Plays for Adults

I started writing plays for adults over twenty years ago and I am fortunate that my plays have been performed by drama groups in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, France, Spain and Portugal, so far.

Several of my plays have won awards for the drama groups performing them and for individual actors. Once Act plays such as A Different Way to Die (about a Holocaust survivor) and Dig for the Diggers (about the Battle of Fromelles in WW1 – the worst day in Australian history) regularly win awards.

All my plays, and many others, can be found on www.playsforadults.com

FULL LENGTH PLAYS

LATHERED UP
A comedy by Lynn Brittney

lathered upMagenta Place, a prime-time TV soap, is in trouble. Ratings have fallen like a stone and the writers can’t come up with any new plots. After some advice from Natalie Thorpe, leading lady of a rival soap, Grover’s Avenue, and “The World’s Most Famous Northern Woman”, they decide to take some action and hire Sasha Martindale, a notorious Production Consultant. Sasha turns out to be an eccentric genius, whose drastic actions turn around the fortunes of the failing soap, but not without some casualties along the way. What follows is a ratings war between the two soaps and a whole load of devious and dirty tricks – not to mention the exposure of Natalie Thorpe’s long-held secret! But is all as it seems? As the Executive Producer of Magenta Place says, “I’m beginning not to be able to distinguish between reality and fiction anymore.” To which the seriously bonkers Sasha Martindale replies “Why would you want to, darling? Life is so much more exciting when you abandon that ability!”

BUNKERED
A comedy by Lynn Brittney

bunkerSomewhere near the coast in Britain is a Naval Intelligence Cold War Bunker, manned by four naval personnel nearing retirement. Only, as far as the Royal Navy is concerned, the bunker was decommissioned in 1991 and the staff were made redundant… except, somehow, they all slipped through the net and continued to receive monthly pay cheques from the Ministry of Defence computer system. Peter, a Chief Petty Officer with a strong sense of responsibility, and the nearest to retirement age, decides to bring a friend in to bring all the equipment up to full working order. Imagine the alarm at Naval Headquarters when they start getting signals from what they thought was a defunct facility! Time to call in the Marines! With, of course, hilarious consequences…

THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP – a thriller
by Lynn Brittney

books and gunThis is the name that eccentric bookshop owner, Roger Mifflin, has given to his establishment and it is this odd name that attracts the attention of a young man called Aubrey Gilbert. Newly-returned from the war and attempting to make his career in the advertising industry, Aubrey hopes to interest Mr Mifflin in an advertising contract. He soon realises that the prospect is hopeless but finds himself charmed by Roger’s eccentric and romantic view of life and a strong friendship develops with both Roger and his amiable wife, Helen. Little does Aubrey realise that he and his new friends are about to become involved in an international conspiracy of life-threatening proportions! Set in 1919 – just after the end of the 1st World War and prior to the Paris Peace Conference – this play, adapted from a book of the same name by American writer, Christopher Morley, is both enchanting and gripping. A real “Boy’s Own Adventure”.

THE HOME FRONT
A review with sketches by Lynn Brittney

war posterThis is a compilation of WW2 official Government announcements, plus songs and sketches that follow the fortunes of one particular family’s experiences of the home front. A light hearted stroll through the war years, lashings of nostalgia and the perfect entertainment to accompany a sausage and chip supper!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Adapted from Charles Dickens by Lynn Brittney

christmas carolThe famous story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the man who hated Christmas and, indeed, all of humanity, is well-known. This adaptation sticks faithfully to the original short story and is particularly enhanced by the use of projected images (see below) to represent the various visions shown to Scrooge by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. A delightful play. The “visions” induced by the Spirits are created by the use of projected slides. A returnable set of slides is provided free of charge with each license application.

OLD ACTORS NEVER DIE – THEY SIMPLY LOSE THE PLOT
A farce in 2 Acts by Lynn Brittney

residents loungeThe Mount Home for Retired Theatricals is an unusual place – more like a country house hotel than a home for the elderly. As Juliet Sullivan says “Waited on hand and foot – no meals to prepare – beds made. Heaven!” And the manageress positively encourages residents to carry on working as long as they can. So when Walter Neville (small part veteran of 212 films) arrives, he is overjoyed to find some of his best friends in residence. All is well until the serial womaniser husband of three of the residents (Mrs Sullivan 1, 2 and 3) goes missing – apparently on the run from Russian gangsters. The ladies decide that “He who pays the bills” must be rescued – but how to go about it? What follows is a truly daft journey into the world of eccentric luvvies that provides some of the best comic roles for senior actors you are ever likely to come across!

PICKWICK PAPERS
Adapted from Charles Dickens by Lynn Brittney

pickwick papersThe well-heeled and learned Mr Pickwick takes his earnest companions on a journey around the country to report on the character and manners of the populace. Pickwick’s friends seem well-suited to the task: Snodgrass is a poet; Winkle a sportsman; while Tupman is sensitive to the ladies’ point of view. Or so they claim. Their high notions and even higher ambitions are soon tested by con-men, deaf old matrons, servants, landladies, jailers and many other characters that complete the picture of Dicken’s England – raucous and cheeky but ultimately bound together by a sense of fair play. The book made Charles Dickens famous at the age of twenty-five, justly so, and this lively adaptation does justice to the original in every respect.

ONE ACT PLAYS

UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA
by Lynn Brittney

trolleyIt is 2008 and self-service tills have arrived in the local supermarket, bringing with them a raft of problems. Edie reckons it is just a matter of time before there are job losses; Janice tries to concentrate on her knitting, which is a second source of income; whilst Kelly has found God and wants everyone else to join her. Suddenly, there is yet another case of “till rage”, in the shape of distressed customer, Dawn. What follows is a bitter-sweet indictment of the advance of technology and how it has made the already difficult lives of these women much harder.

FIRST WORLD WAR 1 – After the Ball is Over
by Lynn Brittney

battle fieldLady Marjorie and her husband, Sir Edwin, regularly hold a summer ball at their country residence – as do so many other landed gentry- in the summer of 1914. But, of course, this time, the revels are haunted by the spectre of impending war and only a few of the guests, like middle aged country solicitor, Tom Pritchard, who has volunteered for the army, have any idea of how devastating this world conflict will become. During the evening, Tom strikes up a warm friendship with Victoria Pelham – a forthright and intelligent woman – who shares his insight into the unfolding events. What follows is a journey of horror, tragedy and, ultimately, love.

FIRST WORLD WAR 3 – Dig for the Diggers
by Lynn Brittney

trenchThe Battle of Fromelles took place on the days of July 19th and 20th, 1916, and came to be known as ‘the worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire history.’ Over five and a half thousand Australian soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner due to an ‘error’ by the British High Command. The Germans buried all those who were killed in mass graves behind German lines, however, not all the burial pits were found in the aftermath of the war. Eventually, in 2007, more graves were found and exhumation began in 2008. A new cemetery was created and a process of DNA matching amongst Australian relatives began. The first body was re-interred in January 2010. This play recounts the story of a fictional ‘first body’ in the shape of Mick Feeney – stubborn Australian miner from Ballarat, who volunteered, even though he was in his late 30s.

THE WINE AND WISDOM SERIES by Lynn Brittney

There is something about the human psyche and the way it responds to the challenge of a quiz. Some people become highly competitive, others become uncertain. All human emotions surface during a quiz – arrogance; frustration; nostalgia; enjoyment; sociability – the list is endless. All the plays in this series mine the very rich vein of those emotions. Audiences will find them moving; funny; even thought-provoking – but they won’t be bored! The Wine and Wisdom plays are designed to be stand alone, for entry into festivals, or bolted together in twos and threes for an evening of themed drama.

WINE AND WISDOM 1 – A Two-Berth Life

caravanDen and Gloria and their grown-up children are taking their annual Caravan Club holiday, as they have done for nearly thirty years. The problem is that Den is terminally ill and has a very short time to live. However, he is surrounded by the warmth and humour of his family and gradually they persuade him to use his famous encyclopaedic general knowledge to win the star prize of the Quiz Evening. A deeply moving play, it is, nonetheless heart-warming with an upbeat conclusion.

WINE AND WISDOM 2 – The Luvvies

pouring wineThe Horbridge Amateur Dramatic Society Guild has organised a Quiz Night all about “the movies”, which annoys Eileen for a start – “Why does everything have to be so Americanised? Why can’t he say, ‘the cinema’?” Debbie has arrived with allergy problems; Roger’s menopausal wife has taken to her bed, so the team is one short; Mike is in a bad mood and the Dalbridge Strollers’ team is being rowdy. To cap it all, Shirley has put a swear box on each table to raise money for the church. It promises to be an eventful night… This humorous play contains moderate swearing. As Eileen says (and she is making the rules) “I hope no-one in the group uses the f word. We’re all far too mature, aren’t we?” (Tip: you’re supposed to say ‘yes’.)

WINE AND WISDOM 3 – Nostalgia

christmas fireplaceIt is New Year’s Eve at Roy and Jean’s house. Celebrating with them are Roy’s close friends, Maurice and Eve, and Eve’s wayward brother, David. Jean has decided that they will all play a board game, called “Nostalgia”, and the questions are all about the 1960s. Roy, Maurice and Eve, being some ten years older than Jean and David, have mixed feelings about the period in question. While playing the game, some very interesting memories come to light. Simmering resentments surface from the older age group about the fecklessness of those who were teenagers during the 60s, which only draws Jean and David closer together as they share their experiences of the “swinging scene”. The moral of the story is – beware of marrying a younger woman – especially one who yearns to recapture her youth!

WINE AND WISDOM 4 – Mixed Doubles

village hallThe Tennis Club is holding a quiz night and George, who has made a career out of running quiz nights since he retired, is the quizmaster. Everything is organised. George’s long-suffering wife, Heather, has prepared all the answer sheets and the flip chart – Marjorie, the club’s social secretary has prepared mountains of food. The only problem is that she sent out the newsletters too late and only a few members turn up. And, what is worse, one of them is supreme know-it-all, Martin, who challenges every question George has set! Also, things are going on in the background – secret longings surface – which erupt into mayhem. All human life is here, in this hilarious comedy of suburban habits.

WINE & WISDOM 5 – Motivation

office tableDoris has organised the bank’s quiz night for the last ten years and she is most annoyed that her boss has decided it should now be done by committee – particularly when that comprises of the very ambitious and high-powered Melanie, the very lazy and unreliable Patrick and the dim teenager Ethan. But then Doris is unhappy with a lot of other things in her working life as well, which surfaces during the meeting. However, all is not what it seems. Is this a genuine meeting to organise a quiz night or is it some fiendishly clever motivational exercise, designed to weed out the dead wood? A thought-provoking play, with a sinister ending.

WINE AND WISDOM 6 – Ask the Family

living roomColin was made redundant and, because of his age, he is virtually unemployable. So he whiles away his time feeding his obsession with television and radio quiz programmes. He ignores his son, Jason, who is home from university, which makes no difference really, as Jason lives in a world of his own anyway. The weather outside is atrocious and when wife and mother, Margaret, comes home – the only member of the family actually earning a wage – she is disappointed to discover that her yoga class has been cancelled because the hall is flooded. Then, Colin and Jason are devastated by a sudden power cut, which means that they can’t watch television or listen to music. The family are faced with talking to each other – something that they obviously have not done for a long time. The consequences are dramatic.

A DIFFERENT WAY TO DIE by Lynn Brittney

tape on windowThis play was originally published by Samuel French and has won many awards for amateur actors in festivals. Anna Gruber is a Holocaust survivor who has applied to emigrate to the newly-created State of Israel. But first she must submit to the ordeal of an interview and psychological assessment by a psychiatrist. While waiting for the doctor she is left in the company of Magda, a young Israeli whose prejudice against Jews from Europe is patently clear. However, when Dr.Feldmann arrives and the interview proceeds, Anna’s experiences under the Nazis is not what was expected, and the news that Anna’s husband survived the death camps and is in Israel too, brings about a crisis that alters everyone’s perception of life and death. A powerful and thoughtful drama about inhumanity.

HAVE A NICE DAY by Lynn Brittney

tv cameraThis comedy play was originally published by Samuel French and has since been updated and edited. Carol is a not-too-bright presenter on breakfast television and she is facing the axe – a fact that she has learnt through the daily newspapers and not from her bosses at the TV station. She gets little sympathy from her co-workers. Joe, her researcher, is barely on speaking terms with her anyway. When Carol’s agent, David, arrives he confirms that she will soon be out of a job and he doesn’t seem to be able to come up with much as an alternative. So Carol rebels and goes on set looking decidedly unglamorous. But David – ever the opportunist – instantly sees possibilities in her “new look” and starts making phone calls… A wonderful satire on the shallow (and not exactly honest) world of television.

PROPERLY PROCESSED by Lynn Brittney

graveyardThis play was formerly published by Samuel French and has been a favourite at one Act Festivals for many years. This biting satire on modern bureaucracy takes place in the waiting room for the Afterlife. Here dead local government personnel are processed (after they have taken a number, waited for eternity and filled in some incomprehensible forms). Enter the recently deceased Carol Benson-Brown – a Chief Planning Offer when alive – and someone who knows a thing or two about frustrating the public. Her management methods could just make entry into the Afterlife even more difficult for those poor unfortunates who come after her.

FAILED INVESTMENTS by Lynn Brittney

modern apartmentCarol and Anne are holding a residents’ meeting for their block of flats, but the subject of ground rent gets lost in the welter of human issues that get aired on this particular evening. Anne is getting a divorce; Margaret’s son has just told her that he is gay; Judith has a domineering husband and Carol is far from pleased to be “outed” as a lesbian. The four women, united by their condemnation of the male-orientated society that is making their lives so hard, set about redressing the balance. With four strong parts for women, this adult play provides moments of piquant social comedy as well as moving drama.

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