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Bright Lights


Comedy Play Script: 'Bright Lights' by Alan Richardson

Renowned critic Gerald Thornwood is feared in theatre-land. His vitriolic reviews can close a show and he exploits this power by routinely seducing young actresses on his promise of a favourable mention. Those who spurn his advances are guaranteed a career ending hostile crit.

At the first night party after a new production, Gerald targets Sally, a young actress who has just made her stage debut, and they find themselves alone in her flat. He lavishes praise, even though she only had a walk-on part with two lines. All he wants in return is a little give and take.

But on the verge of seduction, he is shocked to discover that they are not alone when Rachel Howard makes a dramatic entrance from the bedroom. It is immediately obvious that ex-actress Rachel and Gerald are not strangers. Gerald’s confidence is further shaken when Sally upbraids her mother for a slow entrance. He rightly suspects that Rachel has planned everything, including persuading her daughter to play the role of the “honey trap”.

Rachel is out for revenge for having paid the price of spurning his advances twenty years ago. But all is not as it appears. Although he subsequently ruined her career, she confesses that his first review of her praised her highly, which can mean only one thing… and the result of that liaison was Sally.  

Rachel demands that Gerald uses his considerable influence to present her daughter, and herself, with leading roles that are soon to be cast. Otherwise, she’ll dish the dirt on how he funds his extravagant lifestyle.  

Although Gerald has been lured into a sting, he is not so easily stung. Caustic exchanges ensue as truths, lies and revelations rebound in a bitchfest with three substantial and rewarding roles.

"A trio of strong well written characters across the age range in this developing tale of revenge and revelations in Theatreland. Neat structure, very economical and technically well managed with the sharp humour fitting the context" - SCDA 'Scene' Magazine


40 mins approx


(1m, 2f)

  • Sally Miller – An aspiring actress(late teens / early twenties)
  • Gerald Thornwood – A theatre critic (50+)
  • Rachel Howard – An ex-actress (early forties)

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