About the play

The world’s most famous investigator clashes with the world’s most preposterous narrator in You’ve Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery! — a play that hilariously exploits and subverts theatrical conventions and classic detective stories. Audiences decide which clues the detective and his associate follow in a fantastic investigation that features entertaining combat, dastardly schemes inspired by Victorian-era science fiction, an increasingly vexed protagonist, and cultural references as diverse as Shakespeare, Abbott & Costello, Oscar Wilde, and Monkey Island video games.

The trailer for the summer 2011 production:

The trailer for the April 2015 production:

View photos of the summer 2011 production here. Click below to listen to the opening of an audio promo.

The world premiere of Ruined was September 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin, where it was the opening play for Mercury Players Theatre’s season and sold out every performance. In 2011 Ruined was part of the New York International Fringe Festival. Prior to that it had an encore run in Madison, which was voted #1 Favorite Theater Production in the annual Isthmus Madison’s Favorites poll.

Ruined has been a hit with both adult and youth audience members. Here are some of the other things people have said about the play:

A highly literate and often very funny script.

You’ve Ruined A Perfectly Good Mystery! wasn’t just the best play I’ve seen in Madison, it was one of the most enjoyable shows I have ever seen anywhere. Brilliant writing, incredible actors, and a visual experience that just really blew me away. I laughed so much.

Theatre is rarely as fearless as what I watched last night, and nights like that are ‘as excellent as they are rare.’

The play was clever, verbally delicious, energetic and fun.


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