|Author||BOWER, Jules - Other Plays by this Author - Contact Author|
|Synopsis||A 70 minute comedy drama telling the story of a dysfunctional smoking cessation class
Every day Justin fights the nation’s love affair with tobacco. He fights it with diligence, any way he can- through seminars, workshops and group sessions; Teaching, learning, listening. Helping his clients overcome their fears of failure. Helping them to pull together and focus on this one simple yet important goal of stopping smoking. For after all- What is there to give up? Poor health? Foul breath? Poverty? If anything they will be set free, free from the confines of their antisocial addiction! If they can achieve this they can achieve anything!
Each have their own reasons for being there- Katherine, fresh out of her latest disastrous fling and determined to change, Roz, fighting to save a marriage and Siobhan, fighting a losing battle with loneliness. But all hope for a new start, as they turn, like children, to the man who will save them from themselves. But what can Justin realistically offer his clients? While his own marriage deteriorates, he starts to fixate on Tamara, the fiercely pro smoking, cynical barmaid.
As they journey through this perverse charade of enforced group therapy, rivalries develop, attachments are formed and secrets are revealed. Mostly they just miss that confidence giving Elixir that they have all in their own separate ways come to rely on to fight insecurity and depression, to anesthetise the pain of every day living. If this is “freedom” was confinement really so bad?
Events take a dark turn when Katherine, fuelled by neurosis, desperation and nicotine withdrawal, hijacks the group and takes Justin hostage at knifepoint. The pressurised situation forces Tamara and Justin to recognise their feelings for one another, while Siobhan chooses this moment to blurt out that she’s not actually a smoker- She’s just there to make friends. Roz meanwhile has been nursing her own terrifying truth since the start.
Who will succeed? Who will fail? Who will succeed and then fail six months down the line, succeed again the following New Year and then just restrict themselves to holidays and weekends?
Quitters is inspired by research into Together the NHS group therapy service for smokers, with interviews from smoking cessation graduates, representatives and trained councillors from the charities QUIT and ASH, as well as my own experiences of batting this infuriating, wonderful and suicidal habit. This is a story for anyone- smokers, non smokers and those trapped somewhere in between, about what holds people, sane people, to the insanity of addiction. |
|Cast||4F 1M (minimum 5)|
|Status||Available for performance|
|Please contact the Author: (for other licences please contact the Author)|
I am a screenwriter, sketch writer and playwright. I studied Drama at Exeter University before becoming a researcher in factual film. My first writing project was a feature script commission for award winning Indie Stone City Films. My short film King Jeff was one of ten winners in the I-Blink International Screenwriting Competition and is currently in post production with a grant from the UK Film Council starring Jeremy Swift, Kulvinder Ghir and Ben Crompton. I have also had two stage plays produced, at the Arundel Arts Festival and at the Theatre Museum, and I write for several sketch shows on the London comedy circuit where my work has been performed at Madam Jo Jos, The Canal Café Theatre, The Islington Pleasance, and The Hackney Empire New Act of the Year. I was recently selected for a Script Factory project to develop ideas for the Radio 4 Afternoon Play strand.