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Time For Ben

    by Tony Layton


Comedy Play Script: 'Time For Ben' by Tony LaytonThis one act, one set play is a an affectionate look at family life with a disabled teenager.

Mark Dean is a fifty year old who could have had a brilliant career as an academic but retired from his post as a university lecturer to help look after his eighteen-year-old son Ben who is severely handicapped and confined to a wheelchair. He can make sounds and some movements, and he can understand what people are saying to him.

It's the day of Ben's eighteenth birthday and Mark's younger brother, Ralph and his wife and daughter, Jean and Pat are the only guests. Ralph and Mark are like chalk and cheese and Mark, being the brighter of the two, enjoys playing games to wind up his brother's family. At the root of the wind-ups is the fact that although Ralph is a successful businessman, he and his family have not taken a lot of interest in Ben over the years and have little sympathy for the sacrifices that Mark has had to make. The divide between the two families becomes more obvious as the play develops and ends with the cruellest wind up of them all.

Throughout the play we laugh with Ben and Mark, not at them, as together they hatch their plans to annoy Ralph. The actor playing Ben should appreciate and understand this, needing to develop his characterisation carefully. Done well this play is superb, performed badly it could become a mawkish spectacle.

Also available in the anthology 'Dreams And Delusions (Vol 4)' together with 'For The Love Of Sara'.


45 mins approx


(3m, 3f)

Ben Dean - 18, a young man confined to a wheelchair; severely handicapped but can hear, make sounds and gestures
Mark Dean - 50, Ben's father, retired university lecturer, quick witted with a wicked sense of humour, devoted to Ben
Sara Dean - 40's, devoted to Mark and Ben but often feels the pressure of her commitment
Ralph Dean - Mark's younger brother, by four years, a successful businessman who has always been the butt for Mark's humour
Jean Dean - 40's, an assertive woman who is clearly the strength behind Ralph
Pat Dean - 24, Ralph and Jean's daughter, a confident graduate working in television news

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