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Chairs

    by Ron Nicol


       

Synopsis

Comedy Play Script: 'Chairs' by Ron Nicol

The action takes place in the staffroom of a small college of Further Education. Marion, an enthusiastic young lecturer, has been newly appointed to the staff. After a short time in the post, she’s determined to foster better communication among the college staff. She enlists the help of her colleague Kath to re-arrange the chairs in the staff-room, hoping it will encourage the lecturers to talk to each other.

Over many years of teaching at the college, long-serving lecturer Mrs Douglas has gradually appropriated one of the chairs for her own personal use. Tessa, another new appointee to the teaching staff, doesn’t realise this and unfortunately sits in this very chair, with the result that she and Mrs Douglas become involved in a feud about where each should sit. Moving the chairs has unforeseen consequences.

Feelings are hurt and tempers rise. Mrs Douglas complains to Head of Department Dorothy Gordon and Marion and Kath are held to account, which Kath resents. When Tessa decides to teach Mrs Douglas a lesson, things boil over. Mrs Douglas has a breakdown. Kath feels compelled to resign.

For some people, insignificant things can have an importance which others don’t always appreciate.

Since the original production with a mixed cast by Glenrothes Theatre Company in 2001, ‘Chairs’ has been revised to suit an all-female group – with the possibility of including a token male.


Duration

40 mins approx

Characters

(6f, 1m/f)

  • Annie the Janny - The college Janitor. Believes she runs the college - and probably does.
  • Dorothy Gordon - Long-serving Head of Department. Fussy, ineffectual. Believes she’s a key figure in running the college – but isn’t.
  • Marion Bannerman - Young, enthusiastic and idealistic newly appointed lecturer. Will probably end up as a key figure in running the college.
  • Kath Todd - Very experienced lecturer. Dry sense of humour, rather cynical. A key figure in running the college – but doesn’t want to be.
  • Tessa Couper - Newly appointed young lecturer. Impetuous and impatient. Believes she’ll become a key figure in running the college – but has the wrong approach.
  • Mrs Douglas - Nearing retirement. Hates teaching and has no interest whatsoever in running the college.
  • The Principal - A shadowy gowned figure seen in corridors. Nobody knows exactly what s/he does, but s/he believes s/he runs the college.

       

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