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Exit Right, Running

    by Tony Layton

Highly Commended - Best Overall Play
Drama Association of Wales Annual Competition, 2000


Comedy Play Script: 'Exit Right, Running' by Tony LaytonIt is 1642 and the theatre world is in disarray. Theatres are closing down and actors are in search of alternative employment. At the same time, Cromwell's men are seeking out royalist supporters and, as all actors are branded as royalists, their lives are in danger.

Two actors, Melarky and Kendrick, are on the run. They have an assignation to meet a supporter in a fish market who will help them escape, but they are accosted by two prostitutes who manage to identify our two heroes as actors of some note. The ladies are bribed with presents of theatrical costume to keep silent, the question is - can they be relied on to hold their tongues? Soon after this encounter the militia, in the form of Captain Clay and Corporal Bradshaw, descend on our actors.

The military men have extracted evidence from the streetwalkers as to the actors' identities and intend to carry out a summary execution. However, Kendrick has a revelation that saves their lives; Kendrick is a woman who has been disguised as a man in order to enjoy a career as an actor. Now that her secret is out, Kendrick has to 'exit right, running', abandoning her astonished partner and finding her adventures elsewhere.


40 mins approx


(4m, 3f)

Melarky - middle-aged actor with crisp and resonant diction
Kendrick - alias Jane Carter, mid-twenties, sharp and quick-witted
Polly - a prostitute, loud and good-humoured
Lizzie - another prostitute, Polly's friend
Captain Clay - an officer in Cromwell's army
Corporal Bradshaw - young, with a sadistic streak
Percy Farnsworth - elderly, aristocratic, a Royalist supporter

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