INSPECTOR SLY'S SECOND-TO-LAST CASE (3 men, 3 women) is a farce
about a detective obsessed with absolute truth. He's not really concerned
with the apprehension of the criminal, but rather with the investigation
itself. As a result, it's up to the villain in the play (who desperately
wants to be stopped) to try and force the detective to apprehend him.
Mrs. Willis, a cleaning lady
Mr. Johnson, a gardener
Dr. Bruno Crock, a psychiatrist
Lucy, a journalist
Inspector Hugo Sly
Emma Crock, the doctor's wife
Two young women, whose roles may be played by the actor playing the part of Lucy.
SETTING: The waiting room of a psychiatrist's office. There are four doors: the office door and closet door upstage, the bathroom door stage right, and the entrance door stage left. A desk, couch, stuffed chair, coffee table and cuckoo clock adorn the waiting room. The only element that makes this room differ generally from other waiting rooms is the unusual number of plants that are to be found virtually everywhere.
LENGTH: (Two acts)
SYNOPSIS: INSPECTOR SLY's SECOND-TO-LAST CASE is a black farce about obsessions. A terrible crime wave has hit the city and young women are disappearing left and right. While their bodies are never found, their heads are being sent - presumably by the killer - to the police station. In cakeboxes. All clues - including business cards clenched between the victims' teeth - point to the eminent psychiatrist, Bruno Crock, as the maniac behind the murders but Inspector Hugo Sly refuses to jump to conclusions. Instead he follows his dictum, "Behind the obvious lurks the truth." Other mysteries abound: Why is Crock's tyrannical wife really in a wheelchair? What is the secret behind Mrs. Willis' fruitcakes? What is so special about Johnson's plants? Is Lucy's nymphomania her husband's fault? Crock seems to have the answers but no one - including Sly - wants to listen.
First produced in 1988 by Arena Theatre, White Rock, B.C.
Produced in 1995 by Novus Theatre for the Great Canadian Play Festival, Vancouver, B.C.