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Breaking The Circle

    by Philip Ayckbourn


Comedic Drama Play Script: 'Breaking The Circle' by Philip Ayckbourn

Two couples, Tim and Linda and Neil and Hilary, come to holiday in Wiltshire at the house belonging to Tim’s Uncle Sammy. The cantankerous and reclusive Uncle Sammy lives nearby in a caravan with his dog Jip and intends to pass the property on to Tim.

Both couples however have brought their relationship difficulties with them. Linda suspects Tim of an affair with a work colleague and Hilary wants Neil to take legal action against an ex-business partner who has betrayed him. Neil has sunk into a debilitating depression and Hilary is hoping the holiday will be a chance for Neil to have a heart-to-heart with old school friend Tim.

Uncle Sammy has warned them about local youths and troublemakers who have done damage to the crops by making their ‘pretty patterns’ in the fields and is only half-joking when he talks about taking his gun to them if he ever catches them at it. His own son ran away from home in his early teens and was presumed drowned in the Bristol Channel.

When Linda sees the smoke from a fire at a nearby party she decides to go. Hilary soon follows. The next morning Kelly, a young traveller from the party arrives at the house. She strikes up a friendship with Tim and he takes her for a drive. Nad arrives, another young traveller also from the party, who engages with the reluctant Neil. When Linda and Hilary return dressed as two ‘earth goddesses’ they decide to play out the midsummer re-enactment of the battle between the Oak and Holly kings with Nad and Neil taking on the role of the kings.

The merriment is interrupted with the return of Tim and Kelly, but then resumes when Tim is invited to join in the drama. The drama culminates with Nad revealing his true identity and the real reason for him being there. Uncle Sammy is about to have an unpleasant surprise and Tim needs to make an uncomfortable confession.

A play with comedy and dark undertones.


(4m, 3f)

  • Nad (Daniel) Foster - around 30
  • Kelly Milford - mid 20s
  • Sammy Foster - late 60s, has a Wiltshire accent
  • Neil Vickers - around 40
  • Hilary Vickers - around 40
  • Tim Foster - around 40
  • Linda Roberts - around 40


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