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The Reluctant Witnesses

    by Les Clarke


Comedic Drama Play: 'The Reluctant Witnesses' by Les Clarke

There’s been a terrorist attack and the police have gathered together witnesses to be interviewed, but things are still a bit chaotic and there’s a lot of hanging around.  Robert is bored with waiting; he popped out for a sandwich and got caught up in the incident.  He’s supposed to be meeting his fiancé this evening but time is getting on. The police officer ushers in Ruthie, ‘a bag lady,’ who starts to question Robert and she tells him about herself.

Another witness enters, Jeffrey, a consultant, and there is a three way conversation as Robert brings him up to date on the situation. Another witness enters, an argumentative yob, Patrick James Carter who is having a right go at the officer for detaining him as it’s causing him to lose business. 

The police officer brings all the witnesses up to date and leaves. Straight away Carter is sounding off and lights up a cigarette and is rude and nasty to Ruthie and Jeffrey intervenes.  Finally the Police officer brings in Happy Harry, a clown, which starts Carter off again, proclaiming that clowns are just paedophiles!  Harry isn’t your normal run-of-the-mill clown, he is tough and reacts to Carter’s taunting and Jeffery and Robert have to break up a potential fight.

Gradually the witnesses are taken away to be interviewed leaving just Carter and Harry and it looks like all hell is going to break loose but the police officer comes back as there is a discrepancy with the personal details Carter has given. It turns out there are active warrants on him so he is arrested and taken away much to his relief, he was frightened of being left alone with the clown! 


50 mins approx


(4m, 1f, 1m/f)

  • Robert Craig - 20s, smartly dressed in suit and tie, a reasonable person
  • Ruthie - 50s/60s, street-wise, dressed in layers of mismatched old clothing, she has missing teeth, carries a carrier-bag
  • Patrick James Carter - 18-22, jogging bottoms, trainers, hoodie, baseball cap aggressive, abusive
  • Jeffrey Mount – mid 50s, smartly dressed, suit and tie, reasonable, firm and calm
  • Happy Harry - early/mid 30s, a clown, red afro wig, big white eyes, big red mouth and a bright suit, underneath there is a hard side to the man
  • PC Stanley – 30s, reasonable, understanding, very firm when needs arise (m/f)

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