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Scene 1: Dark Alleyway

 

The curtains open slightly. Jon and Alex are talking together in a dark alleyway. They’re acting suspiciously, and are hunched over.

 

Jon: (loudly) What?

Alex: (whispering) Quiet!

 

Jon: (whispering) Sorry, but… What? How?

 

There is a shuffling noise backstage. Jon and Alex are scared.

 

Alex: We need to go, the police are on to us.

 

Jon: No they’re not. But I agree, let’s go.

 

Jon and Alex exit quickly ,stage right. Policemen  rush in stage left. Sam is in charge.

 

Policeman 1: Missed ‘em.

 

Policeman 2: Ne’er mind. Next time.

 

Sam: (loudly) Aargh! Wha’ do ya mean next time?! Six months, six months searchin’ and they’re still free! This has gotta stop soon.

 

Sam storms off stage left. The other Policemen sigh and follow after him.

 

Sam: (offstage) Not tha’ way, tha’ way!

 

Scene 2: Wollaton Hall

 

Curtains open fully. We are in Wollaton Hall. Soft, jazzy music is being played on a saxophone.In Wollaton Hall.

 

Bartholomew is sitting in a chair relaxing to the music. There is a knock at the door.

 

Bartholomew: (to saxophonist) Please stop for a moment. (to door) Come in.

 

Butler comes in.

 

Butler: Grave news, Sir.

 

Bartholomew: What is it?

 

Butler passes a piece of paper to Bartholomew. As Bartholomew reads it, his face becomes shocked.

 

Bartholomew: How is this happening? Who is doing this? Missing? My wife?

 

Butler: I’m sorry about this. Would you like me to do anything?

Bartholomew: Yes, yes I would. Get a messenger to the police. Actually, no. Send them straight to the detective’s private office. Tell them it’s me who is in trouble. Make sure this doesn’t get out to the public. It will not fare well with some of them… (Bartholomew trails off into deep thought)

 

Butler: Erm, Sir? Can I be dismissed?

 

Bartholomew comes out of his trance.

 

Bartholomew: Oh yes, of course! Get on with it.

 

Butler leaves.

 

Bartholomew: (confused) Missing? Missing? (pause) Missing?

 

Scene 3: Detective’s Office

 

Messenger comes running in at the back of the theatre. He runs down the aisle, through the audience.

 

Messenger: Hello? Anyone here?

 

Policeman 1 and 2 emerge.

 

Policeman 1: Whadda you wan’?

 

Messenger: I’m here for the detective. On Bartholomew’s orders.

 

Policeman 2: Ya sure?

Messenger: (with confidence) Yes.

 

Policeman 2: I’ll go check.

 

Policeman 2 leaves through the door. He pokes his head back out after a few seconds.

 

Policeman 2: Bring ‘im through.

 

Policeman 1: Come on, then.

 

Policeman 1 and Messenger go through the door. The curtains open showing the Detective’s office. Detective is sitting at a desk.

 

Detective: Hello, what’s the message?

 

Messenger: Bartholomew sent me. He has an urgent message.

 

Detective: And what is that message?

 

Messenger: (whisper) His… wife has gone missing…

 

Sam and the Detective look shocked. There is a pause. Sam and the Detective share a glance, Sam nods.

 

Detective: (to Messenger) You may go now. I will be along soon.

 

Messenger leaves stage right.

Sam: Wha’ shall we do? This is surely linked to…you know who.

 

Detective: Probably. I’d better go and investigate.

 

Sam and Detective leave stage right.

Curtains close.

Jon and Alex emerge from behind the door. Jon is angry.

 

Jon: Blame it on us? How dare they?!

 

Alex: I know, but our plans must continue.

 

Jon: But how? With his wife missing, security is going to be so much tighter!

 

Alex: Calm yourself down. We don’t want anybody to find us.

 

Jon: (furious) Calm down? CALM DOWN?!

 

Alex: (shouts) Jon!

 

Slight pause.

 

Jon: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Just… There are so many things that could go wrong.

 

Alex: Let’s not think about that right now. We need to find out some information from our…informant.

 

Jon: Okay. Let’s go.

 

Jon and Alex exit.

 

Scene 4: Wollaton Hall Grounds

 

Detective, Sam and Bartholomew are walking up the aisle, through the audience.

 

Detective: I’m sorry about what’s happened, but we’re trying our best to solve the mystery. We’re also going to need to take extra precautions around Wollaton Hall.

 

They reach stage.

 

Bartholomew: What precautions?

 

Detective: More security… And I’m going to leave Sam here with you, too.

 

Sam: We never agreed on that!

 

Detective: No, we didn’t. But that’s what is going to happen.

 

SAM huffs.

 

Scene 5: Wollaton Hall Gates

 

Curtains open. Jon and Alex are on stage, stood outside the gates to Wollaton Hall.

 

Jon: So how do we get in then, huh?

 

Alex: Shut up. How was I supposed to know that there was security?

 

Pause.

 

Alex: Right, we’ll have to go round the back.

 

Security: Who’s there?

 

Alex: (whispering) Come on, we need to go.

 

Alex and Jon exit.

 

Security: I said, who’s there?

 

Silence.