When Summer dies of Shame – One Act British Drama


One act British drama in which a young woman, who is the product of a rape, tracks down the elderly man who raped her monther.


one act British drama for three actors


A bloody Civil War has been raging in the fictitious country of Carthinia. One of the many atrocities committed during the war was Colonel Ivan Karovitch’s rape of a young Carthinian girl, the murder of her boyfriend and her parents. The rape victim takes refuge in a convent where she gives birth to a daughter Natalie. When just a few months old Natalie is adopted by an English couple and brought to the UK in this one act British drama.

Ivan flees to the UK and begins a new life here. He marries and runs a flower shop with his English wife revealing nothing of his past to her. They have a daughter Jessica. When Jessica’s mother dies, her father Ivan comes to live at Jessica’s house in an annex. Ivan retires and spends his days tending his allotment and the garden.

Natalie visits Carthinia and finds her birth mother who tells her about the rape and that she must track Ivan down and ensure he’s brought to justice. Natalie is focused on the crime and is oblivious to the implications of her existence being a result of the rape. Natalie enlists the help of a journalist and Ivan’s army photograph and details of his crimes appear in an edition of the Guardian. Ivan sees the article and suffers a seizure and is taken to hospital. They can’t find anything physically wrong with him but it is decided he is unable to look after himself and he is put into a nursing home.

Natalie who is a trained nurse and already working in a care home, traces Ivan through Jessica’s Facebook page, and she then takes up a vacancy at the nursing home where Ivan is being looked after

The play is set in Ivan’s room in the nursing home. The play opens with a short introductory scene – set in the present – three weeks after Ivan has committed suicide. We then flashback to the day before Ivan’s suicide and the story of the events leading up to his death unfolds. In the final scene we are back in the present and this is when the increasingly confrontational relationship between Natalie and Jessica reaches its climax.


Shetland County Drama Festival, Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK – 2017
French-American International School, CA, USA – 2019


Read more about playwright James Chalmers. Other plays by James.

Author: James Chalmers

Genre: One act  British drama

Type: One act play

Cast: Three, 3 – 1M (non speaking) 2F parts

Ages of the actors: M 50-70 years, F 20-40 years – one older than the other

Suitable for: All ages

Length of play: 20 minutes

Set: Ivan’s room in the nursing home with an armchair.

Level of difficulty:
7/10 – although there are 3 actors, thi is in essence a duologue for two conflicting F parts.

Read a Sample of the Script

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Contact Off The Wall Plays with any queries about When Summer Dies of Shame

Copyright ©January 2015 James Chalmers and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other short one act drama scripts that we stock:

The mysterious death of Christine Wilde – whodunit stage murder mystery
Two brothers – a duologue about dealing with a parent with Alzheimer’s
Choices – South African teen drama

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