Departure

by  Stephen Smith

Short Play, Comedy, Drama  /  1m, 3f

Stranded in an airport lounge during the delay of a holiday flight to Spain, Rosemary and her carbon-copy daughter, Mandy, draw the reluctant Dennis and Sheila Tippit into conversation. The comic tone of the play shifts continually between Rosemary's…

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    40 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Not Applicable
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Stranded in an airport lounge during the inevitable delay of a holiday flight to Spain, Rosemary - "I`m a one-parent family, you see" - and her carbon-copy, not-very-bright daughter, Mandy, draw the reluctant Dennis and Shelia Tippit into a conversation. Sheila has suggested a holiday to try to right her ailing marriage; Rosemary is looking for a husband fore Mandy. The comic tone of the play shifts continually between Rosemary`s malapropisms and Dennis` grimly humorous bigotry with the close of the play finding Rosemary unmoved by the chaos she has caused and Dennis near to a nervous breakdown !

A very popular comedy, still frequently performed today, in which the humour masks deep seated problems. A play about communication skills in which a very optimistic mother and daughter meet a very pessimistic man and his depressed wife. Based on the author`s experiences of being stuck at Gatwick airport in the eighties. Can be set in the late eighties or updated.

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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £30 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, 1980s
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting:

    Sunday afternoon in October in a secluded corner of a an airport departure lounge

    Along the back and R are display boards advertising various airlines and duty free goods. Two 3-seater benches are CS and a litter-bin is L. The whole area has been cordoned off to be cleaned and litter abounds. Various cleaning equipment has been left but the cleaners have gonme for a break and there is a sign saying "Cleaning in Progress". All entrances and exits are made L

  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

1m, 3f

Rosemary is middle -aged. The eternal optimist and totally unaware of any of her faults. She is a human tornado who seems to destroy everything in her path but thinks that she is doing good. Loves her daughter and is desperate to find a husband for Mandy as she realises Mandy couldn`t survive with out her.

Mandy is early twenties and a carbon copy of her mother bordering on learning difficulties. Can`t really think for herself and idolises her mother. Very pleasant nature.

Dennis is middle-aged and depressed with life. Has become a total pessimist having lost all ambition in his sales job. Does secretly realise Sheila is unhappy but finds it very difficult to show positive emotions

Sheila is disillusioned with their marriage and sees this holiday as the last chance to save their marriage. She keeps her emotions in check until Dennis goes too far and then lets her emotions out. However despite all his faults she does still love Dennis and is deeply worried at the end when Rosemary alludes something may be wrong with him.

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast

Casting Notes

Rosemary and Mandy should look like mother and daughter but there is room for flexibility in their ages (one drama group asked permission to change Mandy into a son)

Ideally Dennis and Sheila should be similar ages.

Originally performed with only the four characters but could potentially have some extras walking past as this is an airport lounge albeit a very secluded one cordoned off for cleaning.

Resources

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Authors

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith started writing plays in 1985 and has so far had sixteen published. He either directs or appears in every play and has won numerous Best New Play Awards. His plays have been produced not only throughout the UK but in many overseas countries as well with Parentcaft translated into ...

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First performed on 25th March 1988 at the Sawston (Cambs) Drama Festival

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