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Black Comedy

Black Comedy Play Script: 'A Bit Of A Do' by Tony Layton

A Bit Of A Do by Tony Layton

(1f) apx 25 mins
Maggie is happily settled into her life. Settled with husband, Harry; settled into their comfortable house in a small cul-de-sac; settled with her circle of friends and settled with her high standards of behaviour. When something unsettling though happens to one of her friends, the effect of it builds up a tidal wave around her which smashes through her comfy existence, destroying it forever.

Black Comedy Play: 'A Woman Of Uncertain Age' by Maggie Dealey

A Woman Of Uncertain Age by Maggie Dealey

(1f) apx 35 mins Winner - Best New Writing, Buxton Festival Fringe : 2003
Ruth is in her forties. She travels with baby Eve, a slowly dwindling mountain of baggage and a distinct lack of self-esteem on a somewhat fraught train journey to see her grown-up son. We hear the story of Eve through Ruth’s inner thoughts and outer utterances in this bitter-sweet comedy of lost love and lost luggage.

Black Comedy Play: 'Ashes To Ashes' by Ann Gawthorpe & Lesley Bown

Ashes To Ashes by Anne Gawthorpe & Lesley Bown

(2f) apx 45-50 mins
A two-handed black comedy that charts a descent into murder and madness.  Margaret and Divora are lifelong friends, but what happened between Margaret and her husband Max, and is she asking too much of Divora? The play explores the see-saw relationship of two women held together by a shared past.

Black Comedy Play Script: 'Bye-bye, Mr Heim' by Tony Layton

Bye-bye, Mr Heim by Tony Layton

(4m, 7f, 1m/f) apx 40 mins
Walter Heim is a bigamist and a money launderer who has been embezzling from his criminal friends to support his extravagant lifestyle. Lying in a hospital bed, he is visited by his two wives, who walk out on him, and a messenger from the Mob who reveals that the 'accident' won't be botched next time - he's living on borrowed time. Who can Walter turn to for help? His Doctor and Nurse agree to secretly get him out of hospital and hide him in exchange for a large sum of money. Why does the Nurse though, get the cheque made out in her name only? Does Walter survive?

 Black Comedy Script: 'Calling Time' by Derek Webb

Calling Time by Derek Webb

(Variable casting up to 6m 6f. Can be played by 2m 2f with doubling)
In the lounge bar of the local pub, these five linked short comedies all take place during one evening. 'Calling Time' is written to be performed by four actors performing all the parts, but can be played by a cast of up to 12. Similarly, the play allows for flexibility in length (from 30 mins to 60 mins).  Provided the intro and outro scenes, together with 'Who's Joe?' are played, one or two other  scenes may be omitted to reduce the running time for use in festivals etc.

Black Comedy Play: 'Career Day' by Paul Adam Levy

Career Day by Paul Adam Levy

(5m but could gender swap) 30 mins
What should have been straightforward careers advice for four schoolboys descends into anarchy when one pupil has no plans for the future and faces the wrath of a demonic careers counsellor. A dark tale with snappy dialogue, this one act comedy captures the contrasting feelings of hope and dread experienced by pupils on career day. Winner of two writing awards at the Welwyn Drama Festival and Waltham Forest Festival of Theatre.

Black Comedy Play: 'Dancing With Auntie' by Bill Cronshaw

Dancing With Auntie by Bill Cronshaw

(3m, 4f) apx 60-70 mins
When teenager Barry invites his new girlfriend to the family Christmas party, she has a catalytic effect on the rest of the household, bringing to the fore a secret that has been hidden for many years. Barry's father has some explaining to do to his niece and his son in an attempt to atone for his actions. A beautifully crafted, wickedly humorous play. (Two Act split possible).

Black Comedy Play: 'Digs' by Tony Layton

Digs by Tony Layton

(4m, 4f) apx 40 mins
Sara catches Ben with her drunk sister wrapped round him and throws him out. Forced to take lodgings, Ben arrives at the house of Mrs Schiller. With spartan accommodation and an ageing Austrian landlady, Ben is plunged into a bizarre series of conversations and flashbacks. His wild imagination portrays her as a Teutonic prison warder after she takes away all his clothes, and his inability to leave the room until she returns them lets him take stock of his married life.

Black Comedy Monologues Short Plays: 'Ladies On The Costa' by Lindy McNaughton Jordan

Ladies On The Costa by Lindy McNaughton Jordan

(1f) Each play apx 20 mins
A compelling series of 12 monologues telling the amusing, acerbic and utterly absorbing stories of the lives of twelve female ex-pats living in Spain, each with a different reason for emigrating there.

Black Comedy Play: 'Like Us' by Stephen Bean

Like Us by Stephen Bean

(2m, 5f) 40 mins Winner - Best Original Play, AETF North East Heats : 2006
Whilst waiting in a doctors' surgery in a rough part of town, Pippa, a well-spoken woman complains to the loud-mouthed Tracey and Monica who had been vigorously discussing their affairs for all to hear. Now rather antagonised, the two women try and discover why this posh person needs to be here. After quite some prevarication, it transpires that Pippa has been the subject of serious mental and physical abuse by her lawyer husband, a fact that immediately aligns her with Tracey who has suffered similarly.

Black Comedy Play: 'Rally Cry' by Paul Adam Levy

Rally Cry by Paul Adam Levy

(3m, 3f) 40 mins
After inciting the bloody overthrow of a headmaster, the new headmistress of a secondary school has to negotiate the promises she made to the teachers who helped her. But when the corpse of the previous head begins to talk and provide unwanted counsel on her newly claimed position, she soon learns she’s a player in a cruel game with no winners. Rally Cry is about the ease of criticising those in power, promising the impossible, and the difficulties of balancing diplomacy and discipline.

Black Comedy Play: 'Sexologically Speaking' by Carolyn Pertwee

Sexologically Speaking by Carolyn Pertwee

(2m, 2f) 3 x 10-15 mins approx & 1 x 70 mins approx
A quartet of humorous and sometimes dark plays on the sexual complexities of the mating game for older people, involving flagging libido, frozen embryos, troubled marriages and the difficulties to be found in one-night stands. The plays can be performed by a cast of four actors: a man and woman in their sixties plus, and a man and a woman in their mid-forties plus.

Black Comedy Play: 'Still Lives' by Tony Layton

Still Lives by Tony Layton

(2m, 2f) 40 mins
Maggie believes that children are crucial for a successful marriage. Bob has other ideas. Is the future world the ideal place to rear the next generation? Bob doesn’t think so. Life would be a comedy if it were not for its tragic ending.

Black Comedy Play: 'The Deadly Factor' by Jan Moran Neil

The Deadly Factor by Jan Moran Neil

(1m, 1f, 8m/f)
Seven actors have been instructed to live and breathe their parts whilst ‘getting into their characters’ shoes’ in the dressing room.  The problem is … they are to play the roles of the Seven Deadly Sins.  Are they preparing for their first night or for their doom?  An audience vote is to reveal the deadliest of them all and the prize: a winner-takes-all recording contract with a high-flying producer. But there is a different ending at each performance – of which even the ‘real’ actors are unaware.  It will be a sin to miss it … 

Black Comedy Play: 'The Missing Links' by Phil Mansell

The Missing Links by Phil Mansell

(2m, 2f) 45 mins
Used car salesman, John Sykes, retires to Spain with his much younger wife to help his heart condition and to play golf in the sunset of his life. Idyllic maybe, but Laura, his wife, doesn’t know about his affair with Maria, and John doesn’t know about Laura’s affair with Mark, the man who plans to plough up the golf course for holiday apartments. When the secrets are revealed, can John survive the stress? Will Laura and Mark benefit? Or will Maria have the last laugh?

Black Comedy Play: 'Thicker Than Water' by Ron Nicol

Thicker Than Water by Ron Nicol

(2m, 8f, 8m/f down to 2m, 4f with doubling/trebling) 40 mins
Mrs Prince makes her son a vampire cloak for his birthday. Harold is captivated, and bites a girl at his birthday party. He decides on a career as a vampire, and his reign as the self-styled Prince of Darkness begins. As Harold grows older, he and his mother encounter horrified parents and a succession of angry teachers, until his fumbling attempts at seduction lead to the deaths of a number of women. Combined with his new career, this eventually results in Harold’s downfall and his inevitable destruction in the traditional vampire manner – a stake through the heart. Doubling/Trebling possible.

Black Comedy Play: 'Two Sisters' by Caroline Harding

Two Sisters by Caroline Harding

(2f) 50 or 60 min versions 
Nominated - Manchester Evening News Award (Best Play) 2006
Runner Up - AETF Central Area Semi-Finals 2017

Dark secrets hidden in the grey mists of time are reluctantly revealed in this excellent black comedy, set in a small village in 1880's Russia. On the bizarre discovery of an empty coffin in Anya's lodgings, she and her sister Sonia, who are both now in their 40s, are goaded into recollecting some things they'd rather forget from their earlier years.