Nobody genuinely knows what goes on behind closed doors. It’s a common saying we all use. We say it about others but are never honest enough to apply it to ourselves and reflect on what it says about us. Rather, we use it to reflect on, judge the lives of those we think are like us, packed inside their own little suburban boxes. Consequently, we never truly know the nature of relationships inside other’s boxes. For what they appear and what they truly are, can be wholly different and sometimes, wholly misleading - and intentionally so. 

Peter and Fiona appear to live a life which could belong to any one of us but, as another saying goes, appearances can be deceptive. When a street beggar chooses to come into their lives, he does not appear to be all that he seems either, challenging their perceptions, stereotypes, questioning the basis of their apparently broken relationship. Rather than seeking anything for himself, he sees something in their lives which compels him to intervene. But some things are broken in ways which defy repair or the help of others. Some things, some people, choose to appear to be broken, to conceal a damage which is beyond repair. He has chosen to come into their lives and as another saying puts it, ‘beggars can’t be choosers.’ And even if they could be, choices bring consequences. Even for a well-meaning beggar.  

CAST: 2m, 1f. The characters have been written as a male and female married couple (Peter and Fiona) with the additional character of Luke. However, the characters can be played out as any gender/relationship mix and additionally, can be any age (albeit clearly an adult cast). It will need slight adjustments to some of the references/terms used dependent on gender choices.

SETTING: Present day.

STAGING: A single set. A suburban lounge in an apartment block.  The practicalities of staging probably necessitate an entrance/exit stage left and right and a space furnished with a minimum of three armchairs (or similar) and a coffee table to support the requirements of the action. The opening scene takes place outside a train station, but this should be achievable by lighting and being set apart from the main performance area. Directions are provided, simply as a suggestion, one interpretation.

FX/SFX: Suggestions are marked for convenience in the script. The (again) suggested music tracks would be useful for scene transitions with examples referenced at the appropriate points. All are David Bowie tracks.

RUNNING TIME: Approx. 45 minutes.

NOTE: This play has been written to suit the requirements of a festival or to accompany another play to make a complete evening. It was specifically written/designed to accompany another of my plays ‘The Devil who came to dinner’, two unconnected stories but with settings which can be used for both with little or no variation.

NB: Please be aware that this piece features in the published collection "The Next Ten Plays."

The artwork on this page is an original commissioned piece by the artist, Victoria Mironenko.

The printed script (in A5 format) is available to buy now. The cost is £6 which includes p&p. Simply click on the button below.