Ruthless Ruth Script

I mentioned in my ‘Am-Dram…. Darling Luvvy’ post that I had two short (10-15 minutes each) stage plays produced by an Amateur Dramatics group. I’ve reproduced one of them below just in case you’d like to read it.

It may be used for script read throughs for acting training, or by drama classes. If you are a ‘not for profit’ Theatre company then you may perform it to a paying audience  if you wish after obtaining permission from me using the contact form on the ‘About me’ page and giving me a writing credit (I will always give permission if asked by an appropriate group and provide an email PDF copy  but reserve the right to blag two free tickets if you are reasonably local to me)……..

Now for your entertainment I present…….

Ruthless Ruth


Simon Elson

A Short Single Act Comedy

Dramatis Personae

Landlord: As described

Ruth: An escaped prisoner


Ruth, an escaped prisoner enters a pub after closing and reveals to the Landlord the reason for her prison breakout


Interior. A Bar. Night.

The Landlord is collecting glasses and wiping tables, Ruth dressed in overalls dashes in. She looks around furtively, draws the curtains and then starts to check the bar area.

Landlord: Err… I’m afraid we’re closed.

Ruth ignores him and continues checking.

Landlord: Have you lost something?

A beat goes by

Landlord: A dog?

Ruth is still checking.

Landlord: Handbag?

A beat.

Landlord: A child?

A beat.

Landlord: Hamster?

Ruth sits down at the table the landlord is cleaning.

Ruth: I’ve not lost anything I was checking for people.

Landlord: Checking for people?

Ruth: Yes and if anyone asks, You’ve not seen me.

Landlord: I’ve not seen you?

Ruth: That’s right. If anyone asks I’ve not been here.

Landlord: Is anyone likely to ask?

Ruth: Possibly.

Landlord: Would it be impertinent, as this is my pub to ask, who?

Ruth: Oh… I don’t know perhaps prison guards or armed police. Worse case scenario, journalists.

Landlord: Journalists?

Ruth: Yes, I’m a notorious murderer you see. I killed someone in this very pub. The tabloids nicknamed me Ruthless Ruth, You’ve not heard of me?

Landlord: No I’m new to the area, I only took over here a month ago.

Ruth: I used to be the landlady here and twenty five years ago I killed a local sheep farmer.

Landlord: Why?

Ruth: Because he complained about my menu. He asked for the Shepherd’s pie, and then claimed I gave him cottage pie.

Landlord: What’s the difference?

Ruth: I’m a fugitive from justice, there may be hundreds of people searching for me, thirty nine steps style across the peak district as we speak and you want a bloody cookery lesson?

Landlord: If you want me to follow the plot, then Yes. But I think it was Prussian spies in monoplanes not Daily Star hacks that were searching for Richard Hanney, besides wasn’t that the Scottish Highlands?

Ruth: I meant the police on the ground with large sticks beating the long grass, and I was only using it as an example not a geographical grid reference. Now do you want to know the difference between the two pies or what?

Landlord: Please.

Ruth: Right, Shepherd’s pie is made from lamb, Cottage pie from beef.

Landlord: Thank you Delia, No wattle and daub or thatch then?

Ruth: Before you continue to take the piss, can I remind you that I’m a vicious killer?

Landlord: Oh yes, sorry, what did you do to him.

Ruth: I put him in the next batch of Shepherd’s pies I made, No one could have me under the trades descriptions act for that, Shepherd’s pie made with real sheep farmer, close enough for me. I actually used that point in my defence.

Landlord: Used what in your defence?

Ruth: The fact that I was only following the recipe a little too literally.

Landlord: Did it help?

Ruth: Not really, as one of his legs was still hanging in the freezer when I was arrested.

Landlord: How were you caught then? Was your dog found Gnawing on his femur in the beer garden?

Ruth: No, I got a bit cocky.

Landlord: You didn’t put that bit in the pie as well?

Ruth: No, a Policeman came asking if I had seen anything of the missing farmer and I fed him one of the aforementioned pies.

Landlord: Hang on, be careful we don’t want to be accused of plagiarising ‘Tales of the unexpected’

Ruth: That woman hit her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, I used a casserole dish and in that story nobody ate anybody. Totally different.

Landlord: Oh, how did the policeman find out? Was it when you served it with fava beans and gave him a nice glass Chianti? Phhh, phhh, phhh.

Ruth: Now who’s plagiarising? Of course I didn’t give a glass of Chianti, he was on duty, so he had a pint of bitter.

Landlord: What gave you away then, was it the unique taste of human flesh?

Ruth: No it was the set of keys to a Massey Ferguson he pulled out of the gravy. Any way can we get to the point as to why I’m here.

Landlord: I thought you were on the run.

Ruth: Not necessarily, no. I’m hoping to break back into prison before anyone notices I’m gone.

Landlord: Break back into prison, Why?

Ruth: Because I’ve served nearly twenty five years, I’m eligible for release soon, It’s my parole board next week and as I’ve been a model prisoner I’ll probably be let out.

Landlord: So why break out then?

Ruth: Because we are allowed to read local newspapers.

Landlord: And?

Ruth: I saw you were advertising for a chef and I was wondering if I could have an interview please?

The End.

If you are a theatre group and enjoyed it but felt it was too short to use, I have a longer version, still a duologue but involving flashbacks and multiple roles which is around 25 minutes in length but is as yet unperformed, I would be happy to provide you with a script for it. If you liked my style of writing but want something different I would consider writing you a bespoke full length play that fits your requirements, please contact me…. Payment again would be just a writing credit and 2 free tickets ( I would require a 3-6 months timescale from initial enquiry to final draft)

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