Another 10-Minute Play – MAID OF HONOUR

As I’ve been so busy with life these past few days, I thought I would share one of my Trafalgar24 plays as a blog post. There’s already one of my 10-minute Trafalgar plays on this blog somewhere. You can search THE SPEECH to find it. This one, MAID OF HONOUR, is from Trafalgar24 2010. If you are unfamiliar with this event–playwrights get locked into Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, Ontario overnight. They each write a play and then leave the castle when the sun comes up. At that time, actors and directors enter the castle and rehearse all the plays for 8 hours. That evening, there is a gala event where approximately 300 audience members move throughout the castle seeing the plays performed in various rooms. It’s a phenomenal event. I’ve participating in the 2009, 2010 & 2011 Trafalgar24s. If you get a chance to attend, don’t miss out!

Here’s the play I wrote for 2010. I was given the Piano Room in which to write my play. I had to use only the props found in that room and I had to set the play in that room. (Somewhere on this blog are pictures of that room, in a previous Trafalgar24 post…but I’m not sure where it is right now. I’m on my way out the door to enjoy an evening of Italian food, family and friends! ETA: found it! Trafalgar pictures ) I hope you enjoy MAID OF HONOUR…

(as usual, if someone stumbles upon this post while googling 10 minute plays, etc, and wishes to use this play…please feel free to do so. ALL that I ask is that you email me for permission so that I know it is being performed.)



SYNOPSIS: Can a bride’s rocky relationship with her Maid of Honour survive a last-minute confession that she’s in love with the groom?


MELANIE : Overly dramatic and self-centred.

PENELOPE: The Bride to be. Down to earth. The victim.

DESCRIPTION: On the night before Penelope’s wedding, her Maid of Honour makes a confession. Is Melanie’s secret severe enough to finally break up these struggling BFFs? Or will Penelope find it in her heart to forgive her egotistical, self-centred Maid of Honour one final time in order to save her day?


MELANIE’S house.

MELANIE [Sitting at the piano with the swivel chair]: It’s hopeless! [Hits a low key on the piano.] It’s tragic. [Hits the same low key again.] It’s irrevocably ruined. [Hits the key one last time.]

PENELOPE [Sitting at the opposite piano, facing MELANIE’S back.] [annoyed]: What is? What’s hopeless, Mel? Tell me. How bad could it be?

MELANIE [Sighs. Swivels in her chair to face Penelope]: Remember that time your hair caught fire in the back of that limo? How mad you were? How you blamed me for ruining your prom?

PENELOPE: Nothing is that bad, Mel. Nothing could even come close to that disastrous moment—

MELANIE: I’m in love with Brad.

PENELOPE [Stands. Pats her hair, as though putting out flames]: What!

MELANIE: It’s true. I can’t pretend any long—


MELANIE [Stands]: We already covered that, sweetie. I’m opening up here. Please pay attention.

PENELOPE: I’m marrying Brad tomorrow.

MELANIE: Which is another reason you should hush and let me speak.

PENELOPE [Rushes Melanie]: What do you mean? Him too. You’re stealing him too.

MELANIE [Backs up.]: I believe the proper nomenclature is ‘also’. Let’s not jump to conclusions.

PENELOPE: You’re my Maid of Honour. My best friend.

MELANIE: But if you keep things in perspective, I’m also the one who torched your hair. I’m the reason you spent prom in the E.R.

PENELOPE: Not related. Does Brad know how you feel?

MELANIE: They are related, sweetie. You should pay closer attention to the woman who lit your head on fire. I’m flawed, Pen. Deeply flawed.

PENELOPE: I know, Mel, but back up. What’s going on? I’m supposed to be getting married tomorrow.

MELANIE: Pay attention. I’m trying to tell you. Hopeless. Tragic. Ruined. Remember?


MELANIE: Don’t go down that road again, Pen. You go down the ‘what’ road far too often. It’s a sign you don’t really pay attention when people speak. [Sits and swivels to face the keys.]

PENELOPE: Don’t turn your back on me. We have to discuss this. What about Brad?

MELANIE [Hits a low key]: Hopeless.

PENELOPE [Swings Melanie around to face her]: Enough with the theatrics. What’s going on? Have you stolen another fiancé from me?

MELANIE [With tragic look on her face]: I try to be a good friend, Pen. I really do. [Gets up and walks over to mirror. Casually studies herself] Do my eyebrows look even to you? [Turns to face PENELOPE, with back to mantel.]

PENELOPE: This is my life you’re playing with! I don’t care about your—

MELANIE: You don’t have to get so sensitive.


MELANIE: Yes, yes. The man you’re going to marry.

PENELOPE: Have the two of you been conspiring behind my back? Did you call me here to ruin my life again?

MELANIE [Walks away from mantel, towards PENELOPE.]: Honestly. You think so little of me.

PENELOPE: History has a way of dictating these things.

MELANIE: I said it was tragic, didn’t I? Would I think it tragic if Brad left you to run off with me? Give your head a shake. Why, I’d be elated. [Continues to piano and hits a low key.] I certainly wouldn’t be hitting the doom and gloom keys.

PENELOPE: Shirley. Gwynn. Or maybe Gloria. Oh, I know! Susan! It’ll be Susan.

MELANIE: I’m opening my spleen here. Why do you insist on rhyming off the guest list?

PENELOPE: Like hell I am! I’m trying to come up with a replacement.

MELANIE: Replacement? Replacement for what?

PENELOPE: You don’t honestly think I’d allow you to be my Maid of Honour now! Honestly, sometimes I think you’re so far up your own—

MELANIE: Words. Careful. No need to get nasty and trashy.

PENELOPE: It’s true. It must be awfully dark up there in the underbelly of Mel’s Great Universe. Why do I allow you to constantly wreak havoc with my life?

MELANIE: I’m good for you.

PENELOPE: If you mean like in the same way amoebic dysentery is good for a diet, well, yes. I’ll agree.

MELANIE: Oh, sweetie. Must you? Could we please be more civil?

PENELOPE: You were actually the twelfth person on my list the night I chose my Maid of Honour. Twelfth choice, Mel! And yet. Here we are.

MELANIE: Number one with a bullet!

PENELOPE: Oh, for a bullet. My kingdom for a bullet.

MELANIE: Listen. I only wanted you to know. Big deal. It’s my tragedy. Not yours. Surely you could overlook this tiny detail.

PENELOPE: Tiny detail? Tiny detail! You’re in love with the man I’m going to marry. That’s not a tiny detail.

MELANIE: In the grand scheme of things [Hits another low key.] it is a small thing. You’ll still marry him. I’ll want to slit my wrists when the vows are being spoken, but…but only on the inside, sweetie. I’ll be a champ on the outside.

PENELOPE: I can NOT have you standing with me on my wedding day. Being in love with the groom is the deal breaker, Mel. I just can’t.

MELANIE: But I love him. I need to be there. You can’t keep me away. I want to be—

PENELOPE: Why weren’t the skin graphs enough for me? What is it going to take to finally wash you out of my life?

MELANIE: Don’t dramatize. It was a perfectly respectable accident. I’m not the first one to light candles in a limo. It was Mark’s birthday. The prom was overshadowing his big day.

PENELOPE: Don’t bring him up. Please, God…let’s leave that one buried. I’m feeling stupid enough as it is. I’m always forgiving you.

MELANIE: Mark was a yit. You were better off without him. Good riddance to good trash.

PENELOPE: Bad rubbish.

MELANIE [Returns to mirror and begins preening.]: What now? What’s that about rubbish?

PENELOPE [Sighs.]: Bad rubbish. It’s bad rubbish. It’s good riddance to bad rubbish?

MELANIE: Like I said. At least we can agree on that. In Mark’s case, I was doing you a favour.

PENELOPE: You put me in the E.R. to make your move on him. That does not a favour make!

MELANIE[Leaves mirror and returns to PENELOPE.]: That’s not true. We were together long before the flaming hair incident, and you know it.

PENELOPE: It’s over, Mel. I’m glad you called me here tonight. I’ve finally come to my senses.

MELANIE: Please. Penelope. Don’t be rash. I already said this was tragic…don’t make it unbearable too.

PENELOPE: Does Brad know about this?

MELANIE: I love him, sweetie, but he’s as useless as bark on a donkey. Seriously, he wouldn’t know it if I wrote it on his face and pointed him at a mirror.

PENELOPE: Oh yes. That sounds like love.

MELANIE: Love is knowing the flaws and limitations of those on which you shower it.

PENELOPE [Sighs, defeated]: Love is a battlefield. I’m going to have to let you go.

MELANIE: It’s too late to fill my shoes. I just wanted to share my feelings. You can understand that, can’t you? He’s just so dreamy…for an intellectual stump.

PENELOPE: You told me. Now I’m telling you. You’re out. Susan’s in.

MELANIE: Susan? Ha. What time is the wedding? One-thirty? You’ll be lucky if Susan can walk a straight line by then. Do you really want her attempting the aisle in front of all those guests?

PENELOPE: Why are you torturing me? Couldn’t you keep this to yourself until after the wedding?

MELANIE [Moves to the mantel, fondles the lovers sculpture. Sighs.]: Brad. Oh, Brad. This could be us!

PENELOPE: Stop it. Stop it! I asked you a question.

MELANIE [Continues to fondle sculpture.][Distracted.]: Brad, Brad, Brad. [Irritated] What question?

PENELOPE: I asked why you insist on destroying me.

MELANIE [Turns away from the sculpture]: You! What about me? You’re marrying the man I love.

PENELOPE: You’re so infuriating.

MELANIE: Look. I just wanted to let you know how hard this is going to be for me. But I’ll do it. And I’ll do the best damn job ever. I’ll Maid of Honour like nobody’s business. I just needed to tell you it’s gonna break my heart, is all.

PENELOPE: You can’t tell me something like this and expect me not to react. You just can’t.

MELANIE: Understand where I’m coming from, Pen.

PENELOPE: Where’s that? The third circle of hell?

MELANIE: Clever. No, Hon. I’m here for you. I’ll hide the pain. I just needed you to be aware it was there. That’s all. [Smiles.]

PENELOPE [Shows signs of giving in, wavering.]: Argh. Can I trust you not to ruin everything? How do I know you won’t—

MELANIE [Brightens.]: I’ll be a bastion of maidenly honour. As God is my wit—

PENELOPE: Don’t do that! I’ve seen people struck down for less. Don’t make any promises you can’t keep.

MELANIE: Please, honey. Let me come. I won’t even look at Brad.

PENELOPE: I love him. Got it? Nothing can ruin our day. I can hardly look at you.

MELANIE: I don’t believe you. I’m irresistible! [Holds arms out in a Ta-da! gesture.] You’re crazy about me, Pen. We’ll pretend I’m not madly in love with him, shall we? I’ve been doing it this long…you can do it for one measly day.

PENELOPE: One day. That’s it. And only because Susan can’t hold her liquor. After your Oscar worthy performance, we’re splitzville. Understand?

MELANIE: Absolutely.

PENELOPE: You really leave me no alternative. But it’ll be duh-duh duh-duh-duh-duh-duh (<<Hums wedding march), then bye-bye, Mel.

MELANIE: You got it. I won’t even bleed. All the wrist slashing will happen up here [Taps temple and smiles.].

PENELOPE: I hate myself for allowing this charade.

MELANIE: You find me irresistible. That’s why we’ve lasted so long.

PENELOPE: I think it has more to do with self-loathing. What time is it? I have to go. Tomorrow’s a big day.

MELANIE: The day my love gets married. [Sighs. Hits a low key.] Tragic.

PENELOPE: I’m going to ignore that little dig. Get to sleep. I’m trusting you to do this one last thing for me, before we part ways. Be well rested.

MELANIE: I’ll be flawless. [Gets up and opens door.] You won’t even know I’m dying on the inside.

PENELOPE [Crosses to door.]: Goodnight, Satan.

MELANIE: Until tomorrow.

PENELOPE[Turns back to face MELANIE.]: Please don’t let me down.

[PENELOPE leaves.]

MELANIE [Closes door, sits down at the piano and strikes a long low note.]: Tragic. [Puts head down—in hands.]


By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright


  1. Kevin, not only are you good at natural dialogue, but your beats are outstanding.

    Is this set in a particular time period/ It screams40’s-50’s to me. What a great scene, Bravo!

  2. Thanks so much, Dale! When I get locked into Trafalgar Castle, my mind goes to the New York apartment of the Glass family of JD Salinger’s stories. He had wicked dialogue. My favourite is Franny & Zooey. Trafalgar Castle rooms seem to be able to take me back a few decades…to a time when people SAID more in fiction. (-: So glad to hear you liked it!

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