Loading... Please wait...

               COVID-19 Advice (issued 18 March 2020)

Given the current circumstances we've had a high number of groups make contact with us, and, due to the amount of effort put into rehearsals/marketing etc, most of them have so far wanted to re-schedule rather than cancel. We're not charging fees for any deferral of productions.

If you decide to postpone your production you probably won't know the dates for later in the year, or next year, yet, but please advise us nevertheless, and we'll issue a new temporary licence to show a date range of 2-3 months which you can then refine with us when the actual production dates are known.

Regarding cancellation: our administration fee will not be levied where you are forced to cancel your production.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
We will be unable to fulfil any orders for printed scripts for the foreseeable future. Any orders placed will be cancelled and a refund made.
Orders for downloadable preview scripts and e-scripts are not affected.


Murder By Default

    by Bettine Manktelow



Murder Mystery Drama Play Script: 'Murder By Default' by Bettine ManktelowThe residents of a sheltered housing complex for retired Thespians live in their separate flats, but under the kind and watchful eye of the warden/manager, Jenny Morris. All should be calm and tranquil but nothing is calm about Emily Forsyth who senses a mystery about her neighbour’s sudden death. She is particularly suspicious of Dr Sampson who is only called out for emergencies at night.

She confides in her friend and neighbour, George Jerrold, but he is unconvinced that anything is amiss and to add to her problems he disappears the next day without explanation.

An intriguing visitor, Simon Evans, appears on the scene also looking for George, and, with his help Emily begins to unravel a dark secret about the housing complex, but is she too late to save herself from being Dr Sampson’s next patient?


(2m, 2f)

  • George Jerrold - 60-70, a retired impresario, pompous but charming, an attractive man of mature years, retired from his profession as a manager and impresario, he has an assured theatrical air about him and considerable charm
  • Emily Forsyth - 60-70, a retired actress, dizzy and confident, a self-dramatist, she is confident and self-assured with a forthright approach to life but is inclined to behave as if she is a heroine in her own drama
  • Jenny Morris - 40's, a live-in retirement home warden, helpful but forceful, a middle-aged lady with a strong personality, cheerful, forceful and apparently very concerned about the residents
  • Simon Evans - 30's, a keen young insurance broker, well dressed and professional-looking


  • Preview E-Script (Murder By Default)
    £0.00 Preview E-Script (Murder By Default)
    A free preview script containing a significant part of the full script and provided as a pdf file sized for A4 paper.
  • E-Script (Murder By Default)
    £3.99 E-Script (Murder By Default)
    The full script provided as a pdf file for A4 size paper. You have a maximum of three attempts to download the file within a period of 30 days after the order date. You are licensed to print this once for your personal use...
  • Printed Script (Murder By Default)
    £7.99 Printed Script (Murder By Default)
    A printed script provided as an A5 paperback acting edition. You are licensed to use this for your personal use. If you want to make multiple copies for use at rehearsals, a Script Copying Licence is required in addition...
  • Script Copying Licence
    £0.00 Script Copying Licence
    If you've bought an e-script or a printed script, this licence permits you to make copies of it for rehearsal use. The price will be shown after you select the title required. PLEASE NOTE: The licence will be e-mailed to...
  • Royalty Quotation Form
    £0.00 Royalty Quotation Form
    The rights to perform and record for all the titles in our catalogue (with exceptions) are managed by Stagescripts Ltd. A royalty fee must be paid: whether the play is presented for charity or for...