Small Plays About My Day

… tiny true dramas in a Charing Cross Road bookshop

On Leave

Posted on | July 6, 2011 | 1 Comment

Small Plays About My Day had to stop when I left the bookshop to have a baby. Want something else to look at now? Have a look at my 3-month old baby Arthur recreating scenes from classic movies.

Machines

Posted on | June 3, 2011 | No Comments

Wild grey-haired man: It says here Mechanics and Machines, but a machine could be anything.
Emily: Yes?
Wild grey-haired man: A screwdriver is a machine.
Emily: I suppose so.
Wild grey-haired man: It’s about exerting a force. Like words. People use them but they don’t know what they mean.
Emily: That’s one way of looking at it.
Wild grey-haired man: They’re easy once you know how, machines.

Starting a Family

Posted on | January 8, 2011 | 3 Comments

Man with grey beard: Those two please, and I’ll take a bag, if you’d be so kind.
Emily: OK, no problem.
Man with grey beard: Good girl. Oh, hello. Hold on.
(Emily looks quizzical.)
Man with grey beard: Starting a family, are we?
Emily: Yes, we are.
Man with grey beard: Babies, eh? Getting one in before it’s too late, is it?
Emily: That’s right.
Man with grey beard: Getting in before World War Three.
Emily: I suppose so.
Man with grey beard: Toss up which’ll go first, isn’t it. The Euro or the internet.
Emily: Is it?
Man with grey beard: Use the internet, do you?
Emily: I do.
Man with grey beard: (Edging towards door) You want to be careful.
Emily: Oh yes?
Man with grey beard: (From doorway) I was working in a bank on the millenium. Using paper ledgers.
Emily: Were they?
Man with grey beard: (From outside, through door) Scared, that’s what they were. You watch it. Get one in before it’s too late. Good girl.
(Exit)

Conjurer

Posted on | December 14, 2010 | 1 Comment

Worried man in hat: I’ll take this one, please.
Emily: That’s £7.50.
Worried man in hat: (Searching pockets) Oh no, hold on.
(Pause)
Worried man in hat: (Finding wallet) Here it is. Good.
Emily: Momentary panic?
Worried man in hat: I was sitting next to a conjurer on the tube.
Emily: Really?
Worried man in hat: I’m not sure if he planted something on me.
Emily: Oh dear.
Worried man in hat: He kept patting me, you see, like this.
Emily: That sounds ominous.
Worried man in hat: Yes. I think he might have deposited a tea bag in my pocket.

Horse Wind

Posted on | December 4, 2010 | 2 Comments

Japanese Girl: Excuse me, novel?
Emily: Novels? Yes, downstairs, the second room.
Japanese Girl: You have novel, I don’t know name in English. Horse?
Emily: Horse?
Japanese Girl: Horse.
Emily: Um…
Japanese Girl: I don’t know word …  hill? Wind? Wind Hill.
Emily: Wuthering Heights?
Japanese Girl: No. Horse? Wind.
Emily: I’m sorry, I can’t think what it could be.
Japanese Girl: Horse?
Emily: No.
Japanese Girl: Thank you.

Lapsed

Posted on | November 28, 2010 | 1 Comment

Man in fur hat: Do you have a copy of the Rituale Romanum?
Emily: I’m not sure … what is that exactly?
Man in fur hat: They use it for exorcisms and house clearances.
Neil: Have you got a ghost?
Man in fur hat: Well, yes, we have.
Emily: Gosh.
Man in fur hat: I’m a Catholic, see. Well, lapsed. But this book has been scientifically tested, and it works for anyone.
Emily: That’s good.
Man in fur hat: Don’t laugh about it, because it works. If you’ve got a copy, hold onto it. You never know.
Emily: We haven’t got a copy, I’m sorry.
Man in fur hat: You’re sure you’re not tucking one away?
Emily: I’m sure.
Man in fur hat: Oh well.
Neil: Good luck with the ghost.

Great Beaver

Posted on | November 21, 2010 | 3 Comments

Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: Do you have any books on Native Americans?
Neil: I don’t think we have anything at the moment, sorry.
Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: That’s a shame. It’s my specialist subject.
Neil: Oh yes?
Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: I’ve got hundreds of books on them.
Neil: Have you been over there much?
Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: Never been. But I know a few Native Americans.
Emily: Do you?
Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: Well, there was one chap worked as a plumber with my brother. Called himself Great Beaver.
Emily: Right.
Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: He was Italian though. Just wanted to nick parts for himself.
Neil: Oh.
Man in In Fringed Leather Jacket: Some people just want to be something, don’t they?

Definition of Fiction

Posted on | November 4, 2010 | No Comments

Small Australian lady: Do you have The Silent Miaow by Paul Gallico?
Emily: I’m not sure … you could have a look in the  fiction section downstairs.
Tall Australian man: It might be in the children’s section. It’s about a cat.
Emily: I’m pretty sure we don’t have it in the children’s section … is it a novel?
Tall Australian man: It’s not really a novel…
Emily: But it’s fictional?
Tall Australian man: It’s not really fictional, no.
Small Australian lady: It is fiction. It’s written by the cat.

Hares

Posted on | August 18, 2010 | 2 Comments

Miniature old lady: You have a book on hares in the window.
Emily: We do – I’ll get it for you.
Miniature old lady: I’m so happy. Hares are really my thing.
Emily: It’s a nice book.
Miniature old lady: Last time I was here I bought two books on badgers.
Emily: Yes, I remember.
Miniature old lady: The time before that it was a book on foxes.
Emily: We don’t get many books on hares.
Miniature old lady: If you ever get another, please put it in the window so I will see.
Emily: I will do.
Miniature old lady: You see, it’s hares that are really my thing.

Cows

Posted on | August 12, 2010 | 3 Comments

Man with strong New Zealand accent: Do you have any cow books?
Emily: Sorry?
Man with strong New Zealand accent: Old cow books?
Emily: You mean … like the animal?
Wife with stronger accent: (loudly) Books about COWS.
Emily: I…
Man with strong New Zealand accent: Cows. Austin cows and Ford cows. Motor cows.
Emily: Oh! There’s a motor cow section downstairs.

more plays »
  • "In a town like London there are always plenty of not quite certifiable lunatics walking the streets, and they tend to gravitate towards bookshops, because a bookshop is one of the few places where you can hang about for a long time without spending any money."
    George Orwell