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Confessor's Gate

    by Nicholas McInerny


Drama Play Script: 'Confessors Gate' by Nicholas McInerny

In an Oxfordshire village church graveyard, on a swelteringly hot summers day, Relda sits propped up against a grave. Exhausted, she awaits the return of her younger sister, Hattie, with a hastily thrown together picnic. But she is also being attended to by a young boy, Milo, who appears to be trying to set her skirt alight with her reading glasses.

Hattie appears and witnesses this, and all her fears about the curious friendship between Milo and her younger sister, seem well founded. Both women are now alone in life; Hattie returning from Portugal where she had lived with her husband, now dead, who had made a fortune making a famous children’s construction toy. And both women are childless, with unresolved feelings swirling around about how to reconcile it with their current situation: needing each other and resenting each other.

The family dynamic crashes in as all these years apart, and yet so close, finds a focus in the treatment of Milo, who suffers from Autism and lives in a remedial boarding school in the nearby countryside.

Relda sees him as salvation, an impish spirit like a modern-day Ariel, whilst Hattie sees him as a threat, incapable of acting towards them both with empathy and consideration. But Hattie’s growing obsession to expose him builds a huge tension between them that erupts into a moment of horrifying violence, as scary for Milo as for either of them. And as darkness falls, with the ghosts of the dead all around them, Relda refuses to leave the graveyard until they have found and reconciled with Milo who is now hiding.

The two sisters find their voices in revealing secrets and intimacies about their life they had hitherto regarded as impossibly painful, and the strange spirit of Milo moves them all towards an acceptance of their lives and possibilities for the future.


(1m, 2f)

  • Relda – 70’s
  • Hattie – 70’s
  • Milo – 12

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