Small Plays About My Day

… tiny true dramas in a Charing Cross Road bookshop

On Leave

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.


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