Small Plays About My Day

… tiny true dramas in a Charing Cross Road bookshop

On Leave

There haven’t been any Small Plays recently because I’m currently on maternity leave from the bookshop. In the meantime, you can read all the older plays below, or why not have a look at my 3-month old baby Arthur recreating scenes from classic movies at my new blog.



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 [...]


Starting a Family

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 [...]



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 [...]


Horse Wind

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 [...]



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. [...]


Great Beaver

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 [...]


Definition of Fiction

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 [...]



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: [...]



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 [...]

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  • "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

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