by Ira Levin
Seemingly comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a dry spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college—a thriller which Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway hit. Sidney’s plan, which he devises with his wife’s help, is to offer collaboration to the student, an idea which the younger man quickly accepts. Thereafter suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness, and with such an abundance of thrills and laughter, that audiences will be held enthralled until the final, startling moments of the play.
One of the great popular successes of recent Broadway history, this ingeniously constructed play offers a rare and skillful blending of two priceless theatrical ingredients: gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter. Dealing with the devious machinations of a writer of thrillers whose recent offerings have been flops, and who is prepared to go to any lengths to improve his fortunes, Deathtrap provides twists and turns and sudden shocks in such abundance that audiences will be held spellbound until the very last moment.