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The People That Live In Boxes

    by Les Clarke


Drama Play Script: 'The People Who Live In Boxes' by Les Clarke

Joe and Beck are two young people who sleep rough behind a factory in cardboard boxes.  Joe is fairly content with his existence and begs in the High Street.  Becks is a recovering drug addict and Joe tries to look out for her, but she is always argumentative and fidgety and demanding.

Becks is particularly miffed because whilst they’ve been out someone has stolen her fags and her gloves.  Not long after Jenny, a mature student turns up; she is doing a thesis on the homeless and wants to ask them some questions.   Beck is suspicious and accuses Jenny of stealing her things and Joe has to work hard to calm the situation down.  Joe is ok about answering a few questions but Becks gets more and more nasty and agitated.

The next day Jenny returns and Joe tells her why he’s living rough, he killed his father when he was beating up his mother and he served time for it.  Becks thinks Joe’s a hero and is madly excited by this knowledge.  That night a drunken yob piles rubbish against the side of Joe’s box and is about to set fire to it when Joe wakes up and confronts him.

The man pulls a knife and threatens Joe.  Becks has been to the toilet and attacks the man with a lump of wood and kills him.  She is ecstatic as she’s saved Joe like he saved his mother, but Joe is utterly distraught and then it’s role reversal as Becks just wants to look after Joe. 


40-50 mins approx


(2m, 2f)

  • Joe - late 20s/early 30s, reasonable, understanding, fairly intelligent (m)
  • Beck - mid-late 20s, tall, moody, belligerent, irritable, sniffs, fidgets, nervous and not particularly bright, has had drug problems in the past (f)
  • Jenny - late 30s/early 40s, helpful, harmless and nice (f)
  • Martin - early-late 20s, young and thuggish (m)

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