Tagged: Cradle to the Grave

Published Plays

Three Plays by Laurence Allan front coverbook

On The Road Again

The Best Years of Our Lives

Cradle to the Grave

Published by Seren Books -  Edited by Brian Mitchell

On The Road Again

Two hapless buddies, Rich and Beefy, fight, swop stories, recall good times and bad, trade lies, insults and meagre possessions. Will their friendship survive a notice to evict them from the squalid Splott caravan they call home? This lively, funny short play is a Laurence Allan classic.

The Best Years of our Lives opens with the closure of the last coalmine in Wales. Ex-miner Neil thinks the future for him and his wife Glen lies in a new suburb, a new job and the spurious ‘Heritage Trail’ envisioned by neighbours, Rob and Fiona. Then Glen’s dad Clem goes on hunger strike. Glen starts turning Japanese and before you know it, a plot is hatched to kidnap the Secretary of State for Wales

Cradle to the Grave – commissioned to mark the 50th Anniversary of the National Health Service charts the painful misadventures of a private patient named Nye Bevan, mistakenly transferred to an NHS hospital that has just closed, where he encounters an enraged flower-seller, maladroit administrators, a drunken doctor and two salvage men wielding chainsaws. This play is a brilliant satire on the beleaguered state of the Health Service.

To get your own copy, email – larryallanjones@gmail.com

Theatre Plays

Excerpt from: The New Companion to the Literature of Wales – editor Meic Stephens

‘Born 1954 in Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan. His passionate, humane and sometimes angry concern for the plight of ordinary people is evident in much of his writing. Above all he articulates feelings of disempowerment experienced by those who find themselves caught up in economic and political changes beyond their control. Although the world he presents is often bleak, his plays are also characterized by mordant black humour and an affectionate, sharp ear for the idiomatic English of South Wales.’

1985    ‘Over the Wall and Back Again’, Writer & Director Made in Wales,

1986    Duel at Twilight, Spectacle Theatre

1988    A Blow to Bute Street’, Sherman Theatre

1990    ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, Made in Wales/Theatr Clwyd/Sherman

1991    The Valley of the Kings is a Community Play about Pontypridd

1994     ‘On the Road Again’, Hijinx Theatre, Wales & England Tour (published by Seren books)

1996     ‘Stairway to Heaven’, Hijinx Theatre, Wales & England Tour

1997     ‘Dangerous Acquaintances’  Hijinx Theatre, Wales & England Tour

1997    ‘Cradle to the Grave’   Welsh College of Music and Drama & Made in Wales. (published by Seren books)

2002            Angels Don’t Need Wings’ Hijinx Theatre 21st Anniversary production @ ShermanTheatre

2002                ‘More than just a Game’ -  Plymouth Theatre Royal, Young People’s Company

2004                ‘For Ever’ – Adaptation of Short Story – Plymouth Theatre Royal

2004                ‘Flowers from Tunisia’Theatr y Byd

2005                ‘If you can’t sing, stand at the back of the hall.’ - Plymouth Theatre Royal/York Theatre Royal & Unicorn Theatre, London                                                                        

2009                Stairway To Heaven On The Edge – tour.

2009               Gladiator – Spectacle Theatre /RCT Commssion – ongoing

2010            The Day Stanley Baker Died The Zulus Rapped on Llanwonno Mountain(Writer & Director) Mzansi Cymru showcase, Soar Centre, Penygraig      

2011                   Life on Robben Island (Writer & Director) – Unusual Stage School, Disability Arts Cymru + Valleys Kids collaboration: Mzansi Cymru, Glanfa Stage, WMC

2011            Flowers from Tunisia, Torch Theatre + Wales Tour

2011            ‘Torchbearers’ Showcase, (Writer & Director)  Zip Zap Circus,                    Cape Town, South Africa

2012               Torchbearers’ (Writer & Director)  Donald Gordon Theatre, WMC & Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa

Excerpt: Cradle to the Grave


                   LAURA  at the computer. QUILLER comes in.
LAURA        Gillespie. I didn’t expect you so early. How was your sort of date?
QUILLER    She didn’t turn up.
LAURA        Swinging around.  I’m sorry I thought you were – I don’t think you should be                                here.
QUILLER    I don’t think  you should be here.
LAURA        Well I sometimes think that but this is my office and I don’t believe you have
an appointment.
QUILLER    I don’t believe I do. I don’t believe a lot of things any more.
LAURA goes to pick up the telephone
QUILLER    I don’t want you to do that. You’re supposed to be talking to me.
LAURA        What do you want?
QUILLER    I want a doctor.
LAURA        Well you haven’t really come to the right place.
QUILLER    Where do you suggest? The post office.
LAURA        If you require treatment then I suggest -
QUILLER    I form an orderly queue? Stretching several years. Unless of course I’m some                                useless old codger dieing of cancer then I should join a much shorter queue                        outside the morgue. No, I do not require any treatment, I require one doctor,                                      possibly two, definitely two nurses and one porter. And a load of drugs.
LAURA        I think I should call someone. Don’t you.
QUILLER    You’ve got my order. And before you start messing it up. You should know                                          that I’ve got Nye Bevan. Over there. In his hospital.
LAURA         In his – looks out of the window. That hospital is closed. Now I really think -
QUILLER    Then why has it got a patient in it then?
LAURA        A patient?
QUILLER    Who you should be looking after.
LAURA gets up and looks across to the hospital.
LAURA        Is this Mister Bevan, by any chance, having a baby.
QUILLER    No, he’s having a heart attack. Over there. In his hospital. The People’s                                Hospital. Remember it.
LAURA        Yes, I do remember it. Very well .And  I know that there is no one left in it. Not a                   soul. Or if there is they shouldn’t be-
QUILLER    It’s his hospital, course he should be there. Nye Bevan, his foundation, said             so              himself on those steps.
LAURA        Nye Bevan?
QUILLER    Yeh. Heard of him?
LAURA        Yes I believe I have.
QUILLER    Well you’ll know then.You’ll know won’t you. You’ll know all about it.  He told             my              father. On those steps. Do you know my father?
LAURA        I’m sorry I don’t believe I do.
QUILLER    I’m sorry I don’t believe you do. Now he thinks it’s a memorial. Our hospital.                                Probably because he’s dying. His head’s probably full of that stuff. Now if you                            don’t give me a doctor and a nurse and drugs he’s going to die anyway and             I’ll                 give him a memorial.Flowers at midnight Right.
LAURA        Right. Right Mister -
QUILLER    Quiller.But it’s not mister.
LAURA        Right. I don’t have to do this but I will. I will contact A and E for you. They will
investigate. If they discover that it is a fraudelent call you will be charged for                                  the callout and possibly prosecuted. Now, if you  don’t leave this office                                  immediately  I will have you  removed. Picks up telephone Heart attack you                                  say.
QUILLER    That’s Nye Bevan, not my father.
LAURA        Right. Dials. Hello, chief executive  here – yes  – Well I have an emergency for                                 you -  of sorts – Possible incident at the City Hospital – yes I am aware that is                                      closed – so let’s call it an emergency transfer -
            QUILLER cuts her off.
QUILLER.    No. No. Not a transfer. Nobody is being transferred. Not any more. I want                                           doctors,nurses, porters, medication. The works. Over there. Where it belongs.                             Now. Please.
LAURA        Now, I’d like you to listen to me very carefully. I will deal with your request, in                                 my own way. But if you don’t leave this office immediately I will have to call the
police and have you removed forcibly.
QUILLER    You’re not listening to me at all are you. Now if you don’t give me what I want,         I                   will leave this office and I will give you what you want. What you all want.                                Understood?
LAURA        Understood. She picks up the telephone. I’m calling the police.
   QUILLER wrenches it out of its’ socket.
LAURA        That wasn’t very smart was it.
QUILLER    I’m not very smart. I’m very angry.
LAURA        You are in danger of doing something that you regret.
QUILLER    Am I?  Well you’ll have to advise me how to live with it then, cos you must be                                      up  to your neck in it.
LAURA        I think you should know, I want you to know, that I abhor violence.
QUILLER    Well I don’t. I fucking hate it.