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Canoeing For Beginners

    by Mike Yeaman

We licence productions of this title in UK, Ireland & all other English-speaking countries.
For licensing enquiries in Northern Europe please contact: in Finland.


Comedy Play: 'Canoeing For Beginners' by Mike Yeaman

The play is very loosely based on a famous tabloid press story.  However, any similarity to persons living, or pretending to be dead, is purely coincidental.

Act One:  ‘Night of the Living Dead’

When Beryl and Frank fake Frank’s death in a canoeing accident for an insurance fraud, things go spectacularly wrong.  They plan to make their escape to Cuba and spend retirement amid palm trees and sunshine but first they must await the insurance payout. Cruelly, they haven’t told Keith and Carol, their adult son and daughter, anything - hoping to come clean once the money is through and they’ve made their escape. But for now, the kids think Dad has drowned at sea.  

It doesn’t help that both keep turning up at the house and then Keith decides to move in after a domestic with his wife.  Added to the mix is the affable Detective Sergeant Andy Watts, their liaison officer. The case is now closed but when he returns the canoe he becomes impossible to get rid off.  Has he got the hots for Carol?  Is he just being matey with Keith?  Or does he have some suspicions?

Carol also is convinced something is awry and distrusts her mother. Frank makes his escape and Beryl stays to await the insurance cheque before joining him. But when Watts hints at his suspicions, she loses her nerve and flees to join Frank.

Act Two:  ‘ Our Mam in Havana’

Beryl joins Frank in a shabby Havana hotel room.  They’re immediately put on their guard when a Cuban official called Mendoza (the same actor who plays Watts) pesters them on supposedly routine business.  Things are thrown into chaos when Keith and Carol turn up as a surprise birthday present and then there’s another shock with the unexpected arrival of Sergeant Watts. 

The action turns into frenetic farce as things unfold and family recriminations play out. Events take a surreal twist as the audience are deceived over their perception of reality as Watts and Mendoza increasingly appear to be in the room at the same time. A dark comedy that turns into frenetic, bizarre farce. 


110 mins approx


(3m, 2f)

  • Beryl Tyler
  • Frank Tyler
  • Carol - their daughter
  • Keith - their son
  • DS Andy Wattts / Xavier Mendoza

We licence productions of this title in UK, Ireland & all other English-speaking countries.
For licensing enquiries in Northern Europe please contact: in Finland.

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