Some months have passed since the ghastly evants in Monument House, well known to those familiar with Norman Robbins’ earlier A Tomb with a View. Now Mortimer Crayle, the crusty old lawyer, and his secretary Zoe, have gathered the last remaining Tomb family members (as offbeat a bunch as the original occupants) at the old house, ostensibly to inform them about their inheitance. But Crayle has designs on the inheitance which demand the deaths of all the Tombs. Fog descends on the gloomy mansion and in the cobwebby corridors things, and people, are seldom what they seem. With poison in every decanter and mysterious disappearances into secret passageways, hosts and guests alike join the increasing number of bodies in the cellar. A glorious spoof, a worthy sequel to A Tomb with a View, although previous acquaintance with the Tombs is not required!
Since the publication of A Tomb with a view in 1978, I’ve had constant requests from theatre groups and audiences around the world to write a sequel. Flattering as this is, I never seemed able to come up with a suitable plot. Hardly surprising as most of the characters in the original were dead by the time the final curtain fell. I toyed briefly with a prequel, but finally, after a twenty year lapse, I offer this follow-up to the Tomb family saga.
Just a brief word of advice. As in A Tomb with a view, what the audience sees is not always what it appears to be. The character of Vernon, far instance, though outwardly a stereotype homosexual, turns out to be something completely different from the audience’s original perception. The eventual reaction to his true identity should be felt throughout the auditorium. Almost all the characters, in fact, should be played on the verge of caricature, though with great sincerity, and I’d like to stress again that the play is a spoof. A gentle homage to the kind of comedy thriller that dominated the repertory scene when I was a young actor in the Fifties. Hopefully, however, it will present an intriguing mystery too.One small production point. It would be wise to engage the ASM (or someone of similar build to the Clown) to don the costume for the "quick change" parts of the script. It saves the actor from having a heart attack during performances.
For Elaine McClure. Undisputed ruler of the other Marsh.