“Dine and Die” is a ‘who-done-it’ play written specifically to be produced at a restaurant dinner party. During the short play Linda is murdered. The murder weapon: French fries fried in peanut oil. (Linda is allergic to peanuts).The audience have to identify the murderer.
The cast of the play proper:
JOHN, widower, about 75.
LINDA, John's landlady.
JAMES, guest, from the audience.
RUTH, guest, from the audience.
WAITRESS, one of the regular waitresses at the restaurant.
After the ‘murder’ :
ADAM, known to be an ambulance man, from the audience
PETER, from the audience
Two or three ‘UNDERCOVER GUESTS’, in the audience.
I was commissioned to write this play for the Mansion House Restaurant, Kawau Island. It turned out so popular, the restaurant had to add another 50 seats on the adjoining terrace, and it was a huge success.
“Dine and Die” was advertised as a regular play. The roles of John, Linda, James and Ruth were taken by well-known experienced actors. Fortunately the Waitress was a keen amateur actress who fitted her minor role perfectly. When near the end of the play Linda suddenly collapses, Adam comes up out of the audience. He examines Linda and announces she was murdered. Up to that moment the audience had no inkling whatsoever it was a ‘who-done-it’ play.
Linda, suddenly alive and well again, announces a competition to decide who the murderer was.
To insure nobody would guess it was not a regular play, the original title was a common New Zealand expression: “Ladies, a plate please”