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Elephants Don't Run

    by Trevor Smith

Drama Play Script: 'Elephants Don't Run' by Trevor Smith


Lily, a widow in her late 50s, is in hospital suffering from a variety of physical, mental and psychological illnesses, including early onset dementia. She has been suffering with these illnesses for many years, during which she has been cared for at home by her youngest daughter, Debra, who was in her early teens when she became her mother’s carer. Debra is rapidly becoming exasperated and exhausted with her life and does not understand what brought on the dementia so early in Lily’s life? Can Debra find what she feels she needs for herself and her mother?

In the hospital, Lily is being cared for by Nurse Jenny, who uses well known techniques to aid Lily’s memory recall. During her treatment the nurse uncovers a possible cause for the illnesses and reports her findings to Doctor Pritchard, with whom Debra has secretly fallen in love. How will Jenny’s report affect Lily’s treatment and will the doctor be professional in his response to Debra’s declaration of love for him?

Lily is visited by her eldest daughter Megan, whom no-one in the family has seen for nearly 20 years. She seemed to have vanished shortly after her mother’s first diagnosis of early onset dementia. Megan’s visit, however, has caused distress to her angry, younger sister. What made Megan disappear and where has she been for all these years? Was Megan unable to cope with the situation? How will her return affect the relationships between herself, her mother and her sister? 

All is explained throughout this emotionally moving drama.


100 mins approx


(1m, 4f)

  • Lily Asher - late 50's/early 60's, elderly widow 
  • Megan Ajani - late 30’s/early 40’s, Lily’s eldest daughter 
  • Debra Asher - early to mid 30’s, Lily’s youngest 
  • Dr. James Pritchard - late 30’s/early 40’s, experienced hospital doctor 
  • Nurse Jenny - appropriate age, experienced hospital nurse

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