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A Little Box Of Oblivion

"... a brilliant, yet simple, comedy ..."
Kate Young, Isle Of Wight County Press, 17 April 2009

Duncan Rand One Act Festival - The Willington Players - 2024
Winner - SCDA, Stirling District, Jean Sinclair Quaich Award (Best Moment Of Theatre) 2016
Stirling, Strathendrick and Strathkelvin Young Farmers Club
Best Production - South West One Act Drama Festival : 2015 (Australia)
Manjimup Repertory Club (also: Best Director and Best Male Actor)
Winner - Wales Final Festival of One Act Plays : 2013
Winners of the Maynard Cup, the overall winners of the Festival - Solva Players
Finalist - 34th British All Winners Festival 2007 (NDFA)
Winner of the Manx Amateur Drama Festival - Rushen Players - 2007
Warwickshire Play Festival
(AETF Heat) - Abbey Players - 2007
Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival 2006
, Queenslamd, Australia (Jally Productions)
All England Theatre Festival
(North East Heats) 2005


Absurd Comedy Play: 'A Little Box Of Oblivion' by Stephen Bean

This absurd one act play features five characters : a 'cool guy', a woman in a hurry, a neurotic, a 'doom merchant' and an amateur sleuth. They have no need of forenames or surnames and are referred to in the script simply by their character trait (except for Dick, the amateur sleuth).

It is a lovely spring day in an urban conurbation. Cool Guy is settling on a park bench to read the paper when Woman rushes on with a box. Before Cool Guy can say no, the box has been left on the bench with instructions that the box cannot be moved, knocked, tilted or opened.

A series of motley characters then begin to arrive, each with a theory about the contents of the box. Neurotic, spurred on by a Government leaflet recently received, is convinced it contains a bomb. Neurotic contacts the police, but they are busy dealing with a cat up a tree! Doom Merchant is equally convinced (because of the same leaflet) that it contains anthrax. They phone the police again, but they are now dealing with a threatened suicide jumper in the local apartment block. So they take it on themselves to warn the public, much to Cool Guy's amazement and amusement.

Thank goodness for Dick, the amateur sleuth, who on arrival uses fact and logic to disprove all their theories. The problem is that Dick thinks that the box contains a severed human head from a Mafia killing! Cool Guy has had enough and waves the box above his head to prove that it is "... just a cardboard box ...", only to be caught by Woman who lambasts Cool Guy for being untrustworthy. Still, everything's all right now. Isn't it?


40 mins approx


(1m, 4m/f)

  • Cool Guy - level headed and objective with a cynical wit, dressed smart-casual
  • Woman - 'flappy' in character, must have green hair!
  • Neurotic - compulsive obsessive, house is probably immaculately tidy
  • Doom Merchant - dour, humourless, (If young, dress as a 'Goth'. If older, dress as an 'Anorak')
  • Amateur Sleuth - has been reading too many cheap detective novels, an English Bogart

"The audience was glued to the plot when we performed this play and, with great characters to have fun with, HATS thoroughly recommend it"

Giselle Rawlins, HATS Secretary & Publicity Manager

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