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portrait of Phil Gardner

Gardner, Phil (British playwright, writer, novelist, cat wrangler, 1973-____), “Ledgers,”

a 30-minute comedy in English, set on a wide ledge, high on the exterior of an office block, 2003, 


; •  © 2003 by Phil Gardner; • in Phil Gardner’s Ledgers (Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom: The Author, 2003); • script/rights available from Phil Gardner, 8 Tudor Close, Shotley Gate, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 1PA, United Kingdom, e-mail phil@philgardner.net, telephone (home) 44-1473-788384, fax 44-1473-788384, www.philgardner.net. • Cited by Phil Gardner via ftp June 21, 2003; Gardner says,

  § Dramatis Personae Pete (m), similar in age to Robyn, would-be suicide; Malcolm (m), aged anywhere from late 20s to 50s, a suicide counsellor; Robyn (f), aged anywhere from late teens to 40s, would-be suicide.

  § Synopsis “Robyn and Pete are standing on a ledge, high on the exterior of an office block, both contemplating suicide. Through darkly comic conversation, and the unwelcome intervention of Malcolm, a suicide counsellor with little understanding of the subject, they examine their lives and attempt to find a reason to go on.  

  §  Comment Written March, 2003. “The play ends with a subtle, yet significant twist designed to make the audience think a little about what they’ve just seen. ‘Ledgers’ is a play written from a certain amount of personal experience, using comedy to tackle the subject of depression and suicide without at any time making light of the issue or poking fun at the protagonists. The humour is derived from the wit of the characters, rather than any ridicule of their situation. It aims to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. The play has minimal set requirements, with no scene changes, and is simple to stage. It is suitable for any age from late teens upwards, both in terms of performance and of potential audience.” Elsewhere, Gardner adds, “A comedy about a subject close to my heart. The gratuitous use of penguins in the second half demonstrates the folly of people who think they can challenge me to add a ridiculous item to a script, safe in the knowledge that I'll never do it. That was one bet effortlessly won methinks. I started writing 'Ledgers' three days after having double glazing fitted, which perhaps explains why I felt compelled to give a leading role to a window.”—Phil Gardner - Plays, http://www.philgardner.net/Plays.html, accessed June 28, 2003. • Cambridge graduate, Whitbread nominee, Hollywood scriptwriter and author of more than half a dozen acclaimed novels, Phil Gardner lives in Suffolk in the east of England.

  §  Themes afterlife, death, depression, identity, loneliness, meaning of life, mental illness, religion, suicide.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


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