comes up because she has left the bath running and water is coming through the ceiling. He too is lonely, a homosexual, who has recently parted from his lover. An unlikely friendship develops between them which becomes important to both of them. She gradually begins to find her fantasy world less necessary. In her younger days she had had an illegitimate daughter by a young man who was killed in the first world war before they had a chance to marry. She has fantasised about the daughter visiting her, when when the the daughter does come, she fails to recognise her and the daughter does not make herself known. DAVID, the young man from the flat below, finds a new boy friend of whom NORA thoroughly approves. They are both actors and have parts in a new West End play. NORA is invited to the first night, and when they return, she has had a wonderful evening. She is happy that DAVID has some success in h is work and is now settled with his friend. She feels her own life is now complete.

THE BOATING LAKE by Frank Williams

7 Characters (of whom two are children - a boy aged 12 to 13, and a girl aged 10 to 11). The play is set in September l938.

MARY and ROBERT BRENT have spent a fortnight's holiday at the same seaside cottage ever since they were first married, at first on their own, then with their children as they were grouping up, and later with their children and grandchildren. The BRENTS have always been a happy and united family but one which exists on partial and half-truths. The annual family holiday has always been a time of security for them all. Even the wives of MARY and ROBERT'S two sons have seemed to value it in their own way. This year, however, although on the surface everything is as usual, things are subtly changing. ROBERT knows that he is dying of cancer but has not felt able to confide in his wife. All is not completely well with the marriage between EDWARD and LAVINIA. For the first time, CHARLES'S wife, JOAN, has been unable to come with him. CHARLES’s young son, DAVID, is clearly unhappy. In the town itself, things are also changing, - the boating lake which has been there as long as anyone can remember, has been boarded up. MARY, in particular, senses that this holiday in some way marks an end and that things will never be the same again. Only EDWARD'S young daughter, KATHERINE, looks forward to a future when everything will be better. As they leave at the end of the holiday she talks confidently of returning for the holiday next year which will begin on Sunday 3rd September l939.


6 Characters. One set. The play is set in l970.

The body of a young man has been found on a cliff top. He has been murdered and since he has been beaten before his death, there is obviously a sado-masochistic element to the killing. The editor of the local paper, his wife and younger son all appear to have an alibi since they were at a local dinner dance at the time concerned. The younger son is still at public school where he is a prefect and has a reputation for using the cane. The elder son is homosexual in an era when it would be very difficult to admit it. He works as a reporter on his father's paper and has, in fact, been out on the evening concerned although at first he denies this. As the investigation progresses, various secrets from the family's past come to light and the alibis which seemed so secure are gradually prove to be false. Eventually, a member of the family becomes the prime suspect.

The play is published by SAMUEL FRENCH and to quote their description - "not only is the murderer's identity concealed right to the end, but the audience is lured into condemning the wrong man not once but twice."


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