01 – The Butler Did It and Other Plays

the five short plays

1. The Butler Did It


Henry Fletcher is working in his office. He is thinking about his wife. What’s she doing at the moment? Has she got a boyfriend? Perhaps she has, perhaps she hasn’t. Is she with her lover now? He wants to know! So he phones home. But only James, the butler, answers …


James, a butler

Henry Fletcher, a husband


There are two rooms on the stage, with a wall between them. One is a dining room, where James the butler is getting the table ready for dinner. There is a telephone in the room. The other room is an office, where Henry Fletcher is working. He is sitting in front of his computer, but he isn’t looking at it. He is making a phone call.
You will need two telephones and a gun.
The plumber’s name, Blessiu, sounds like ‘Bless you!’ which is what we often say when someone sneezes.


The phone rings in the dining room. James stops work and answers it.

JAMES       Hello,

HENRY      Hello, is that James, the butler?

JAMES       Yes, sir, it is.

HENRY      James, is my wife at home?

JAMES       Yes, sir.

HENRY      Good. Can you bring her to the phone? I want to speak to her at once. Be quick!

JAMES       Very good, sir. So you want me to bring your wife to the phone. Is that right, sir?

HENRY      Yes, yes, James. Now just go and do it (James goes off slowly. Henry speaks to hanself.) My wife’s got a lover, I think. But I must know! What’s James doing? And where’s my wife?

James comes back slowly and speaks into the phone.

JAMES       Hello, sir. James speaking.

HENRY      Hello, James. So where’s my wife?

JAMES       Your wife is at home, sir, but she can’t speak to you at the moment, I’m afraid.

HENRY      She can’t speak to me! My wife can’t speak to me! Why not?

JAMES       Well, sir, she’s in the bathroom …

HENRY      In the bathroom!

JAMES       … with a man.

HENRY (Putting a hand to his head) With a man!

JAMES       But don’t worry, sir, it’s only Mr Blessiu, the plumber, He’s working in the bathroom.

HENRY      (Not listening, speaking to himself) She’s in the bathroom with her boyfriend! I knew it! James, can you do something for me?

JAMES       Of course, sir,

HENRY      Go into my bedroom, and find the box under my bed. In that box there’s a gun. Take it out, James.

JAMES       Very good, sir. You want me to go into your bedroom, find the box under your bed, and take out the gun. Is that right, sir?

HENRY      Yes, James, yes! Just go and do it.

James goes off slowly. Henry speaks to himself

HENRY      I knew it! My wife’s got a lover! But soon James is going to come back with that gun, and then …

James comes back with the gun.

JAMES (Into the phone) Hello, sir, James here.

HENRY      Hello, James. Have you got the gun?

JAMES       Yes, sir. I went into your bedroom, found the box under your bed, and took out the gun. I have it with me now, sir.

HENRY      Right, James. Now listen carefully. 

JAMES       I’m listening very carefully.

HENRY      Go into the bathroom …

JAMES       Yes, sir.

HENRY      … with the gun …

JAMES       Yes, sir.

HENRY      … and shoot my wife through the head.

JAMES       Yes, sir.

HENRY      And the man in the bathroom with her, James, shoot him through the head too. (He sneezes.)

JAMES       Blessiu, sir?

HENRY      Thank you, James. Now, James, do you understand what to do?

JAMES       Yes, you want me to go into the bathroom with the gun, shoot your wife through the head, and shoot the man with her through the head, too, sir. (He sneezes.)

HENRY      Bless you, James!

JAMES       That’s right, sir.

HENRY      Very good, James. Well, just go and do it.

James goes off. We hear two gun shots.

HENRY (Looking pleased and smiling to himself) Aha! Good old James! Well done!

James comes back slowly, without the gun.

JAMES (Into the phone) Hello, did Did you hear the shots, sir?

HENRY      Yes, James, I did. Is everything all right?

JAMES       Oh yes, sir. I went into the bathroom with the gun, and I shot your wife through the head, and I shot the man with her through the head, too.

He sneezes.

HENRY      Bless you, James!

JAMES       That’s right, sir.

HENRY      Right, and are the two of them dead, James?

JAMES       Oh yes, sir.

HENRY      Very good, James. Oh, and James …

JAMES       Yes, sir?

HENRY      What did you do with the gun?

JAMES       The gun, sir?

HENRY      Yes, James, the gun. what did you do with it?

JAMES       Ah, yes, sir. T put it in the swimming pool,

HENRY      The swimming pool, James?

JAMES       The swimming pool in the back garden, sir.

HENRY(Looking afraid)          But we haven’t got a swimming pool in our back garden! Nobody says anything for a moment.

JAMES       Oh, I see. Well, then, you’ve got the wrong number, I’m afraid, sir. Goodbye.

HENRY      Oh, I – er – Goodbye.

James goes back to his work, getting the table ready for dinner. He is smiling and singing quietly to himself Henry sits in his chair, with a very white face.

2. Old friends


Celia is sitting at a street café one day, drinking coffee, when suddenly she sees an old school friend, Amanda. The two women are happy to talk about old times and the men in their lives. They always like very different men, of course …


Celia, a woman of about 45

Amanda, her school friend

Waiter: Robert, a man of about 45


The scene is a street café. There are tables and chairs outside. The waiter sometimes conies out of the café to see if anyone wants anything. Celia is sitting at one of the tables. She is wearing a big, expensive ring on the ring finger of her left hand. You will need a cup of coffee, a bottle or glass of coke, and Celia’s ring.


Amanda is walking past the café. Celia suddenly sees her and calls to her.

CELIA        Amanda? Is it you?

AMANDA Sorry? Do I know you?

CELIA        Of course you do. It’s me, Celia. We were at school together.

AMANDA Celia! How wonderful to see you again!

CELIA        Do you remember me now?

AMANDA Oh yes, but you do look different.

CELIA        Older, perhaps?

AMANDA Well, yes.

CELIA        Well, I am older! So are you! Sit down and have a drink with me.

AMANDA Yes, why not? (She sits down at the table.)

CELIA        What are you going to have? Coffee?

AMANDA Oh, a coke, I think.

CELIA (Calling)   Waiter! (The waiter comes to the table.)

WAITER     Good morning. What would you like?

CELIA        A coffee for me, please, and a coke for my friend.

WAITER     Would you like a sandwich or anything? They’re very good.

CELIA        No, no, thank you. Just the drinks.

WAITER     Right. (He goes off)

AMANDA Well, this IS nice! When did we last meet? About fifteen years ago, was it?

CELIA        Twenty-five, Amanda.

AMANDA Twenty-five? No! It can’t be! Do you sometimes see any of our old friends?

CELIA        No, no, I don’t.

The waiter brings the drinks and puts them on the table.

WAITER     Here you are, one coffee and one coke,

AMANDA (To him) Thank you. (To Celia) I say, do you remember Rod Hunk? All the girls liked him! What happened to him, do you think?

CELIA        Oh, I don’t know. I didn’t like him much. But what about Rocky Rambo? You and he were together at one time, I think.

AMANDA Ah yes, but he left me years ago.

CELIA        I am sorry.

AMANDA No, no, I was happy when he left. I was tired of him, you know. It’s always much better to find a new boyfriend! Much more exciting!

CEUA         Perhaps you’re right And what about Romeo Valentine? You went out with him, too.

AMANDA Oh yes, but I left him. Time for a change, I thought!

CELIA        Oh, I see.

AMANDA And what about you, Celia? Are there any men in your life at the moment? 

CELEA (Looking shyly down at the big expensive ring on her finger) Well…

AMANDA Oh, Celia, do tell me!

CELEA       Well, there is a man in my life, and rm going to marry him next week!

AMANDA You’re going to marry him! Wonderful! Tell me all about him.

CELIA        He’s called Robert He’s very handsome  but very shy. He’s coming here soon, to meet me.

AMANDA His name’s Robert? Well, well, well! You know, I met a very handsome man last night, and he was called Robert, too. But he wasn’t shy! Not at all! He asked me to call him Bob, 

CELIA        My Robert doesn’t like the name Bob.

AMANDA Well, I met this Bob in a café and we had a few drinks. And then we went out to dinner. And then we went dancing. Oh, we had a wonderful time!

CELIA        My Robert doesn’t like dancing.

AMANDA We talked and laughed and danced, and drank and danced and laughed, and then … But what about you and Robert? What do you usually do?

CELIA        Oh well, Robert likes a quiet evening with me at my house. We read, and watch television. Sometimes we go out to the cinema.

AMANDA Do you? Bob wants to see me again next week. He calls me Mandy, I like that,

CELTA       Robert isn’t interested in drinking or dancing or meeting girls. He’s a very quiet person.

AMANDA Bob isn’t quiet. Not at all!

CELIA        I’m his first girlfriend, you see. So this is all new to him. Oh look, here he comes now!

Robert comes in, from behind Amanda. He can’t see her face. He kisses Celia.

ROBERT    Hello, Celia, darling!

CELIA        Robert, darling! I’d like you to meet an old school friend. Amanda, this is Robert.

ROBERT    How do you do?

AMANDA How do you do? (Looking up into his face) Oh no! It’s you! Bob!

ROBERT (Seeing her face) Oh no! It’s you! Mandy!

CELIA (Angrily) Robert!

ROBERT    What can I say? I’m sorry! I’m very, very sorry!

Robert runs off Celia and Amanda run after him.

AMANDA Bob! Bob! We must talk about all this! I want to see you again!

CELIA        Robert! Robert! Come back here at once! Are you going to marry me or not?

ROBERT    Help! Help! Help!

The waiter comes in.

WAITER     Would you like to pay now? (He sees them running away.) Hey, come back!

He runs angrily after them.


3. Have A Nice Holiday


Mr and Mrs Boggis want a holiday, but they don’t know where to go. There are a lot of different places, and it’s important to find the right one. Can the travel agent help? She knows all about the different places. Or does she?


Travel agent, a young woman

Mr Boggis, a man of about 40

Mrs Boggis, his wife

Man who speaks to die audience


The scene is a travel agent’s office, with pictures of holiday places on the walls. The travel agent is sitting at her computer, with two chairs in front of her.

You will need a pen and paper, and some plane tickets.


Air and Mrs Boggis come into the office.

AGENT – Good afternoon. Can T help you?

MR. BOGGIS – Yes, please, We’d like a holiday,

AGENT – oh, yes. Where would you like to go?

MR BOGGIS – What do you think, dear?

MRS. BOGGIS – Somewhere exciting!

MR BOGGIS (To the agent) Somewhere exciting.

AGENT (Writing it down) Somewhere exciting.

MRS. BOGGIS – Somewhere hot!

MR. BOGGIS (To the agent) Somewhere hot

AGENT (Writing it down) Somewhere hot.

MRS. BOGGIS – Somewhere far away!

MR. BOGGIS (To the agent) Somewhere far away.

AGENT (Writing it down) Somewhere far away.

MRS. BOGGIS – And somewhere cheap!

MR. BOGGIS (To the agent) And somewhere cheap.

AGENT (Writing it down) And somewhere cheap. Right, let’s see. There’s a very nice holiday for two in Florida, in a really good hotel.

MR. BOGGIS – Yes. Very hot, Florida.

MRS. BOGGIS – Yes, and very exciting.

MR. BOGGIS  – How much is the Florida holiday?

AGENT Er, let me see. £2,000 for one person …

MR. BOGGIS – £2,000 for one person!

AGENT … for one day.

MR. BOGGIS – For one day!

MRS. BOGGIS – Oh dear. That’s £28,000 for the two of US for a week. That’s very expensive.

AGENT – You can’t have everything. It’s a very nice holiday. But let’s find something cheaper, shall we?

MR. BOGGIS – Er, yes, please.

AGENT – What about this? A camping holiday for two near the Scott Hills.

MRS. BOGGIS – Ooh, that’s intersting. I like camping. Are they far away, the Scott Hills?

AGENT – Oh, yes, very far away,

MR. BOGGIS – Good. And is it a cheap holiday?

AGENT – Oh, yes. Only £20 for each person for a month.

MRS. BOGGIS – And is it nice and hot there?

AGENT – Well, not very hot

MR. BOGGIS – Tell me, where are the Scott Hills?

AGENT – In Antarctica, near the South Pole.

MRS. BOGGIS – Near the South Pole! But that isn’t hot

AGENT – No, but it’s a very cheap holiday. I told you, you can’t have everything.

MR. BOGGIS – Look, we want somewhere hot and cheap,

AGENT – OK. Well, this one’s just right for you.

MRS. BOGGIS – Is it cheap?

AGENT – Oh, yes. It’s cheap. Only £200 for two people. That’s very cheap.

MR. BOGGIS Is it somewhere hot?

AGENT – Oh, yes. It’s hot. But it isn’t very far away, I’m afraid.

MRS. BOGGIS – oh, that doesn’t matter. Where is it?

AGENT – Margarita, in the south of Spain. The Hotel Fantastico is very quiet, only five minutes’ walk to the sea, and it has a swimming pool.

MRS. BOGGIS – Ooh, that’s wonderful. Let’s take it.

MR. BOGGIS – Yes, let’s! Can I pay for it now? And can we go tomorrow?

AGENT – Of course. (She takas Mr Boggis’s money and gives him two tickets.) Here are your tickets. Have a nice holiday! Goodbye!

MR AND MRS BOGGIS – Thank you, Goodbye!

Mr and Mrs Boggis go out with their tickets. A man comes in and speaks to the audience.

MAN – So, Mr and Mrs Boggis are going to have a wonderful holiday, are they? What do you think? Let’s see, shall we? It’s now two weeks later.

He goes off. Mr and Mrs Boggis come into the travel agent’s office.

AGENT – Good morning, Can I help you?

MR. BOGGIS – We’re very angry about one of your holidays. To Margarita, it was.

AGENT – Ah, yes. Cheap, hot, and not very far away.

MR. BOGGIS – Well, Margarita was OK, but the hotel was no good at all. It was quiet, you said.

AGENT Well, I did say that, yes.

MRS. BOGGIS – Well, the building was only half finished, so there were men at work day and night! There was a lot of noise.

MRS. BOGGIS – We couldn’t sleep at all.

MRS. BOGGIS – And it had a swimming pool, you said.

AGENT  – Well, er, yes, perhaps I did say that.

MR. BOGGIS –  That was half finished, too. No water in it.

AGENT – I see. Well…

MRS. BOGGIS – Five minutes’ walk to the sea, you said, 

MR. BOGGIS – Perhaps it takes five minutes in a taxi. Not on foot, oh no!

AGENT – Oh dear. Well, I’m very sorry. Perhaps you’d like some of your money back?

MRS. BOGGIS – No, We’d like another holiday now.

AGENT – Oh, yes, why not? How about two plane tickets to Australia? It’s exciting, hot and very far away!

MRS. BOGGIS – Ooh, wonderful! Let’s take them.

AGENT Here are your tickets, then. Have a nice holiday!

They go out happily with their tickets, AGENT (Smiling) The tickets are only to Australia! Perhaps they’re never going to come back!

4. Fred’s Future


Fred Fish isn’t happy with his life. He would like to do something more exciting. What’s going to happen to him in the future? Perhaps Madame Rosa can tell him. She can read the future in her crystal ball, or in people’s hands. Sometimes she can read people’s faces, and then she tells them what they want to hear. But sometimes she gets it wrong, and people don’t like what she tells them. If they aren’t happy, they don’t give her any money. And she needs the money.


Madame Rosa, a woman who can see into the future Fred Fish, a teacher


The scene is Madame Rosa’s living room, with a table and two chairs. On the table is a big crystal ball. Madame Rosa is sitting at the table, looking into the crystal ball. You will need a crystal ball and some money.


ROSA (Looking into her crystal ball) What’s going to happen today? Ah, I can see money! Yes, somebody’s going to give me a lot of money! Wonderful! Who can it be?

FRED (Coining in) Hello. Are you Madame Rosa?

ROSA         That’s right. Do sit down.

Fred sits down at the table,

FRED          Thank you. Er, my name’s Fred Fish—

ROSA         Let me see, you’re a teacher, you live in London, and you want to know about your future. Right?

FRED          Yes, yes! How do you know all this?

ROSA         (Looking into the crystal ball) I can see you here.

FRED         Wow! That’s interesting! So can you tell me about my future? What’s going to happen to me?

ROSA         I can tell you, but remember, nothing is free these days.

FRED          Oh, I know. I brought some money with me.

ROSA (Smiling)    That’s very good! Right, can you give me your hand, please? I’m going to read it. (She takes his hand and looks carefully at it.) I can see love here. Soon you’re going to meet a beautiful American girL You’re going to marry her,

FRED         But I’ve got a very nice girlfriend at the moment! She’s Australian!

ROSA         Forget about her! No, you’re going to marry die American. I can see it in your hand.

RED            Can you tell me any more?

ROSA         Yes. Soon you’re going to leave London and move to Hollywood, with your American wife.

FRED          Hollywood! Where all the famous people live!

ROSA         That’s right. And you’re going to stop teaching. You’re going to be an actor, and become famous for acting in all the best Hollywood films!

RED            Wonderful! I’m going to become rich!

ROSA         Well, yes, but things aren’t going to be easy for you. Your wife is going to take a lover.

FRED          Oh no! Another famous actor, perhaps?

ROSA         Yes, that’s right. And you’re going to start drinking, at first in the evening, and then in the daytime.

FRED          Oh dear, that’s bad.

ROSA         Yes. And nobody’s going to give you any more acting work, because you drink.

FRED          So what happens to me after all this?

ROSA         You kill yourself, I’m sorry to say.

FRED          What? No! I’m not going to kill myself!

ROSA         It’s very quick. You shoot yourself one night.

FRED          I didn’t come here to hear about dying!

ROSA         It’s all in your hand. That’s £25, please.

FRED          It can’t be right! Can you look at my hand again?

ROSA         Oh, all right. (Looking at his hand again) Let me see – perhaps you marry the Australian girl,

FRED          That’s better!

ROSA         Yes, and you leave London to move to Sydney, with your Australian wife.

FRED          Mmm, yes, it’s wonderfully hot there.

ROSA         And you’re going to stop teaching, and become a very good tennis player.

FRED          I was very good at tennis at school, you know.

ROSA         You’re going to meet all the famous players and play tennis with them. People are going to watch you playing tennis on TV.

FRED          Wow! rm going to become rich and famous! 

ROSA         Yes, hut things aren’t going to he easy for you. Your wife’s going to—

FRED          Be careful!

ROSA         Let me see – er – your hand’s difficult to read. Ah yes, your wife’s going to have a baby.

FRED          Oh, good. I like children.

ROSA         Yes, and then she’s going to have a second baby, and then a third.

FRED          Oh! But Fm never going to see the children! I’m going to be on TV all the time!

ROSA         Things aren’t going to be easy. I told you that.

FRED          Perhaps I’m going to stop being a tennis player and be a teacher again. Then I can help my wife with the children in the holidays.

5. Marry Me, Darling


Gwen is Roger’s girlfriend, she first met him ten years ago, and they go out together two or three times a week. Now she would like to marry him, but he never talks about marrying. This evening he’s coming to dinner at her sister’s beautiful house. Perhaps he’s going to ask her to marry him tonight!


Gwen, a woman of about 30

Roger, a man of about 30


The scene ỈS a big living room, with expensive-looking chairs around a coffee table. There IS a mirror on the wall. On the table there are some cigarettes and a woman’s bag. Gwen is wearing a gold watch.

You will need some cigarettes, a cup of coffee and a ring.


Gwan is looking at herself in the mirror.

GWEN – (To herself) Mmm, you look beautiful! But what does Roger think? (To the audience) Roger’s my boyfriend, you see. He’s very shy, you know, and very poor. But perhaps tonight he’s going to ask me to marry him. He’s coming here to dinner at my sister’s house. Nice, isn’t it?

She looks around her, smiling. The door opens.

GWEN Ah, here he is!

Roger comes in.

ROGER (Looking at her) Oh, Gwen!

GWEN (Looking at him) Oh, Roger!

ROGER (Moving nearer) Oh, Gwen!

GWEN (Looking at him) Oh, Roger!

ROGER (Moving nearer) Oh, Gwen!

GWEN (Looking away) Oh„ Roger! (To the audience) This is going to take all evening!

ROGER Gwen, my love.

GWEN (Smiling at him) Yes, Roger?

ROGER You know, we first met a long time ago.


ROGER Nine years ago, I think.


ROGER Sorry, of course it’s ten. (To the audience) This isn’t easy. She’s very rich and I’m very poor. (To Gwen) Well, after ten years, it’s time …

GWEN (Looking interested) Yes?

ROGER It’s time …


ROGER To have a cigarette, I think. Have you got one, Gwen?

GWEN Of course, darling.

ROGER (To the audience) What a wonderful house she’s got! Everything in here looks very expensive.

She takes a cigarette from the table and gives it to him.

GWEN Here you are, darling.

ROGER (Looking at her watch and speaking to the audience) What a beautiful gold watch!

GWEN What did you say, darling?

ROGER Oh, it’s your hands, darling. They’re wonderfully, wonderfully beautiful!

GWEN (To the audience) What’s new about my hands? (To Roger) 011 Roger, you say the nicest things!

ROGER And your mouth, Gwen.

GWEN (Coming nearer) Yes, Roger?

ROGER It’s a beautiful flower – Oh! (He moves quickly away, and Gwen puts her hand over her mouth.)

GWEN (To the audience) I had some garlic for lunch! Roger, you’re very handsome, you know.

ROGER (Shyly) oh, am I, Gwen?

GWEN Oh yes. Your ears! I love your ears! They’re very – interesting, (To the audience) And very big,

ROGER Oh Gwen!

GWEN Your eyes! I love your eyes! They’re very – blue. (To the audience) And very cold.

ROGER Oh my love!

GWEN And your hair! I love your hair! It’s very – brown. (To the audience) There isn’t much there.

ROGER Oh darling! Well, after that Ỉ must say …

GWEN Yes, Roger?

ROGER I need a coffee. Could you get me one, Gwen?

GWEN Yes, darling?

ROGER To bring you a little something.

He takes a ring from his pocket.

GWEN Oh Roger, a ring! How beautiful!

ROGER Do you like it? (To the audience) It was very expensive!

GWEN Of course, darling. (To the audience) Oh dear, it looks so cheap. (To Roger). Roger, how exciting! Are you asking me …?

ROGER Yes. (Taking her hand) Marry me, darling!

GWEN Er, well, now you ask me, 1 don’t know.

ROGER You don’t know?

GWEN Well, this is all very sudden, Roger. I need some more time to think about it.

ROGER (To the audience) Oh no! That’s bad! I need her money. (To Gwen) How much time do you need?

GWEN Well, I can give you an answer next week.

ROGER But next week I’m going to New York!

GWEN New York! How exciting!

ROGER It’s only for work, you know. (To the audience) Of course, Susie’s going to be there! Ĩ always see her when J go to New York! (To Gwen) Oh Gwen! Please give me an answer before I leave!

GWEN You see, Roger, you need to change a lot, before I can marry you.

ROGER Change? Me? change? But how?

GWEN Well, to begin with, you must stop smoking!

ROGER (Looking at his cigarette) stop smoking?

GWEN And you must stop drinking coffee!

ROGER (looking at his coffee) Stop drinking coffee?

GWEN And you must stop going to New York, tool

ROGER Stop going to New York? (To the audience) Does she know about Susie? Oh dear!

GWEN So, Roger, what do you think? Can you change?

ROGER What can I say, Gwen? I need you. (To the audience) And I need her money! (To Gwen) I’m going to stop smoking. And drinking coffee. And going to New York. (To the audience) Sorry, Susie!

GWEN All right, Roger. I can give you my answer here and now. My answer is yes!

ROGER Oh Gwen, darling!

GWEN Oh Roger! (They kiss.)

ROGER (To the audience) Now I needn’t think about money any more! Tm going to have lots of money, my darling wife’s money! (Laughing)

GWEN (To the audience) Roger doesn’t know this, but I’m not rich at all! I like expensive tilings, but I haven’t got much money. When I tell him, what’s lie going to say? (Laughing)They go out, hand in hand and smiling happily at each other.

5/5 - (1 vote)

Bạn có bình luận gì không?

Bài viết có hữu ích cho bạn?

Support trang bằng cách kích quảng cáo bên dưới. Mỗi lượt kích Lightway nhận được 300đ

Trang bạn đang xem có đặt quảng cáo của Google. Ủng hộ ad vài giọt cà phê bằng cách kích vào quảng cáo bất kỳ nhé!