Show Synopses and Spoilers
READ WITH CAUTION! The following are full descriptions of each of our Season 13 mainstage shows. We at BETC recognize that not everyone likes to be surprised, and we acknowledge that some may be negatively triggered by certain conversations, themes, or actions. Therefore, we are providing comprehensive synopses of each play.
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When Christopher discovers Mrs. Shears’ dog Wellington lying dead with a pitchfork in his side, he decides to pursue inquiries into Wellington’s murder, although his father expressly forbids him to do so. Christopher’s mother is dead, so he doesn’t have to ask her permission, but he does tell his teacher Siobhan that he plans to investigate the crime. She suggests it might not be a good idea, but he begins to interview the neighbors anyway.
Mrs. Shears warns him she’ll call the police, Mr. Thompson warns him about asking too many questions, and Mrs. Alexander invites him in for tea and cake, which he politely refuses. After his initial inquiries, he decides to make Mr. Shears “Prime Suspect” since it is clear he does not get along with Mrs. Shears. Then his father, Ed, finds out that he’s investigating and makes Christopher promise to stop bothering the neighbors.
Christopher can still have tea, though, and in conversation with Mrs. Alexander he learns that his father has good reason not to like Mr. Shears: He and Christopher’s mother once had an affair. When he reveals this to Siobhan, she asks him about his mother, and he finds in his notebook a distant memory of a conversation with his mother where she asked him to join her in a new life. He’s confused by this, and he and his father get into an argument that ends with Ed hitting him, then taking away his detective notebook and storming away to cool down.
While his father is gone the next day, Christopher searches for his notebook and finds it in a box of letters from his mother. She isn’t dead after all; she moved away to London to start a new life with Mr. Shears. This devastates Christopher, and Ed can’t explain to his satisfaction, so he decides to use the address on the letters to track down his mother in London.
Christopher runs away from his father’s house with an ATM card for which he’s memorized the PIN, and buys a ticket for London at the train station. He is accosted by a policeman, who tells him his father is at the police station looking for him, but he manages to slip away from him and hide until reaching Paddington Station. After rescuing his pet rat Toby from almost certain death, the other passengers help him to board the next train to the stop near his mother’s house. Eventually, his mother Judy discovers him outside her flat, and comforts him.
When Ed arrives to take Christopher back home, a furious argument ensues, and a policeman escorts Ed from Judy’s house. But Mr. Shears—Roger–doesn’t want Christopher to stay with them either, and Christopher wants to sit for his A level math exams as planned, which means he has to return to Swindon. When an angry Roger grabs at Christopher, Judy takes him and returns to Swindon. She begins to make plans for her and Christopher to get their own flat together, and Christopher successfully completes his A-level exams. Ed and Christopher gradually make peace, and he gets a new dog of his own.