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Between Friends

    by Carolyn Pertwee with Rosalind Adler

“Funny, touching, beautifully observed, with a brilliant twist at the end of every scene... a constantly surprising roller coaster.” (Gyles Brandreth)


Drama Play Script: 'Between Friends' by Carolyn Pertwee with Rosalind AdlerThe play is set in the near future where terrorism, unprecedented weather changes and constant power cuts are endemic. Helen and Paul Levy have moved from London with their two pre-teen daughters to the comparative calm of Esher. She is mid-40’s, over anxious, compassionate, and slightly overweight  and he is in his 50’s, a worldly, cynical war photographer who still enjoys living on the edge. Reeling from recent Brussels bomb explosions, Paul is relieved to get home, unaware his own life is about to implode.

Helen is praying he will be pleased she is pregnant with their third (unplanned) child but he is furious. He is further angered that glamorous Laura Wyman, a friend from the past, married to their best friend Leon, who had killed himself, had appeared earlier in the day and has invited herself for dinner. Why has she flown in from the States?

Over the meal, Laura reminds them of the promise they’d all made years before: that in the event of one of them dying, they would look after each other’s children. She is terminally ill. Will they take Cass, her 12 year old son? Paul is adamant that they can’t and the situation becomes very painful for all three. Later that night Helen miscarries.

When Laura and Paul are alone in the dead of night – Helen doesn’t want Paul at her side in hospital – Laura reveals that Cass is in fact Paul’s son. Years before, Laura and Paul had rekindled an old affair and ended up in bed. Paul had hoped that ill-judged night with Laura was forgotten but now the past has come back to bite him.

Helen returns from hospital, determined that they should have Cass. Maybe it was meant, losing a baby but gaining a child? A huge marital row ensues.  Laura walks in, hears them rowing and thinks Paul has confessed. Paul stops Laura with a warning look, Helen sees it and forces Paul to tell her the truth. 

Helen is shattered. Had Laura used Paul to get pregnant?  What will they tell their girls and Laura’s son? Laura says she will return to the States, it was a mistake to come. The play ends with Helen poised on the brink of a decision about whether they can take Cass into their now broken lives.


110 mins approx


(1m, 2f)

  • Helen Levy : 44, wears vintage style clothing, attractive despite an ongoing battle against the bulge
  • Laura Wyman : early 50s, a strikingly attractive, lean and elegant woman
  • Paul Levy : 51, attractive, has a very slight limp.

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