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Brush with a Body

A play by Maurice McLoughlin
Performed in November 1987
Faringdon Community Centre
Produced by Nancy Reeves

Comedy, set in Hampstead in 1959.The day starts off ordinarily enough for the Walling family: mother Sybil, psychiatrist son Henry and daughters Cynthia the teacher and actress Sarah. Then Irish Mr Flaherty arrives to sweep the chimney...and discovers a body wedged up there! It takes some persuasion, but Flaherty agrees not to go to the police straight away, while Henry tries to find an explanation for the body. And after a little thought, Flaherty starts to drop very strong hints about extra payment.

Matters are complicated by the presence of Henry's fiancee Pamela and Sarah's boyfriend Paul, then thrown into complete disarray when Henry confronts his mother. Sybil is only surprised by where the body is, having known for years that her late accountant husband had killed a gangster in something like self-defence. She offers Flaherty three thousand pounds to dispose of the body.

All would have gone well, except that the police then arrive, searching for Rosita, one of Henry's patients, on the run with stolen silverware - and they want to search the house for it! A great deal of clever manoeuvring and some luck is required to get the dead gangster safely out of the way. In one final twist, the police happen to mention in passing that his old boss has passed away. At which point, Sybil phones her husband, in hiding all these years, to tell him he can come home at last!


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