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    by Nick Wilkes


Oscars is a comedy set in the fictional Oscars Cinema, (built by Odeon founder Oscar Deutsch), and takes place on the last day of opening.

Comedy Play Script: 'Oscars' by Nick WilkesThe 1930's building is closing down as it can no longer meet the technical expectations of today's cinema-going public, and does not physically comply with modern health and safety legislation, despite the staff's comedic efforts to adhere to rules and regulations. Sadly it's a very common story. Many 'Picture Palaces' from the golden age of cinema just don't have the layout, space, access facilities or equipment needed in order to compete with the state of the art technology in today's purpose-built multiplexes. Many of these buildings are demolished, or have a change of use shoe-horned into them and become nightclubs or bingo halls. At least in that instance the buildings remain, but it's sad to see these once magnificent buildings stripped of all pride and with all their former glamour now faded. What will happen to Oscars?

This scenario serves as a wonderful backdrop for a comedy, which sees the remaining staff struggling to find something new to go on to whilst the clock ticks down the minutes on their current employment. They all speak outwardly of their distaste for the new out-of-town multiplex which they consider has put them out of business, but with many new jobs to be filled at the new cinema, and their time at Oscars the perfect required experience, will any of them betray their roots in favour of staying employed? The Manager is steadfastly sticking to rules and regulations despite the ticking clock. Will she go down with the ship?

Like any old building, Oscars still holds it's secrets, and the adage 'if only these walls could talk' rings loud and true. In times past it was a venue that staged live entertainment as well as showing films, and the stage famously saw the Beatles play a concert there in 1963. Is the legend that Ringo lost a cufflink true? Was it ever found? Surely today it would be worth a fortune? And does anyone know what on Earth that occasional hissing sound is? Perhaps only the resident ghost, the elderly projectionist or Oscar Deutsch himself could answer these questions?

Will the lights finally flicker out, or will someone save the silver-screen before the final reel? Take one last trip to Oscars.


110 mins approx (exc interval)


(4m, 1f)

  • Roger - early 30's, single, theatrical, Mike's brother
  • Dennis - late 20's, an usher, slim, has the world on his shoulders
  • Mike - 30, an usher, smart, efficient, Roger’s brother
  • Chief - middle-aged, the projectionist, cheerful, a man who has spent too much time by himself
  • Miss Terry - late 30's, dressed for business
Oscar - a ventriloquist’s dummy (worked by Dennis), elderly, American, and with the sensibilities of the early nineteen-thirties. NOTE: The actor playing Dennis doesn’t need to be a ventriloquist, he just needs to make a humorous attempt at it.

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