The Merry Widows

Written by
“ The sadness, the joy, the laughter and pain and with a twist in the tail, it’s a mystery again. Go, go, go, ‘tis a wonderful show.”  Marie Ryan 96.5 Inner FM.

 
People are living longer, but married couples do not always pass away at the same or at even approximately the same time.
 
This means many people become a widow or widower for long periods of time. Sometimes society neglects these new singles. Some elderly widowed folk are shut-ins and lonely.
 
This play introduces a group of widows and shows how each is coping with life without their husband. Can you be a widow and still enjoy a great quality of life?
 
 

Photos

Shepparton Arts Theatre 2015
World Premiere at the Encore Theatre Company 2013.

Plot / Synopsis

Four mature-aged widows live in the same group of units. They have become friends and
meet once a week for coffee.
 
Kate is ‘normal’, Siobhan’s a social butterfly, Ruby has her late  hubby’s ashes with her in a carry bag and Joan knows little of the real world having been a ‘shut-in’ for the last twenty odd years.
 
These mismatched widows share secrets, sorrows and sins helping one another as their past helps them face their future.
 
But then a new widow arrives. She’s different, mysterious and striking and has a secret - or
two. She’s also on a mission that could destroy the merry band. Will it?
 
Setting
 
Only one set which is the lounge or sitting-room of Kate’s ground floor unit. It is tastefully
furnished and decorated. The diagram below is a suggested set only and groups may wish to
design their own. There is a coffee table in front of the settee at C and small tables beside
each chair. If the settee is a three-seater lounge than all five women can be seated on the two
chairs and the settee. If a two-seater then Siobhan can sit on the arm of one of the chairs.
Kate is keen on fresh flowers so many plastic blooms can fill the spaces.
 

Cast

Kate
 
Mature years, polite, beautifully dressed, helpful, has been a widow for several years
but is keen to keep active and reads, attends concerts and the theatre, has a son and a
grandson
 
Ruby
Eccentric without knowing the meaning of the word, mature years, full of life and
carries on as if her husband, Ernie, is still alive, wears unusual clothes and talks about
anything
 
Joan
Quiet, mature years, needs coaxing, shy and ignorant of many things, conservative old
fashioned dressing, has daughters and grandchildren, has lived a secluded life for
decades but has intelligence and wit to surprise
 
Siobhan
Action woman, mature years, lively, modern dresser [too modern], hectic social life,
has several children from three deceased husbands and many [she doesn’t know
exactly how many] grandchildren
 
Phillipa
Known as Pip, young, two generations younger than some or all of the others, striking
appearance with classy clothes and jewellery, trappings of wealth, mysterious, tough
exterior
 
Mrs Schmidt
Cleaner, 30ish, insubordinate nature, has English as a second language, can trace
branches of her family tree back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and to Czarist
Russia

Production Costs

12.5% of Box Office.