One-Act plays in English

THE OGPU MEN by Ian Rowlands
Although there are two roles in this play, it is mainly a staggering, swaggering tour-de-force for the OGPU MAN of the title. Rich rewards await both the actor who can seize this brilliant pyrotechnic roller-coaster of a script and the audience who come to experience it. Set in a Rhondda DSS office on a wet, wintry Monday morning, The Ogpu Men brilliantly contrasts the soaring, sharp and humorous rhetoric of the redundant and divorced fitter with his pinioned stumblings in the face of officialdom. Play. Cast: M2 £5.00

OH MY GOD! by Daniel Sossi
A monastery community exists peacefully and happily; pure, dedicated, God-fearing people who work hard and live truthfully. Then, one day, following a discovery made by the monastery’s resident monk, the news comes that there will be a visit from God himself (or herself). This revelation sets the peaceful community into panic, leading to theft, then murder.
With an investigation in full throttle and tensions running sky high, God’s arrival doesn’t receive quite the reception he (or she) had quite expected… Play. Cast: M3 F10 plus 1 voice £4.50

ONE GOOD CUSTOM by Maureen Peters
Two strangers wait in a freezing waiting room for a train that never seems to arrive, though the Ticket Collector regularly comes in to collect their tickets. But are they strangers? What traps them here, and what binds them together and separates them at the same time? As the macabre humour changes to unbearable memories they, and the audience, begin to seek and to discover the answers. Maureen Peters is perhaps better known for her numerous historical and detective novels which have been translated into eleven languages. Play. Cast: M2 F1 £4.50

PARASITES by Margaret Kynaston
Set in a small café, it’s nearly Christmas and the Café owner, Bernie’s mother-in-law has just died. It seems fairly straightforward but why is the Coroners Office involved? Why is their regular customer Greta calling herself by another name and what has the sinister policeman Mick got on Bernie? Black Comedy. Cast: M3 F3 £4.50

RATS, BRATS AND BUREAUCRATS by Neil Rhodes
A modern telling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. And then some. Tessa: a secondary school teacher, has reached the end of her tether and does not welcome a visit from Russ, the local pest controller. Russ demonstrates his new invention: a compelling, hypnotic sound machine that can be used for getting rid of humans as well as rats. A most enjoyable, witty look at bureaucracy, teaching and ‘getting a life’. Comedy. Cast: M1 F1 £4.50

RECIDIVISTS by Matthew Clift
Recidivists is a dark, comedy-fantasy set in a cramped prison cell where angry loner Frank resides. But, when Honey, a camp performer, is forced into his world, Frank must begin to confront his prejudices as well as both men having to try to create their own existence of tolerance, acceptance and theatrical ‘flights of fancy’. Play. Cast: M2 £4.50

ROSIE’S SHOES by Audrey Ringrose
Stan is lonely and irascible, still grieving after the death of his beloved wife, Rosie, and haunted by guilty memories of his Polish childhood. He strikes up a friendship with Samantha, a young single mother. As a child at primary school, Samantha loved Rosie, who was a classroom assistant there. Samantha has her own problems and her relationship with Stan is often tempestuous. It is hard for her to understand his passionate Polish temperament, and he is too proud to compromise. However, their love of Rosie unites them and Samantha is able to bring Stan’s life to a tranquil close. Play. Cast: M1 F1 £4.50

SHARED MUTUAL EXPERIENCE by Lesley Ross
Yvonne shares some thoughts on relationships with her favourite great-nephew who is home on a visit from University. This touching play, with a no-nonsense humour finds the pair with more than just their family ties in common. Why is Matthew sporting a black eye? Will he turn the other cheek or will he break the mould? An affectionate tale of communication across the generations. Play. Cast: M1 F2 £5.00

SHORTEN CURLIES by Nigel Crowle
A fast and furious combination of comedy and rap and is set (or should that be shampoo and set?) in a Cardiff hairdressing salon. That’s where Maxine, Ramona and Katrina discuss men, marriage and manageable hairstyles whilst they prepare for Kelly-Ann’s wedding. But a blind drunk date soon causes permanent waves at ‘Shorten Curlies’ hair salon. Comedy. Cast: F4 £5.00

A SLIGHT INCONVENIENCE by Margaret Kynaston
Carolyn, a smart and self-possessed Personal Assistant has enough to put up with in her busy office what with inquisitive tea ladies, truculent cleaners and dippy typists to say nothing of an unwanted visit from her loud, insensitive mother. When newly pregnant April turns up at the office demanding to see Carolyn’s boss as she has “something truly amazing and staggering” to tell him, Carolyn thinks the day could not possibly get any worse. But it rapidly does... Comedy/Drama. Cast: F6 £4.50

SLOW-DROPPING VEILS OF SMOKE by Marjorie Dickinson
Unfurling like smoke from a bonfire, the play explores the intricate human relationships between a scruffy young man, an equally unkempt middle-aged woman and a smartly dressed older man. The action takes place on Beacons Hill during the afternoon and evening of 5th November. The youth practices his fiddle, (or flute, mouth-organ etc). The Woman scavenges the periphery of the bonfire. The Man appears searching for... Could a tattered old photograph link the three? Play. Cast: M2 F1 £4.50

SO HOW COME I’M FEELING SO ROTTEN by Chas Griffin
A thought-provoking comedy set in a bijou corner of cardboard city. Who is the stranger who appears one morning? The Girl is nervous. But the newcomer is harmless; a failed middle-aged embezzler, cultured and generous, who insists on converting the Girl’s self-view from negative to positive through quirky logic, kindness and wry humour. The setting looks grim, and there are some strong moments but the overall feel of the play is upbeat and life-enhancing. “You always have a choice; and sometimes it takes a stranger to show you how well you’ve done.” Play. Cast: M1 F1 £4.50

SOMEONE TO SIT NEXT TO Eileen Brandon
Janet has brought her difficult and inflexible mother to a retirement home, hoping that she will at least try it out, if only for a few days. Two of the residents in particular, each in her own way, influence the mother’s decision. Although this serious and topical subject is treated in a reasonable way there are many amusing moments, and the play ends on a note of optimism. Comedy. Cast: F7 £4.50

SOMETHING... IN THE CITY by Ken Owen
The play is set in Mel Paton's New York apartment and opens on a nervous Mel who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his daughter Jeannette whom he has never met. The characters are believable and sincere and the dialogue, in a rich new York patois, moves effortlessly towards a sensitive and unpredictable ending. Play. Cast: M1 F2 £5.00

SOPHIE by Marjorie Dickinson
Three generations of women live together in an old house: Sophie, her grandmother, Emily and her mother, Barbara. The play begins with a man’s scream. The story unfolds with a high degree of psychological realism and the conclusion points to an ominous outcome. Drama. Cast: F3 £4.50

THE SPITFIRE NATIVITY by Tony Powell
In 1940 children of all ages are evacuated from a blitzed London and are taken to the strange world of ‘The Country’. As they attempt to settle down in their new community it becomes apparent that international tensions can be reflected wherever you are. A simplicity of setting allows for a cast of many young people, with great opportunity for cross curricula activity, and retells the story of the Nativity with a poetic and often humorous flow, that results in a poignant and moving climax. Youth Play. Cast: Large Mixed £4.50

A STRONG SMELL OF BURNING by Graham J Evans
It is 9th Century Saxon England and the invading Vikings have fought a fierce battle and moved on, leaving a casualty in the cowshed that belongs to Oswald and Agnes. Who could it be? As the mystery unravels, so too do the unsavoury schemes and aspirations of the cowardly Oswald. The originality of this piece is striking and effective... a very funny play that keeps the audience intrigued and amused... different, good fun and unconventional... a real success. Comedy. Cast: M4 F3 £4.50

SURFING CARMARTHEN BAY by Roger Williams
Eighteen and about to launch themselves into life; Angela, Steven and Morgan spend what they know are to be there last few days together. Reluctant to give up their adolescent friendships but eager to forge ahead. Before they can do so there are a few questions that must be asked and a few conversations must be had in this touching adolescent journey. Play. Cast: M2 F1 £5.00

TAKES TWO TO TANGO by Nigel Crowle
Takes Two to Tango is the second play Nigel has written specifically for the theatre, and is a comic yet cautionary tale of the effects that a hot, steamy, and passionate Latin American dance class can have on some people. Comedy. Cast: M1 F3 plus extras £5.00

THICKER THAN WATER by Ben Humphrey
Robert's life is at a standstill.  He has lost all passion and drive for his work and is battling with inner demons over a checkered past.  That is until Fiona arrives, unexpectedly, into his life.  Robert's passion, drive and zest for life is awakened and he begins to shift his outlook on the bleak world of his existence.  But is Fiona who she says she is? Play. Cast: M1 F1 £4.50

THE TOBACCO TIN by Richard Rowe
Dai Jack and Arthur Williams have been the best of mates since childhood. Now pensioners, the pair find themselves seated on the same park bench they used to frequent as children. However, as their lives unfold, so do the memories that they both had with loved ones. With these stories there are some hidden truths; Arthur learns a great deal about his best friend and a secret that Dai kept nearly all of his adult life. Play. Cast: M2 F2 £4.50

THE TREES THEY GROW SO HIGH by Tony Powell
The Great War 1914 – 1918. When Stevie and Boy were children, something haunting and terrifying happened at Dead Mans Wood, where the trees they grow so high. But now, their youth in rural England is threatened by an even greater shadow – the outbreak of World War 1. Leaving their mothers and their girlfriends, they go to fight for King and Country; but their patriotic fervour and stirring ambition, soon dissolves into despair and disillusion. In the height of the battle, as the trees are destroyed, the events of the past come back with devastating consequences. In a simple setting, a cast of two men and one woman play numerous characters, who unfold a poignant personal tale of the physical and emotional tragedy of World War I. Play. Cast: M2 F1 with doubling £4.50

TRIPTYCH by Edwin Preece
A famous painter, Benedict St. John spots Isabel reading in a café and paints Girl Sipping Tea. The picture is an enormous success and soon Isabel is more than just his muse. But Benedict is restless and has seen Dan posing by a swimming pool to get the attention of an attractive girl, and Trevor entertaining tourists in Covent Garden. Benedict immortalises them all on canvas but when he decides that they should meet in real life, they don’t discover why until much later. Play. Cast: M2 F1 £4.50

WALL by Aled Jones Williams (George P Owen’s adaptation of Wal)
Two characters, one room and a conversation in the tradition of Beckett and Pinter. The claustrophobic confines of the room are stripped away with the wallpaper and we are lead along dark but strangely illuminating paths into the characters’ subconscious. Contradictions of violence and vulnerability, tenderness and hate come flying through every crack in the plaster. Drama. Cast: M2 £4.50

THE WAR ON TELEVISION by Derek Routledge
Four young people yearning for a future in the 1950s encounter television for the first time, altering everything they know. As they embrace the window through which they will view the second half of the twentieth century and their future lives, love, anger, conflict and hope are ignited in their hearts. A moving and powerful play that resonates long after it has ended. Play. Cast: M3 F1 £4.50

WATCHING THE MAGPIES by Les Clarke
Dottie, although not a qualified carer looks after her friend Rose. They live together in a home which has recently been sold for redevelopment, and they’ve been told that they must move out. Rose’s illness is becoming worse and the council are having difficulties trying to rehouse them together. Rose is adamant she won’t move if she can’t be with Dottie and time is running out. A poignant and moving piece which is perhaps a tale of our times...Play. Cast: M1 F2 £4.50

WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? Margaret Kynaston
Set in a seaside town at a Dusty Springfield Convention, two couples: Des and Ann Pullen and John and Olive Cook meet up to enjoy the weekend but Ann has a secret that she's both desperate and reluctant to share.  Their stay is not exactly enhanced by their fearsome, Health and Safety obsessed landlady Mrs O'Dell and the dippy chambermaid Yvonne.  Comedy and tragedy combine. Play. Cast: M2 F4 £4.50

THE WIND NETTERS by Ian Staples
With witty, slick repartee two screwball characters meet in a Valleys betting shop. The mystery of life and horseracing is discussed – and a link is made to odd socks, jelly babies and God in this bizarre conversation. Comedy. Cast: M2 £5.00

WINNIE’S BOY by Scott Marshall
Two elderly women, the frail little Lilly and the kindly, capable Brenda visit their old friend, Essie, in the bedroom of her comfortable retirement home. They chat and reminisce about many things, including Polo mints, shopping and the acceptance of death, always in a highly comic manner.  With skilful, impressionistic strokes the very different lives of the three friends are vividly painted, revealing, amidst the constant flow of comedy, the regrets and pathos of lives which in many ways have been unfulfilled, with an ending that will take the audience by surprise. Play. Cast: F3 £4.50

WIT’S END by Neil Rhodes
Regret, redundancy and redemption all collide as Nigel Phillips, a chat show host, tries to avoid his past and escape his fate; both are closing in on him relentlessly. A modern Faustian tale where, Dave the demon in his nineties guise as a financial adviser, tries to stake his claim to Nigel’s soul. A poignant and cautionary look at the cost of selling one’s soul for economic, materialistic, social and egotistical security. Who’ll win the battle of wits? Play. Cast: M2 £5.00

WIT’S END (Female Version) by Neil Rhodes
In this play for two female actors, regret, redundancy and redemption all collide as Nicola Phillips, famous TV broadcaster and chat show host, tries to avoid her past and escape her fate. Both are closing in on her relentlessly when a surprise visitor from the past, Delia, calls, unannounced. Who’ll win the battle of wits? Surely Nicola is much too sharp to lose? Play. Cast: F2 £5.00

WRITER’S BLOCK by Lauren Dunlop
When a playwright, sitting on a deadline, is struggling for ideas, he desperately pens a few basic characters to get himself started. However, then they come to life in his imagination things begin to get more complicated. The characters have no intention of cooperating: the romantic leads hate each other, the heroine falls for the villain, the secondary characters are eaten up with resentment, and chaos break out. When the characters decide to take over and write the play themselves, the audience is felt to consider the question: How much control do we really have over our own destiny? Play. Cast: Five characters £4.50

 

Updated July 2017

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