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Look Out He's Got A Gun!

    by Phil Mansell



Synopsis

Comedy Play Script: 'Look Out He's Got A Gun!' by Phil Mansell

'Amateur Sleuths in a Spiffing Spoof'.

This comedy thriller is a fast-paced spoof of the gung-ho, stiff upper lip style of B movies and radio serials of the 1940s and ‘50s. The action revolves around crime novelist and amateur sleuth Steve Dexter who, along with his lovely wife Eve, is called in to help a baffled Scotland Yard solve a series of mysterious kidnappings. Fortunately, Dexter has just finished writing his latest crime novel so he is available to help. He and Eve cancel their planned holiday in Monte Carlo to ride to the rescue.

To date, 27 women have been kidnapped from the Purple Cockatoo nightclub in London’s West End. Could it be coincidence? Inspector Scott of the Yard is unsure. All that is known is that the latest kidnap victim is the daughter of Professor Otto von Strudelberger, a brilliant if somewhat fiendish scientist who joined British military intelligence after the war to work on top secret inventions. A ransom note is left at the scene of the crime. Signed El Lobo Mysterioso, it demands the Professor hand over his latest diabolical device, the Electro-Magnetic Mind Machine, in exchange for the safe return of his daughter.

The Dexters leave their fashionable Mayfair flat to question suspects - and there are plenty of those. Brad Madison, the shady American owner of the Purple Cockatoo nightclub, his head waiter Lofty Shorthouse who is a convicted kidnapper, sultry Spanish singer Consuela Ramírez who isn’t all she appears to be, and Sir Magnus Wolfe the self-made cardboard box magnate who exports "people-sized" crates to the Middle East.

The action moves swiftly between a nightclub, a dank basement, a top secret laboratory and an abandoned warehouse, but the sleuths’ investigation does not go smoothly. Whilst travelling between the various locations, the Dexters’ car is followed and driven off the road. There are also snipers taking pot shots at them. The suspense builds when Eve volunteers to act as a decoy for the kidnappers - only for the plan to go wrong. She is actually kidnapped along with ballroom-dancing undercover policewoman Nixon - they are held captive in the nightclub’s basement awaiting shipment to become the playthings of a Middle Eastern potentate.

Dexter and the police are sent on a wild goose chase to Tooting. Realising they have been duped they unravel the clues and arrest Sir Magnus Wolfe whose boxes are used to transport the captive women. Plucky Eve manages to free herself and fight off two burly henchmen. She is about to phone for help when Madison and Lofty hold them at gunpoint. Dexter and the police arrive to collar the villains. But celebrations are premature - they still have to unmask El Lobo Mysterioso and find Fiona. Another beautifully written ransom note tells them to bring the Professor’s Mind Machine to an old abandoned warehouse at midnight.

The Dexters go it alone - and discover that Consuela Ramírez (or Agnes Sidebottom, the Scunthorpe Nightingale) is El Lobo Mysterioso. There is a struggle and justice prevails.

Characters

(7-10m, 3-5f with doubling)

  • Announcer
  • Steve Dexter - author and amateur sleuth
  • Eve - his daring and sophisticated wife
  • Inspector Scott of the Yard - bowler-hatted crime fighter
  • Professor Otto von Strudelberger - genius German inventor
  • Fiona von Strudelberger - Professor Otto’s daughter
  • Hugo Bentley - Professor Otto’s assistant
  • Sir Magnus Wolfe - self-made millionaire
  • Gloria de Havilland - his beautiful young secretary
  • Brad Madison - American, owner of the Purple Cockatoo nightclub
  • Lofty Shorthouse - a waiter at the club
  • Consuela Ramírez - nightclub singer
  • Archie - the Dexters’ cockney manservant
  • PC Dixon - undercover policeman
  • WPC Nixon - undercover policewoman
  • 2 Henchmen - (non-speaking) 
Suggested doubling:
Hugo Bentley/PC Dixon or Brad Madiso
Lofty Shorthouse/Archie
Sir Magnus Wolfe/Professor Otto
Fiona/WPC Nixon
Gloria de Havilland/Consuela Ramírez


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