Detective Story (play)

Detective Story is a 1949 play in three acts by American playwright Sidney Kingsley.[1] The play opened on Broadway at the Hudson Theatre on March 23, 1949 where it played until the production moved to the Broadhurst Theatre on July 3, 1950. The production closed on August 12, 1950 after 581 performances. The cast notably included Lydia Clarke who won a Theatre World Award for her performance. Other cast members included Ralph Bellamy as Detective Jim McLeod, Meg Mundy as Mary McLeod, James Westerfield as Detective Lou Brody, Joan Copeland as Susan Carmichael, Harry Worth as Dr. Kurt Schneider, and Maureen Stapleton as Miss Hatch. Kingsley was awarded an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Mystery Play.

In April 1950 the play opened at London's Prince's Theatre.[2] [3] with George Margo, Ronan O'Casey and Douglass Montgomery.

In 1951, a short-lived production was staged at Harlem's Apollo Theater, with Sidney Poitier as Detective McLeod. A reviewer writing for Variety thought that Poitier lacked the maturity to play a grizzled detective and that the actor's goatee beard was "more suited to a be-bop musician than a gumshoe."[4]


Detective Story was presented on Broadway Playhouse January 7, 1953. The 30-minute adaptation starred Van Johnson.[5] The play was adapted into a 1951 film of the same name.


  1. The Facts on File Companion to American Drama, Jackson R. Bryer & Mary C. Hartig, InfoBase Publishing, 2010
  2. The Sketch, 12 April 1950
  3. The Tatler, 12 April 1950
  4. Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon, Aram Goudsouzian, University of North Carolina, 2011
  5. Kirby, Walter (January 4, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 38. Retrieved June 19, 2015 via

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