The Mystery of Edwin Drood


Writers: Rupert Holmes


Show Information

Number of Acts
Tony Award®
Best Musical 1986
First Produced
Period, Multiple Settings, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
england. 1870.
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes adult, mature adult, child, early teen, late teen, young adult, elderly characters


The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a hilarious, interactive whodunit mystery musical that allows the audience to enter the action and become the ultimate detectives. The show is based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name. In small town of Chesterham, England, the young and charming Edwin Drood has been mysteriously murdered. But by whom? His leering romantic rival, John Jasper? The infamous purveyor of opium and vice, Princess Puffer? The mysterious Landless twins, newly arrived from Ceylon? Or someone else even more dastardly and villainous? Dickens passed away before he was able to reveal the culprit. Rupert Holmes’ award-winning musical solves this predicament by asking the audience to choose which character is the killer by putting it to a vote. Staged in metatheatrical manner by the Music Hall Royale, a traveling Victorian theatre troupe full of just as many colorful characters as the roles they play, this charming and inventive musical is sure to intrigue and entertain any musical or mystery lover.

All actors play two parts. Each plays an actor of the Music Hall Royale and also the character he or she plays in Music Hall’s production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In the following breakdowns, the acting company member is listed first, followed by the Drood role. British accents must be employed by all, though variations (Cockney, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, etc.) are permissible, based upon the director’s discretion.

Lead Characters

The Mystery of Edwin Drood guide sections