Title: The Real Inspector Hound
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Setting: The action of the play takes place in the drawing-room of Muldoon Manor.
This play was first performed at the Criterion Theatre, London, 17th June, 1968.
The Real Inspector Hound is a one-act play by Tom Stoppard, writer of such renowned works as Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Arcadia and The Real Thing, to name but a few. The play begins with two theatre critics, Moon and Birdboot, watching an absurd country house murder mystery. The action flicks between the running commentary of the critics and the melodramatic play. That is, until the critics become involved in the main action, where real life meets fictional seamlessly.
This is an enjoyable read, a short, fast-paced, witty and satirical piece. It keeps the audience on their toes, as you must split your attention between the critic characters and the main action. I loved how the critics, Moon and Birdboot, verbally digested the action of the Murder Mystery whilst lapsing into conversations about their insecurities and marriage. The play within the play is an absurd version of an Agatha Christie drama. This piece is too short to stand alone, unless you are performing it at a festival of short plays. Tom Stoppard suggests After Magritte as a companion piece. The Real Inspector Hound would certainly suit either an Amateur or Professional theatre company or indeed a drama society. It has a cast of eight and quite a substantial set. I shall blog about After Magritte at a later date.
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