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Playing God

    by Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran


Comedy Play: 'Playing God' by Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran

In 2003 Laurence found himself sitting next to Sir Alan Ayckbourn at an awards dinner at the Hay Literary Festival. Sir Alan asked whether Marks and Gran had ever thought of writing for the theatre, preferably his theatre?

Laurence said, “As it happens we have got an idea for a play”. Sir Alan seemed very interested until he suddenly lost consciousness and collapsed face down into his soup.

An ambulance was called and Sir Alan was given oxygen. He came to and was able to walk unaided to the ambulance, oxygen mask over his face, oxygen cylinder over his shoulder. As he passed Laurence, he pulled aside the mask and said, “Don’t forget that play.” Laurence replied, “End of act one, I think.”

This isn’t that play, but as a result of that bizarre encounter, we worked with the Master to write our very first stage play, ‘Playing God’, and yes, it was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.

'Playing God' is a four-hander about control. Millionaire Ed, a rock and roll legend, is dying and worried what will happen to Claudia, his beautiful young wife, after he’s gone. The problem is that Claudia is agoraphobic, imprisoned in Ed’s fabulous home – ironic, since Claudia continues to work as an award-winning travel writer. What’s to become of her?

Ed decides to find to find a man who will take care of Claudia, post Ed’s mortem. His chosen candidate is his best friend, Clive, Head of Religion at the BBC, and a man with no discernible backbone. Clive happens to be married to high-flying financier Henri, but as it’s an unhappy marriage Ed doesn’t see why that should scupper his masterplan. What Ed doesn’t know is that Clive and Claudia have been having an affair for years…At least, Clive and Claudia think Ed doesn’t know.


110 mins approx


(2m, 2f)

  • Ed 
  • Claudia
  • Clive
  • Henri
  • Radio Announcer (voice over)

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