Shows E

and Jasper, her music tutor, has composed a song for Rosa which he insists on hearing her sing. During the encore, two orphans from Ceylon, Neville and Helena Landless, enter with the Reverend Mr. Crisparkle. After Rosa faints from the lustful lyrics of Jasper's song, Helena comes to her aid while Neville displays an attraction to Rosa. Next to introduce herself is the Princess Puffer, the madam of an opium den (The Wages of Sin). We see that respectable Jasper is himself a customer of the den, and, as he dreams of Drood and Rosa, Puffer reacts when she hears Rosa's name. Back in Cloisterham, the gravedigger Durdles and his Deputy enter to discuss a newly completed tomb for the wife of Mayor Thomas Sapsea. It is announced that the actor playing Sapsea is too drunk to perform, so the Chairman himself takes over the role. The following day, Rev. Crisparkle introduces Edwin and the Landless twins. When Drood shares his plan to pave a desert highway with stones from the Egyptian pyramids, he offends his new rival Neville and his sister: the three then proceed to argue. When Jasper enters with Mayor Sapsea, he points out to the mayor that everything is not always what it seems, a statement the Chairman, confused by his dual roles, agrees. Jasper sneaks around the cemetery, where he obtains a key to Mrs. Sapsea's tomb. Afterwards, Edwin and Rosa reveal that they both have strong misgivings about their upcoming nuptials, and decide to break off their wedding plans, but not to tell anyone until after the Christmas holiday. At Jasper's home, the major players join together to celebrate Christmas dinner, but all is not jolly as the rivalries and dark motivations of all are revealed. Edwin and Neville head out to the river as the others depart, and Jasper offers his topcoat to Edwin. The following day Edwin has disappeared, and Crisparkle's assistant Bazzard has found Jasper's coat torn and bloodied. Drood is presumed murdered, and Neville is the chief suspect. The Chairman stops the show to allow Philip Bax, the actor playing the small role of Bazzard, to briefly take the spotlight. Though Neville is captured, he is soon released after his sister points out that Drood's body has never been found. Meanwhile, Jasper sinisterly declares his passions to Rosa, who angrily rebuffs him. Their heated confrontation brings the first act to a close. Act II Six months later, Edwin Drood is still missing and Princess Puffer and a stranger, Dick Datchery, arrive to investigate the mystery of Edwin's disappearance. At this moment, the Chairman returns with Deputy and Durdles to remind the audience to pay attention to the clues. While looking for Jasper, Puffer meets Rosa Budd and, joined by the rest of the cast, tells her not to give up her ambitions. Abruptly, all stops: this is as far as Dickens got before he died. It is now time for the audience to decide how the story ends. First it must be determined whether Edwin is actually dead or not. It turns out that Alice Nutting, female impersonator, has been wearing the Datchery costume in order to fulfil her contract to appear in two acts of the play—but are Datchery and Drood one and the same? The cast votes unanimously that Drood is, indeed, dead. Alice, before being sent off, angrily tells the cast that they were all jealous of her, and that that is the only reason why she is being dismissed. After her exit, the Chairman reveals the truth: Alice was a pain, but now it remains to be determined who Datchery truly is. The audience votes for a new Datchery by applause (anyone who has already appeared in scenes with him is ruled out), and the actor chosen goes to make a costume change for the finale. Next to be determined is the murderer. The Chairman runs down the list of possible murderers and their motives for the crime. The audience is asked to vote by districts for the killer, and while the votes are tallied the audience is led to the resolution of the Mystery. Puffer finds Rosa and reveals that, years before, she had been Rosa's nanny. She continues with her revelation and reveals the identity of Datchery (previously chosen by the audience.) The evening's Datchery (either Bazzard, Reverend Crisparkle, Helena, Neville, or Rosa) explains why he or she wants to find the killer and