An Error of Comedies, A Comedy Play Script, Ages 16 to Adult, by David Barrett (includes performance licence)

This is a modern comedy based on the plots of several well-known Shakespeare plays, particularly 'Twelfth Night'. The duration is around two hours. To read the entire script, click the catalogue button on the left.

The price of a script includes a licence for 1 performance. 

This is a copymaster script with permission to photocopy or print off as many copies as you need for your rehearsals. Once we have received your payment, you will be emailed a download link for your script. If an actor loses a script, simply run off another.

You will need a performance licence for every performance of this play.


An Error of Comedies, Sample


Dramatis Personae


At Warrington Logistics:

Amelia Headley-Warrington, Managing Director

Melvyn Prenderghast, Company Secretary

Sir Tobias Collick, Amelia’s Uncle and Business Partner

The Hon. Richard Fevergall, A Friend of Sir Toby

At the Banco Milano:

Sir Gianni Orsino Managing Director

Valentino Medici, Company Secretary

Others:

Ashleigh Luckett

Sebastian Luckett, Her Brother

Flynn O’Rourke, Therapist and Personal Trainer

Captain James, Hampshire Adventurer

David Battenberg, TV Director

Police Constable



ACT 1 PROLOGUE (OPTIONAL)

THIS SPEECH PARODIES THE ANCIENT ROMAN TRADITION OF PREFIXING A PROLOGUE. THE IAMBIC BLANK VERSE FOLLOWS THE ELIZABETHAN PATTERN. THE PROLOGUE MAY BE OMITTED.



FLYNN: Ladies and gentlemen I bid you welcome
To this, our tale of unrequited love,
And should you wonder who stands here before you,
My name is Flynn, your mentor and your guide,
The voice of wisdom.
I keep the counsel of the high and mighty,
I come and go and wander as I please,
Not bound by rules of manners, time and place.
In truth no wiser fool has graced this theatre,
A paradox apparent to you all;
I represent the wisdom of tradition.
Omniscient as the play’s events unfold,
I’m privy to the private, darkest secrets,
Of those whose very lives we now inspect.
In knowledge, I am greater than the playwright
Who sets these players free before your eyes;
Fear not: in case you find it hard to track my metre,
For in the play you’ll doubtless hear,
I speak in prose just like the other players.

ACT 1 SCENE 1 THE BANCO MILANO, FORTINI’S OFFICE (UR)

THE ACTION TAKES PLACE ON A SPLIT STAGE. THE LOCATION OF EACH SCENE ON STAGE IS GIVEN IN BRACKETS AFTER THE SCENE HEADER. FORTINI’S OFFICE IS UR AND AMELIA’S UL. UC IS THE SMALL COURTYARD GARDEN OF THE BIANCO MILANO. THE DS AREA REPRESENTS THE STREET IN VARIOUS PARTS OF LONDON AND, AT ONE POINT, A PRISON. THE ACTION FLOWS, UNINTERRUPTED, FROM ONE SCENE TO THE NEXT.
LONDON, SOMETIME IN THE PRESENT DAY

“The Love-Sick Banker”

THERE ARE TWO DESKS IN THE OFFICE. GIANNI'S IS EMPTY EXCEPT FOR A TELEPHONE AND A PICTURE OF AMELIA HEADLEY-WARRINGTON. VALENTINO'S DESK IS AWASH WITH CLUTTER. THERE ARE PILES OF PAPERS AND FILES AND A TELEPHONE HIDDEN UNDERNEATH. FORTINI SITS WITH HIS FEET ON THE DESK AND A SHEET IN HIS HAND ON WHICH HE IS COMPOSING A POEM.

GIANNI: The lonely wolf bewails his absent mate,
His noble stance belies his inner state,
While through the forest prowls the hungry bear,
No comfort finds he in an empty lair.

Who knows what lies in nature's cruel plan
That deals such blows to persecuted man?
With heavy heart he greets each burgeoning day
Struggling through the... through the...

ENTER VALENTINO

V’TINO: Not another one about a lonely wolf - please.

GIANNI: Goodness, Valentino, you gave me a start.

V’TINO: It's not one of your best ideas. You've populated your poetry with enough lone wolves to fill the whole of Siberia.

GIANNI: But the imagery sums up my mood. It's my way of expressing myself.

V’TINO: Miss Headley-Warrington won't accept it; she pleaded with me to stop delivering these poems.

GIANNI: Did she not accept my last one?

V’TINO: Not exactly. But I did leave it with her - after a fashion. I pinned it to a tree.
GIANNI: I have to write poetry. How else can I pour out my soul to Amelia?

V’TINO: You could try picking up the phone.

GIANNI: Never! I get so tongue-tied. How can I possibly express my feelings to piece of plastic.

V’TINO: A piece of paper is alright then?

GIANNI: Don't be flippant, Valentino!

V’TINO: I'm sorry, sir, but can't you see, you are being consumed by this passion?

GIANNI: That’s nothing new; all the great poets were consumed by something - passion, jealousy, hatred....

V’TINO: But you're not a poet, you're a banker. You don't deal in words, metaphors and imagery - you deal in stocks, shares and currency...

GIANNI: Currency? Scraps of paper adorned by the queens head promising to 'pay the bearer on demand'. To your knowledge, has the bearer ever demanded payment?

V’TINO: (PERPLEXED) Well, I, I...

GIANNI: Bankers lend money that doesn't exist, to people we don't know, which other people have promised to lend us and which is guaranteed by unseen securities put up by people we have never met. This is not reality - it's an illusion.

V’TINO: (TAKING THE POEM FROM GIANNI) But so is your relationship. How many more of these can I post on trees in her garden?

GIANNI: On trees? Whatever do you mean?

V’TINO: I told you, I’ve been pinning them to trees in the hope that she’ll read them when she takes a stroll.

GIANNI: Valentino, that's truly inspired! Even Lord Byron would have struggled to think of that.

V’TINO: And Lord Byron didn’t have the paparazzi to contend with.

GIANNI: What on earth do you mean?
V’TINO: Your poems are beginning to attract attention. The railings are lined with passers-by straining to read them and now the tabloids are onto it with their telephoto lenses.

GIANNI: It was never my intention to conduct so public an affair. But it might make her sit up and take notice.

V’TINO: (SNATCHING THE POEM) Sir Gianni! This is not the way.

 
(TURNING THE PAPER OVER) My God, it's the statement of stocks held with Van Heusen. I've looked all over for this document.

GIANNI: It's just figures.

V’TINO: This is a bank, sir.

(STARTS TO PULL ON HIS COAT)

GIANNI: Valentino, where are you going?

V’TINO: To rescue any other documents you might have used as writing paper, before this bank grinds to a halt with our reputation in tatters.

GIANNI: I beg you, Valentino, leave them for a few days until she’s read them all.

V’TINO Amelia does not want to read your poems.

GIANNI: Do not be so familiar. She is managing director of her family firm; I insist you call her Miss Headley-Warrington. Is that clear?

V’TINO: Yes, sir. perfectly clear.

GIANNI: It is my privilege to be able to use her Christian name. (SAVOURING THE SOUND OF THE NAME) Amelia, Amelia, Amelia; it’s poetry to my ears. Her name truly floats onto the night air like a sigh.

V’TINO: Your similes begin to arouse a sense of nausea in me, Sir Gianni.

GIANNI: (IGNORING THE REPRIMAND) How such a pure and simple name might arouse such passion, its vowels flowing like silk, its intonation plucking at the harp-strings of the soul, its bitter-sweet passage over the tongue like coffee and cream, its...

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An Error of Comedies, A Comedy by David Barrett, Additional Performances

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