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Holiday At Home

    by Colin Barrow

Comedy Play Script: 'Holiday At Home' by Colin BarrowThis play provides a humorous light hearted production, set in the drawing room of Thrivington Hall, the home of Lady Daphne Boucher., her long-faithful butler, Scribbins, and newly-employed maid, Lizzie Crawford, who reside with her. Lady Boucher is somewhat disappointed with Lizzie, as she turns out to be the complete opposite to her glowing references. This supplies a large proportion of the comedy along with pockets of comedy delivered by some of the other characters and their situations.

The story revolves around a string of jewellery thefts that prompt Lady Boucher to create a fictitious holiday rather than going away, as, although Lady Boucher feels her jewellery is quite secure in the safe hidden behind a picture in the drawing room, she’s apprehensive of leaving the property entirely empty.

With military precision, Scribbins helps to plan a ‘holiday at home’. After their departure is seen by some residents, they return secretly to the Hall for the fictitious week’s holiday. Whilst the local residents of Thrivington believe Lady Boucher and her butler are living it up on the Italian Riviera, Lizzie Crawford has been neatly placed at the Vicarage for a week of spring cleaning. The following Saturday, after a very early departure from Thrivington Hall to fabricate their return, the house falls victim to the next jewellery theft. As the plot thickens, including the death of Alice Derbyshire. It becomes a puzzling problem for Inspector Warwick to solve. The play concludes with several unexpected twists. 

Clever dialogue includes a fair number of characters, most of whom have motives and opportunity to be the thief and/or the murderer. ‘Red herrings’ and genuine ‘clues’ come thick and fast but like most murder-mystery plays the pace ebbs and flows to allow the audience to catch up with the clues.


(2m, 5f, 2m/f)

  •   Lady Daphne Boucher - a typical titled lady, fond of her butler, Scribbins
  •   Scribbins - well educated, refined, a typical butler, has a soft spot for Lady Boucher
  •   Lizzie Crawford - unrefined, broad accent, body language lacks finesse, is revealed as a refined and professional person
  •   Ruby Pentecost - a local gossip, a nosey busybody
  •   Alice Derbyshire - gentle, sincere, quiet-mannered spinster
  •   Felicity Reynolds - the dearest friend of Miss Derbyshire, stern, forthright-mannered spinster
  •   Reverend Phillpots - well spoken, calm, pleasant manner, rather attracted to Lizzie
  •   Inspector Warwick - relatively stern professional, speaks in a calm, boring voice, occasionally amused (m/f)
  •   Constable Atkins - relatively small part, few lines, but body language says "what am I doing here?" (m/f)

Notes for casting purposes:-

  • Lady Boucher and Scribbins should be of a similar age
  • Crawford and Reverend Phillpots also ought to be of similar ages
  • Both Constable Atkins and Inspector Warwick are written as male, but could be played by a female, with a few word adjustments in the script to cater for the change of gender

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