The Midsomer Mummers, a local amateur operatic society, were founded 100 years ago by the late Gilbert and Sullivan obsessed SIR HUNTLEY EMPSON. The Mummers continue to stage productions in the family’s private theatre - The Empson Playhouse - a converted mill on the grounds of the Empson residence, the beautiful Brattlington Estate.
As Sir Huntley’s daughter, the indomitable LADY KATISHA is the current owner of Empson Estate; proud of her family’s obsession, Katisha has followed in her father’s footsteps as patron of the Mummers.
A traditionalist, Katisha has retained everything on the estate as it was in her father’s day with Brattlington Hall as the shrine to all things Gilbert and Sullivan as costumes, old posters, memorabilia and photographs line every wall.
The Mummers are in the midst of rehearsing for their centenary charity concert of The Pirates of Penzance. Despite entering the fanciful world of pirates, the production has been fraught with setbacks and with only three days until curtains it is all hands-on deck.
The ever-critical eye of Lady Katisha is not helping alleviate the pressure. Fortunately, the arrival of her slick private GP, Dr Simon Charteris, diverts Katisha’s focus. Simon has clearly beguiled her with attention to the dismay of Katisha’s niece, PHYLLIS, the production director.
Pushing forward with rehearsals, Phyllis asks the leading player of the Mummers, the gregarious Pirate King MARCUS DUNLOW, to block his musical number. Striding across the stage towards the prop treasure chest, Marcus tips it open with his sword to discover that buried beneath the gold coins, a pair of dead eyes stare back.
As BARNABY and WINTER arrive to investigate, none of the cast or crew professes to know the man. With no identification and therefore no motive, the duo finds this case may not be as smooth sailing as they first thought. The pressure is on to identify the victim and unmask the killer before they can stage their showstopping final act.
Guest starring Kevin Whately, Samantha Spiro, Clive Rowe and Shobna Gulati. Midsomer Murders: For Death Prepare airs Sunday 28th May on ITV1.