Tag Archives: British drama play scripts

A payment unkind – one act drama about sexual exploitation

drama about sexual exploitation

Three women find themselves trapped in a small basement room of an office building after the lift takes them down instead of to the floors they wanted to go to. They’ve not met before. There’s initial tension as a result of being stuck in this small room. And then increasing tension between them as it is revealed why each of them is in the building. They are able to establish contact with the reception desk – so they know they will be freed – but they don’t know when. They side with each other in different combinations as arguments develop – the main disagreement being about Alex Naylor an entertainment impresario whose office is on the seventh floor of the building. Is he a sinner or a saint? Why has Martine, one of his former proteges, come to see him? Is Hazel really his PA which she claims to be? Rhona is in the building for a different reason – but this too connects with the underlying theme of how men sexually dominate and exploit women.

A Payment unkind was performed in 2011 at three different Drama Festivals.  It allows for strong performances by each of the three female actors – whose characters are very individual. One of the actors won the best Actress award at one of the drama festivals.


Norbury Youth Theatre, Worcestershire, UK – 2016
Milton Academy, MA, USA – 2018
Chapman University Department of Theatre, CA, USA – 2018
Wakefield College / Performing Arts, Wakefield, UK – 2019
Merchant Taylors Girls School – Crosby, United Kingdom – 2019
Strathcona School, Alberta, Canada – 2020

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

Author: James Chalmers

Genre: One act drama about sexual exploitation of young women

One act play

Cast: 3F, young adult to 30’s

Length: 30-40 minutes

Suitable for: PG needed as mild sexual descriptions and references are present

Ages of the cast: Young adult to 30’s

Set: The play is set in the basement of an office building – dimly lit and claustrophobic. The basement is being used as a storage area. It is an untidy place where a number of things have been dumped. For example – boxes, a table with an upturned chair on top of it, files and a pile of old celebrity magazines. Off stage to one side (either left or right it’s not important which way round) – are the lift (elevator) doors. Off stage on the opposite side are the fire doors leading to the stairs. There needs to be a telephone (suggested this is on one of the boxes) with the cord hanging down behind so that the plug end can’t be seen. Two sound effects are required – the “ping” to announce the arrival of a lift (elevator) and a bell or tone caller for the telephone. The character Martine has a mobile phone in her handbag. The character Hazel has a (stage) knife in her handbag.

Level of difficulty: 7/10 – building up the tension towards the climax of the play

Read a Sample of the Script

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Cost is $11.00 for this award winning digital script. Justr click Shakespeare above!

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Cost is $15 for the printed script. Just click Shakespeare (number 2)

Contact Off The Wall Plays with any queries about A Payment Unkind

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

Like this play? Other one act dramas you may enjoy:

The Any Key – monologues for men about life
The Box – one act drama script
Behind the nets – one act period drama

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Stag – two-hander drama (poignant comedy) script for two actors

full length drama scripts


Two Englishmen are out of place, out of time and dangerously low on vodka…

In this two-hander drama script,  two old friends, John and Davvo, stage a reunion after a lapse of 10 years in a hotel room in an East European city. John is on the brink of marriage while Davvo, his best man, has embraced a life of carefree debauchery.  They find the battered charm of the city they remembered has evaporated, replaced by rampant consumer capitalism and belligerent British stag-nighters. At the same time, they’re painfully aware of the death of their own youthful idealism and John’s ambivalence about his impending marriage.

Over the course of an evening, they probe each others’ insecurities, finally agreeing to spend a “lost weekend” together, during which their friendship is tested to crisis point.

The producer and playwright Giles Morris was inspired to write Stag when returning to a small ex-Soviet capital after 10 years and seeing that while the city had been transformed by globalization, the ex-pat community were largely unaltered.

‘Stag’ was produced at the Courtyard Theatre, London, in October 2011.

“A concoction of sharp humour and tension that challenges our ideas of romance and commitment, security and freedom. Both actors give excellent performances in a bold play that will leave you talking and thinking for many nights afterwards.” www.remotegoat.com

Author: Joseph Hawkins

Genre: Two-hander drama script

Type: One act play

Length: Seventy minutes

Number of actors: Two, 2M. Voices offstage.

Ages of actors: Two men in their late thirties to early forties.

Suitable for: PG 14 (Language)

Level of Difficulty:  7/10 – building a climax and tension between the two actors and it’s quite wordy.

Set:  A hotel room in a minor capital city in Eastern Europe. There are twin beds with a coffee table between them, and large, curtained windows to the rear. A television set, a cracked mirror, tumblers and an ashtray. Overall, the décor is extremely dilapidated, in Soviet style, with heavy floral patterns in brown, beige and red and cheap dark wood. Dim electric light.

Read a Sample of the script

Cost is $7 for this digital play script

Contact Off The Wall Plays with any queries about Stag

Copyright  October 2013 Joseph Hawkins and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Have a look at some of our other dramas for small casts

Two brothers – a two hander play about two bothers dealing with a parent with Alzheimer’s
Abstinence only – a psychological drama about two trysting students who get held up and captured
The Mysterious death of Christine Wilde – a whodunit about a young actress who was murdered