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Practice To Deceive


Murder Mystery Drama Play Script: 'Practice To Deceive' by Gawthorpe & Bown

It is the mid 1950s and Hilary is hosting a committee meeting about the Christmas Bazaar while her husband is out furthering his political career. Chat, over coffee and biscuits, is suddenly cut short when one of the committee members collapses and dies. It appears to be a straightforward case of natural causes and Hilary is about to call for an ambulance when Carol, a doctor friend who is staying with her, says the woman has been poisoned with Bromate, which appears to have been substituted for sweeteners.

But who had access to the deceased’s coffee cup? While each committee member strives to prove they didn’t do it, another one of them collapses and dies, but was this another case of Bromate poisoning or a heart attack? Secrets come tumbling out as accusations fly around.

In an attempt to keep the police from finding out about the poisoning, because of the effect that this will have on her husband’s ambitions, Hilary persuades the rest of the committee to keep quiet about the Bromate in the hope that it won’t be picked up in the post mortem.

But the genie is out of the bottle and Hilary soon finds herself the victim of blackmail and extortion as two committee members see ways of realising their long-held dreams. The last straw is when Carol says she has been having an affair with Hilary’s husband.  Pushed to the limit Hilary attempts to poison Carol with the sweeteners.  Will she succeed?  Is Bromate all Carol says it is?  Is Carol even who she says she is?

This play is full of twists and turns with the final one coming in the last line.  



  • Hilary Sinclair - mid to late 30s, well dressed, well spoken
  • Carol Adams - 30s, smartly dressed, confident
  • Margaret Rawlings - 70s, comfortably dressed, tries to see the best in everyone, a bit of a gossip
  • Veronica Harris - late 20s, quiet, self-effacing
  • Jennie Townsend - 30s, dressed the same as Hilary, obviously admires Hilary greatly to the extent she copies her
  • Susan James - 30s, fashionably dressed, confident, a little bit brash
  • Freda Buckingham - 70s, old school, a bit of a tartar

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