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Bothered and Bewildered

Gail Young

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Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

3m, 5f

ISBN: 9780573110634

This is a comedy drama about one woman's struggle with Alzheimer's. The play follows Irene and her two daughters Louise and Beth as the girls lose their mum in spirit but not in body.

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Description | Characters | Media | Author | Now Playing | Reviews


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Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary

Settings Of Play -

The premiere for 'Bothered and Bewildered' featured a suggestive and minimalistic set, with atmospheric sound and lighting that facilitated pace and speed as the cast moved between the following settings

Act 1

The cast move between an NHS Consulting room, Irene's living room, a street scene, and a WW2 dance hall. 

Act 2

The cast move between Louise's living room, the front door of Irene's house in the mid 1960's , and an NHS Consulting room


Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, Tours

As her family struggle to come to terms with her Alzheimer's, Irene's past passion for romantic literature blurs with reality. She spends hours discussing how best to write her 'memory book' with her imaginary friend and favourite author Barbara Cartland (the deceased world famous romantic novelist), disclosing long kept family secrets that she would never divulge to her daughters. 

This tragi-comedy is about memory, loss, secrets and, above all, love.

Click here to read a free sample of the play.

For an insight on the play's development and premiere see the open facebook page for 'Bothered and Bewildered' at https://www.facebook.com/GailYoungBotheredandBewildered and www.gailyoungplaywright.com



Ian MCorquodale, Barbara Cartland's son

"Dear Gail, I am assured that you will be depicting my mother in a sympathetic way from reading through your script. She was renowned for her sense of humour and you really bring that out..... Good luck with the play, I am sure it will be a great success, and make sure that whoever plays my Mum is dressed in pink!"


Christine Hunter Hughes. NODA NW Regional Councillor October 2014

"... I must confess on reading the synopsis of the play I was uncertain how many laughs would be possible out of such an emotionally draining subject. I was dead wrong !! In my humble opinion the play was excellent, and I and the capacity audience thoroughly enjoyed it.The play was so very touching, sad, and funny and held my attention throughout with very well drawn characters, and the writing was so good that I felt for the daughters every step of the way and cared very much what happened to them all. I loved the introduction of Barbara Cartland as an imaginary friend..."


'Bothered and Bewildered' was first performed in October 2014 at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester by Tip Top Productions. The show was directed by Gail Young, and the sell out premiere was staged as a fund raising production to help raise monies to support the wellbeing of patients with dementia at both the Countess of Chester and Ellesmere Port Hospitals



3m, 5f


Parts for Senior Actors


The play is set in 2001.

Irene has a playing age of early seventies

Young Irene has a playing age of 16

Shelley has a playing age of 19

'Young Irene' and 'Shelley' must be played by the same young actress 

Beth and Louise have playing ages of between 45 - 55 

Jim has a playing age of 20

James has a playing age of early twenties

'Jim' and 'James' must be played by the same young actor

The role of the NHS Consultant can be played as either a man or a woman, but preferably by a man. Playing age 30 - 40

The community bobby must be played by a man. Playing age 30 - 40

Barbara Cartland has a playing age of 50 - 60


  • About the play

Gail Young

Gail Young

Gail Young has directed and acted with community theatre groups for many years in the Chester and Wirral area of NW England. She turned her hand to writing in 2005, and took her first full length play 'Cheshire Cats' to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006 with Guilden Sutton Players. The production was a 'Fringe Sell Out Show', was published by Samuel French in 2011, and has subsequently been performed ... view full profile

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