Coming soon to a stage near you...

Most of my plays are available to licence for performance, direct from me and are also promoted on http://www.newplayexchange.org/users/73161/marc-harris - with further plays to be added. 




Blast from the Past 

Take one actor who wants to act, a brother, daughter and neighbour who also want him to, another daughter who doesn’t, and an actor - who can’t. The scene is set for an entertaining, poignant and humorous drama about family relationships, ageing and hope. Can Tim begin to find his inner confidence, and believe that there may be a chance to act for one final time?

This ultimately uplifting family friendly drama has a running time of approximately 100 minutes. It is set in the present day and can be easily performed with minimal design and costume requirements. It consists of 2 acts with 8 scenes and an interval, with a cast of 8 characters - 3 male (mid 80s, early 80s and mid 70s) and 5 female (early 60s, early 60s, 25 - 35, any age and any age - both of which may be played by the same actress). Although the main character is in his mid 80s, I envisage that the actor portraying him will be aged in his late 60s to late 70s.   

The title of the play has a double meaning – the main character emerging from a period of grief for his wife, stepping back into his world of work, and secondly, the happier memories of yesteryear, which he is reflecting upon. Although the main character is experiencing the very early stages of dementia, I have deliberately only touched on his illness, as it is not the main theme of the play. I was inspired to write the play after having enjoyed chatting with Colin George, the late classical actor and founding artistic director of the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield - a charming man whom I regularly served as a customer in my day job, although it is not based on him. 

My aim was to write an entertaining play with a minimal amount of conflict, which also reminds us that kindness prevails. It has much gentle humour throughout and I very kindly have two 'reviews', one from comedy legend Barry Cryer and the other from comic actor Jeffrey Holland. The characters feel very real to me, and I believe that their stories resonate with an audience. I enjoyed writing the interplay between the characters, especially in the first, penultimate and final scenes, where the humour is cranked up a notch or two. 

In November 2022 this was one of five plays shortlisted for the Stables Theatre New Play Competition. 
Fee: £40.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge. 

Duration: 100 minutes approximately. Cast: 4 women, 3 men.

I found this fascinating from the start, dealing as it does, with the bleak subject of dementia, with an undercurrent of humour throughout. I find some other writers especially interesting, as their work is so different from mine and this represents the perfect formula. Read, absorb and enjoy.  Barry Cryer
‘I enjoyed it enormously. It has humour and a great deal of poignancy and enormous depth of human feeling. Congratulations on a very fine piece of work.’  Jeffrey Holland

Blast from the Past is an excellent, emotional and very funny play. The first point I want to make is that it will definitely resonate with an older audience. Really hits many of the marks when it comes to the elderly such as struggles with forgetfulness, grown children, the question of entering nursing homes, lost loves and friends. Secondly, the humour is brilliant and paced nicely. Finally, there are several strong emotional scenes that deal with these senior issues. The play ends nicely on an upbeat note and I know audiences will love it!’  Robert Caston, New Play Exchange

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The actors who played the two brothers were superb. I was totally immersed in the characters of Tim and Eddie and their stories, expressing themselves in natural dialogue that recalled the typical everyday conversations that are familiar to us. Their easy rapport, good humour, and sharing of nostalgic memories, some of which were quite rueful, created very credible characters. The actor brother Tim, living on his own had a particular touch of poignancy, lightened by his new friendship with the charming young resident of the nearby flat. The dialogue reflecting the contrast between the two sisters, clearly painted their characters and threw a spotlight on well meaning adult children who can undermine their elderly parents. As for the audition scene – what fun!’  Flavia McCarney



 
Secrets & Pies

Harvey’s immediate family all want to talk with him, having unwittingly divulged secrets to one another while sitting in a hospital waiting room. The trouble is, Harvey’s long held secret has also been revealed but lying in a hospital bed, he can’t speak for himself. How does a family come to terms with these suddenly unravelled truths? And why can’t everything be as easy as pie?
This comedy drama has a running time of approximately 80 minutes. It is set in the present day and can be performed with minimal scenery/props. It consists of 1 act with 3 scenes (with no interval), with a cast of 8 characters - 3 male (aged mid 30s, late 60s, and 70) and 5 female (aged 20, 40, early 40s, mid 60s, and mid 70s, or alternatively a cast of 7, with the male late 60s and 70 roles  being played by the same actor, which could be quite comical, especially as they are said to look similar).

An entertaining drama with plenty of family dynamics and twists, plus a pleasing final plot twist right at the end - which the audience will never see coming! The title gives a playful nod to Mike Leigh's film Secrets & Lies and the play was specifically written with 'uplifting an audience' in mind, and for audiences returning to the theatre after some time, whom I felt needed to be entertained - it is not trying to be anything other than that. The play would work well either on its own, or by being presented alongside a second play, to make a full evening's worth of entertainment.    

Fee: £35.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 80 minutes approximately. Cast: 5 women, 2 men.

Secrets & Pies is the sensational new kitchen sink drama of our time (or at least for the first minute).  Marc Harris

‘... and enjoyed it very much. It fairly zips along and you've obviously visualised everything down to the tiniest detail. Family - "the factory in which we are made" - is always such a rich seam for any drama/comedy to mine, and the tension and conflict crackling and popping between Harvey, Sandra et al would, I think, play well. Ditto the twist - the reality that turns out to have been a dream that eventually manifests itself as a premonition.  Tim Whitnall, Evolution Productions

                                                                                           ‘... shows some lovely touches, and a light comedic sense of the ridiculous.  Adrian Metcalfe, Lighthouse Theatre 

‘I found the play immensely entertaining and enjoyable and it would make a great stage play. Each character came through in their own unique way e.g. the ditzy nurse! I found the dialogue between them all very natural and believable, reflecting the many different emotions – affection, worry, resentment, rivalry, annoyance, etc, that were at play because of the underlying secrets. The humour lifted the atmosphere so it was never dispiriting, and I particularly liked how you paced the tension stemming from each person’s concealment, and I had no real inkling as to what would eventually emerge.’  Flavia McCarney


Cliff on the Edge

Cliff, a cantankerous loner with sceptical thoughts on climate change and green issues meets his match in Fleur, a council surveyor with strong environmental views who attends an appointment to survey his rear garden, which backs onto crumbling cliffs and a 130 feet drop. Can Fleur persuade Cliff to change his ways and accept that his days spent living in this idyllic location are numbered?


This short drama has a running time of approximately 55 minutes. It is set in the present day and can be performed with minimal scenery/props. The script relies on sound effects to enhance the production throughout and build the suspense towards the end. It consists of 1 act with a cast of 3 characters - 2 males (aged mid to late 70s and early to late 60s), and 1 female (age mid to late 30s).

A fun three-hander about coastal erosion and environmental issues, with great characters, a good dose of humour and a strong relevant message - with a cliffhanging ending. The play makes use of a raised stage ideally, to convey the action but may also be 
performed on a level stage, with some creative thinking. 
   

It is possible for this play and Stage Door Blues to be performed by the same three actors, which 

would require (all approximate ages) a 50 year old man - playing mid 50s and early 60s, a 40 year 

old woman - playing mid 50s and mid 30s, and a 70 year old man - playing mid 60s and late 70s, 

which should provide an enjoyable challenge and opportunity to create two contrasting characters 

each, which I think an audience will find interesting.


Fee: £35.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 55 minutes approximately. Cast: 1 woman, 2 men.

Climate change is an important issue today. But how do you present that issue in an entertaining manner to a theatre audience? Marc manages to do just that with Cliff on the Edge. The play is a solid comedy with a fantastic visual twist that truly makes the point about the environmental challenges facing the world. You'll love the main character, Cliff, and his outdated views. This play moves along at a nice pace with the tension between Cliff and the surveyor Fleur who tries to set him straight. The planet needs topical plays like this!  Robert Caston, New Play Exchange
  • ‘Cliff on the Edge is a great dramedy that covers the climate crisis well. There is a great sense of comedy, but also dramatically captivating and will truly engage audiences. A great commentary by Marc Harris!’  Brenton Kniess, New Play Exchange                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The two contrasting characters are very engaging and interact well in a situation that is  personally challenging for them both. I am always intrigued by the stage directions and sound  effects that are a necessary element of play writing and you created such clear scenes, I could easily imagine myself on that cliff edge with Cliff and Fleur! You have a gift for natural dialogue and the ebb and flow of the conversation between them is effortless. It is also amusing  at various points and very cleverly incorporates present day topics such as climate change, same sex marriage and generational differences.’  Flavia McCarney
Stage Door Blues

Liz is determined to wait until she has her theatre programme signed but her husband Robert is impatient and persists in undermining her and Russ, an actor, because of her infatuation with him. Can they overcome their differences and bickering, and is Liz able to hold on to her secret?

This short comedy drama has a running time of approximately 18 minutes. It is set in the present day and does not require any props. It consists of 1 act with a cast of 3 characters - 2 male and 1 female (all aged mid 50s - 60s). The play was inspired by standing outside the stage door of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane until midnight on a freezing November evening.

A fun script which will make the audience chuckle, with a plot twist half way through (which some may have realised a little earlier).

In July 2019 this reached the short list of Pintsized Plays, the 
international competition for short plays, and the long list in 2023.

Fee: £20.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 18 minutes approximately. Cast: 1 woman, 2 men.



Stuff Happens!

When desperate Barry, who was close to jumping off from the side of the River Thames embankment is approached by Katie, his life takes an unexpected turn, while Thomas suffers the consequences of mistaken identity.

This short spy comedy has a running time of approximately 18 minutes. It is set in the present day and requires only a few props. It consists of 1 act with 2 scenes and a cast of 3 characters - 2 male and 1 female (all 50 - mid 60s). 

This quirky and physical script which could easily have an 
alternative title of 'Two Spies and An Accountant', will definitely have the audience laughing -'cause that's what it's for!


Fee: £20.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 18 minutes approximately. Cast: 1 woman, 2 men.

Stuff Happens is a fun based personal drama with a clever twist of espionage. If you like James Bond, then you’ll enjoy meeting the down and out Barry - a spy anti-hero. The dialogue is witty and the plot has its share of double-o intrigue. Very enjoyable.  Robert Caston, New Play Exchange



Grammatically Speaking

Simon decides to carry out his first burglary, unknowingly breaking into his former school teacher's cottage. Clive tries to convince Simon that everyone deserves a second chance but is everything as it seems?

This short (friendly) ghost drama has a running time of approximately 15 minutes. It is set in the present day and can be performed with minimal scenery/props. The script relies on numerous sound effects to enhance the production and build the
suspense, and consists of 1 act with a cast of 2 characters - both male (aged late 20s and mid 70s), although there's no reason why both could not be played by either sex.   

An unusual script, where to some, it may become apparent that one of the characters is a ghost, while to others, possibly not. 

In July 2020 this reached the long list of Pintsized Plays, the international competition for short plays.
 
Fee: £20.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 15 minutes approximately. Cast: 2 men.

This caught my eye as I'm a former secondary school English teacher. I love how two characters that would never normally mix in the same circles have come together and have a meaningful conversation. A good read and I enjoyed the audio production on YouTube which brought it to life.  Lou Jones, New Play Exchange




A Fishy Tail
The dramatic rescue of a girl on the Cornish coastline is linked by the account of an elderly man, who has waited to tell a similar story most of his life. Can they both convince those who doubt them, that the incredible events, connected by many decades apart, did really happen?
This short drama has a running time of approximately 15 minutes. It is set in the present day and does not require any props. It consists of 1 act with a cast of 4 characters - 2 male (aged
early 50s and early 90s) and 2 female (aged early 40s and 9). 
                      
A quirky script with an older mysterious character, and a fantasy element - which still feels believable. 

Fee: £20.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 15 minutes approximately. Cast: 1 woman, 1 child (girl), 2 men.
‘A very uplifting piece with some intriguing twists and turns. I very much enjoyed the fantasy elements that became evident towards the end of the piece, and the sense of being in on the secret that arises from Estie wishing Fred goodbye and realising she also knows his name without being told. Starting out there is a clear sense of drama, but it transforms through the piece and we are left feeling almost like it was a fairytale.’  Underscore Studios
‘I really enjoyed your play and can see it working as a lovely short film.’  Jessica Elisa Boyd, St Elmo Pictures.


My Home Is My Castle

Mary lives in a small one bedroom flat in a council block and is the last person living there, due to the council regenerating the estate. As she is not happy with the alternative accommodation being offered to her, she decides to make a stand but will her stubbornness get the better of her, or could it pay off?

This short monologue has a running time of approximately 16
minutes. It is set in the present day and can be performed with minimal scenery/props.

In September 2023 this reached the UK regional finals of the World Monologue Games.  
  
Fee: £20.00 per performance. Digital script: Available to read without charge.

Duration: 16 minutes approximately. Cast: 1 woman.

At times funny, other times poignant. An endearing character in mourning, who wins you over with her charms and way of speaking.  Asher Wyndham, New Play Exchange  

What a character! I was so invested in Mary's current struggle and so interested in her past.  Emmet L.F. Cameron, New Play Exchange
 
It was really authentic in the way it portrayed an elderly woman worrying about the changes taking place around her and the way they were affecting her home. You could sense her fears reflecting the emptying and deterioration of her apartment block. Yet whilst admiring her stubbornness you willed her to face a future that might possibly be brighter than the present she is living in. It was a masterly stroke to confront the reader with the fact that actually her stubbornness is vindicated because she achieves the outcome she really wants!  Flavia McCarney
  

Please note that the above performance fees are applicable to amateur productions only. For professional use, please contact me.




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