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The Scent Of Danger

    by Michael Park


Comedy Play Script: 'The Scent Of Danger' by Michael Park

Barry Bigley has set himself up as a private detective in an office in his home town which also acts as his living quarters. He models himself on old-style American private eyes and imagines he will be solving baffling criminal cases and constantly fending off the approaches of beautiful women.

In reality, he is broke, not particularly competent at anything and, at the moment, short of any sort of client. His life is constantly being interrupted by his mother, who has an obsession with cleaning his office, and his father who, after being made redundant by the local council, has devoted his efforts to trying to appear as a contestant on one of the many TV quiz shows.

Also keeping a careful eye on him is his fiancée, down-to-earth Deirdre, who in looks, at least, is as different from his imagined female clients as it is possible to be.

He is having problems finding the rent for the office/flat which is not a good thing when his landlord, Luigi, seems to model himself on a Mafia don. Barry finally gets a client thanks to his old schoolmate, Rick. It turns out to be just a missing cat, but the owner does happen to be the attractive Suzanne, daughter of a wealthy local diamond merchant. His subsequent searching doesn’t locate the cat, but later that night, the case escalates anyway when Suzanne herself is kidnapped and held to ransom.

Little does Barry realise that the source of the kidnapping is closer to home than he thinks, but he is forced to take time out to test his father, who in aiming for an appearance on ‘Countdown’ has brought along a huge cardboard clock and a box of vowels and consonants. He is also hampered by his mother’s constant appearances, complete with vacuum cleaner, though at least Deirdre is proving to be of invaluable help.

A familiar scent in his office at last guides him on Suzanne’s trail and it turns out she is being held by Luigi in the office directly beneath Barry’s. Afterwards, he comes to the realisation that his fiancée is actually very close to his imagined dream girl when the situation leads her to reveal her true self.


(4m, 4f)

  • Barry Bigley - an incompetent private eye, 20s, tall, easy-going
  • Ethel Bigley - Barry’s mother, 50s, good-hearted but not very bright.
  • Sidney Bigley - Barry’s father, 50s, small, dapper, energetic, educated.
  • Deirdre Fanshaw - Barry’s fiancée, 20s, dumpy, unfashionably dressed.
  • Luigi Salini - Barry’s landlord, 30s-40s, Italian, threatening.
  • Rick Connors - Barry’s mate, 20s, handsome, suave, sophisticated.
  • Suzanne Marchant - a client, 20s, very attractive, rich, spoilt.
  • Gladys Cardoza - a medium, 50s, theatrical, flamboyant.

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