Mischief in the Air

by Max Afford

It’s a big day at Rex Studios. The executives are getting ready to sign a deal, a big deal.


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It’s a big day at Rex Studios. The executives are getting ready to sign a deal, a big deal. Their new potential sponsor has come by to inspect the operation and sign a contract. Everything is running smoothly until the sponsor drops dead. Murder is afoot and mischief is in the air.

Mischief in the Air is a thrilling who-done-it that is full of comedy and ridiculous twists. Everything from exotic weapons to international espionage will leave you laughing and guessing until the murderer is finally exposed.

Historical Significance

Murder isn’t usually a farce, but it’s the most fun you can have with Nazis around.

One of Adelaide’s finest, Malcolm (Max) Afford was a prolific writer. He penned over sixty radio and stage plays, eight crime novels and many more articles during his time as a reporter. He was a master of radio producing, and carved out a name for himself writing radio-plays. This reputation may have been what allowed him to get his plays produced at a time when even Australians weren’t interested in Australian-made theatre.

Mischief in the Air continues his theme of comedy-thrillers and success within theatre as a medium. This is a play which shows the stylistic conventions of the genre at the time, as well as giving an insight into life at a radio studio during the 40s. Bearing in mind this play was written and produced during the second World War will lend some understanding to its inclusion within Playlab’s New Vintage collection. The subject matter is farcical and the tone light hearted, but when the world is crumbling this is what people craved. Theatre gave audiences a refuge from the air raids, the absent family members, the rations, and the realities of living through the most horrific war our global community has experienced.

Production History

Mischief in the Air premiered at Theatre Royal, Sydney on 27 July 1944 following a highly successful run of Afford’s earlier play, Lady in Danger.

Print-on-Demand (POD)

Print-On-Demand (POD) is a service Playlab offers to help cater to customers who prefers/needs to have a physical printout of a digital script. We can also provide the hardcopies to suit a variety of situations that includes rehearsals, studies and/or libraries to have on their shelves.

Please note that:

  • POD Copies are charged at a flat rate of $9.00 each in addition to the digital price of the text (Not including sale prices).
  • A POD copy is a thermal fastback binding copy as depicted in the pictures below, it is not the same as a standard hardcopy script offered by Playlab.


POD Sample

Photocopy Licences

A Photocopy Licence is required to make copies of any purchased digital play script. Should you wish to make additional copies for a cast to rehearse or a class to study, you will need to purchase the necessary licence by:

  • Adding the Photocopy Licence to your shopping cart when you purchase a digital script. OR
  • Downloading the ‘Photocopy Licence and POD Order Form’ below and returning it to Playlab digitally to info@playlabtheatre.com.au or via mail to PO Box 3701 South Brisbane B.C, 4101.


Photocopy Licence and POD Order Form


Please note:

  • Photocopy Licences are not available for hardcopy scripts.
  • Educational institutions covered by a Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licence should take note that their CAL licence only allows them to copy a maximum of one chapter or 10% of a script whether it is in digital or hardcopy format.
  • A Photocopy Licence does not include the right to on-sell copies of the script printed under the licence.
  • Playwrights receive royalties from the sale of licences.

Performance Rights

Let Playlab help you obtain the performance rights for your production. Simply click on ‘Performance Rights Enquiry Form’ below and we will get you on track to having your production off the page and onto stage.

Performance Rights Enquiry Form

Any performance or public reading of any text published by Playlab is forbidden unless a licence has been received from the author or the author’s agent. The purchase of a Playlab publication in no way gives the purchaser the right to perform the play in public, whether by means of a staged production or as a reading. Please direct all inquiries concerning performance rights, publication, translation or recording rights to info@playlabtheatre.com.au or call us on (07) 3220 2763.

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