Monsieur Hemlock Marreau and his associates are the creation
of Rob Farrow, a founder member of Frayed Knot Theatre Company.
To date Rob has written ten Marreau plays, the latest "Marreau and the Grey Dagger" was performed for four nights
from the 21st to 24th April 2010 at The Court Theatre, Pendley, Tring.
The Marreau plays to date are :
(First performance dates are in brackets)
Other plays by Rob Farrow
|Clicking on any of the titles above will allow you to
download a .pdf file of the entire play
The script for the ninth Marreau play, Marreau and the Terror of Tring is NOW AVAILABLE
The script for the tenth Marreau play, Marreau and the Grey Dagger will be available soon.
Although the Marreau plays form a sequence with several characters in
common, each episode is also written to stand alone as an individual play,
where no prior knowledge of the protagonists, nor of earlier events is
The plays were specially written for production by amateur companies, having fairly large casts with a wide range parts - from just a few lines for inexperienced actors through sparkling cameo rôles to the substantial parts of the investigating trio. Almost without exception each rôle - even the minor ones - has a well defined and interesting character which allows for considerable development by both the actor and director.
Click here to read a Press review of Requiem for
(Reproduced by kind permission of Hemel Hempstead Gazette)
FOR PERFORMANCE RIGHTS & PRICING CLICK ON THIS
Below is a brief summary of Marreau's activities to date ...
Hemlock Montrachet Etienne Boniface Marreau's first appearance was in Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman where we found him investigating the murder of Lady Eustace and subsequently of her son, Edward who was married to Isabel the same Isabel who features prominently in the seventh play Requiem for Marreau. Marreau is usually ably assisted in his cases by his secretary Gwendolyn and helped or hindered by his affable, noble but rather dim friend Simpson. (<PDF>Read a short account of some of Simon Simpson's ancestors by clicking here<PDF>)
The second adventure finds the trio attempting to recover some fantastically valuable stolen jewellery in The African Moon - a case which quickly becomes far more serious with a succession of murders. This play features the fearsomely unpleasant Raging Ranulph a cruel bully who has a very murky past.
Marreau never seems quite sure whether he is French or Belgian or indeed from Monaco, Switzerland or Luxembourg or any other francophone country for that matter - often changing his mind several times during a play. He considers himself the greatest detective who has ever lived; he is, however probably sadly deluded.
Marreau is highly reliant on the intelligence and common sense of Gwendolyn - but in the third episode, The Curse of Cardiff, she is far more interested in getting to know one of the suspects, "New Mexico" Smith, than attempting to solve the most mysterious case. Centred around the curse of an ancient Egyptian mummy, this mystery has many unusual developments.
Gwendolyn is absent from the fourth adventure, Marreau and the Bloody Carpet, as she has married "Mexi" and settled down to a quiet life with him - she thinks. In this episode we first meet Marreau's arch enemy, Professor Maurice Hearty. This evil genius causes many problems for Marreau not only in this play but also in devious ways his influence is felt in later episodes too.
Hearty's malevolent activities also have a drastic effect on Gwendolyn and her husband "New Mexico" Smith - as told in the fifth play The Sword of Carthage, set in their country home. We also meet Havelock the butler again - whom we had originally encountered in the second play - as he is now buttling for the Smiths.
By the sixth adventure, The Clouds of Death, Hearty's malign influence has become intolerable and in a dramatic final scene Marreau and Hearty face each other in a life and death struggle in Wildboar Castle - where they have been drawn by the mysterious disappearance of an old Silesian count.
As the title of the seventh play, Requiem for Marreau, suggests - things do not necessarily go too smoothly at Wildboar Castle, and this seventh play finds Gwendolyn and Simpson investigating alone in the wilds of Western Scotland - where as mentioned above, they meet up again with Isabel, who was widowed in the very first adventure. She has since remarried - to a very peculiar Scotsman ...
Cornwall is the setting for the eighth play The Tregalleon Inheritance, where Gwendolyn has been invited to an old manor house for the reading of a will - that of a relation she did not realise even existed. Strange sounds and even stranger people are waiting to greet her ! The local legend of "Moon-gnashers" causes fear - and the late Sir Crispin had some very unusual hobbies.
The ninth instalment, Marreau and the Terror of Tring finds Marreau and his friends trying to discover the truth behind what appears to be Vampire attacks ! The population of the quiet country town of Tring have been terrified by a mysterious creature which has already claimed four lives ... and hasn't finished yet.
The tenth outing for Marreau, Marreau and the Grey Dagger finds our hero once again clashing swords (metaphorically) with his bête noir, Professor Maurice Hearty; who is planning to frame and discredit Marreau while everyone is searching for the fabulously valuable "Grey Dagger" of the title.
Marreau is planning to return in Marreau and the Trilobite of Rheims
Two other characters regularly crop up in nearly all the Marreaus. Doctor Protheroe, who was having an affair with - and later married - Edward's sister Jane in the original play. The other is Farmer, a bumbling rustic policeman who gained swift promotion on the back of Marreau's successes until one fateful day when he arrested someone he really shouldn't have ....
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Last Updated : 12.05.11