deathtrap

Definitions

General English

Theater

  • (written as Deathtrap)
    A thriller by the US playwright Ira Levin (1929 - 2007).First performed on Broadway in 1958, the play terrified its originalaudiences with its realistic gore-and-grime resurrection of a 'corpse'on stage. The first London production was staged in 1979 at the GarrickTheatre.

    The plot involves Sidney Bruhl, a writer of thrillers whohas run out of ideas. When an excellent script arrives from his protégé,Clifford Anderson, Sidney jokes with his wife, Myra, about killingCliff to steal his plot. Sidney invites Cliff to his home and garroteshim in the living room. Myra's fragile heart begins to act up as Sidneyburies Cliff, and when the dead man subsequently returns from thegrave covered in blood, the shock is too much for her and she dies.The 'murder' is revealed as a set-up by Sidney and Cliff, who areboth gay. Cliff soon becomes careless, however, suggesting that Sidneywrite a book based on the ghastly affair. Sidney decides that he hasto murder Cliff who, in turn, resolves to strike first: both makeseveral attempts to kill the other and both end up dead.

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