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Murder is “Afoot” at MWCS

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MADRID – In a bizarre whodunit case, the actors in Ken Ludwig’s play “The Game’s Afoot” keep the audience in stitches, as much as suspense.

The comical murder mystery, The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays, opens Nov. 29 and 30 at the Madrid-Waddington Central School auditorium.

Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes for 20 years, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of celebration during the Christmas holidays.

But when one of the guests is stabbed, the festivities become deadly. It’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the murderer.

Alex V. Hammond, 17, who plays Mr. Gillette, says the plays pays tribute to many famous works, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series, but it is also full of non-stop laughs.

“Crazy things happen and people are killed,” Alex said. “William wants to be like Sherlock, but he’s a bit eccentric. It’s a lot of fun.”

The play is different compared with westerns and in the past.

“We haven’t done a mystery in a while,” Alyssa M. Ryan, 16, who plays Madge, said. “It’s got lots of twists, scandal, and unexpected surprises.”

The play pokes fun at the actors at times by making characters overly dramatic and serious while they make contrasting statements about how actors never grow up. There is even a play within a play.

“There is a part where my wife, Madge, slaps me. I am going to take it a little bit over the top,” Jacob M. Barney, 17, who plays Felix, said.

For the six seniors who make up the eight-member cast, the play marks one of their last performances with the school.

“Theater has been my life,” Eve M. K. Ruddy, 17, said. “It’s a reason to come to school some days.”

While some schools are famous for sports teams, Madrid-Waddington has become known its onstage performances, the students said.

“The whole school gets involved from the captain of the soccer team to the president of student council,” Jessica L. LaMay, 17, said.

Crew members include: Liam Miller, light technician, Michael Thew, sound technician, Marlaina Bush, stage manager, Cheryl Squires and Elizabeth Froats, prop technicians, and Emily Cafarella, poster design.

Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors.

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