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Death On The Doostep

    by Martin Cort



Synopsis

Play Script: 'Death On The Doorstep' by Martin Cort

The play is set in the 1970’s during the Irish Troubles in Northern Ireland and when England was considering making homosexuality legal for adult male partners in private. If you had those same feelings when you were only 16, you were illegal and what was commonly known as ‘jail bait’. The law changed in 1980 and later generations have already forgotten about the oppression.

Whist waiting for his friends, Nicky Morgan and Ed Thompson to flat sit for him, Tony Marshall, a 38 year old attractive gay civil servant is preparing to join his partner Jose in Spain. Tony normally lives quietly with José in their basement flat in London. Before Nicky and Ed arrive Tony receives a visit from his neighbour’s young son, Alan who tells Tony that two men, who his mother believes to be plainclothes policemen, have called to see him. Alan also reveals that he is sexually attracted to Tony.

When the police officers return, they question Tony about his relationship with José. They also ask about a Scottish friend of theirs, Gordon Mclean, who at one time stayed in Tony’s flat. The police ask Tony if he has ever looked after a suitcase on Gordon’s behalf. He admits that he has and is promptly arrested and held in a police cell without being properly cautioned or told the reason for his detention.

Under questioning, Tony reveals that he was once brutally raped by Gordon. At this point the police inform him that Gordon is being held as a suspect in a murder investigation. Tony agrees to assist the police and is released on condition that he testifies at Gordon’s trial.

A year later, the case comes to court but the evidence against Gordon is flawed and he is acquitted. That evening, Tony finds himself alone in the flat when the doorbell rings. Opening the door, he is stunned to find Gordon standing on the doorstep, asking for Tony’s assistance. Feeling he can’t refuse, Tony allows Gordon in and goes out to buy food.

While he is out, the neighbour’s son, Alan, lets himself into the flat where he is confronted by Gordon who threatens him with sexual assault. Tony returns in time to prevent this happening and Alan escapes.

While Tony is in the kitchen, Gordon retrieves a large amount of money from a hiding-place in Tony’s flat. When Tony re-enters the room and sees the money, a furious row erupts during which Gordon confesses to the murder and threatens to kill Tony. Tony distracts Gordon by throwing money on the floor, escapes from the room and locks the door leaving Gordon, trapped and screaming in the basement.

Characters

Min 6m, 2f

  • Tony Marshall - 38, civil servant, Jose’s long-term partner, honest and charming
  • Alan Shelton - 16+, neighbour Doreen Shelton’s son, sexually aware, in love with Tony
  • DI Alistair Cooke - 35 (can be older), hard, old fashioned, dogged (could double with Nicky Morgan)
  • Nicky Morgan - 35, Welsh, the original ‘only gay in the village’, Tony’s long-term friend (could double with DI Cooke)
  • DS Trevor Johnson - 28, good looking, ambitious, devious (could double with Ed Thompson)
  • Ed Thompson - 28, Londoner, good looking, masculine, Nicky’s partner, male nurse (could double with DS Johnson)
  • Jose Perez Martinez - 33, Spanish, slight accent, Tony’s partner, works when there’s an opportunity
  • Doreen Shelton - 48/50, Londoner, Alan’s Mum, Tony’s neighbour
  • Stephanie Lawson - 27, a bit flashy, good looking, Tony’s colleague and good friend, young, fag hag
  • Gordon Mclean - 30, Scottish, chef, big physically, Jose’s ex colleague, dangerously attractive, sexual deviant


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