by Peter Griffith

 

Robbie’s father has left the family. All that remains of him is the empty chair – a constant reminder of his absence. Robbie’s mother does her best to look after Robbie, but life is difficult. Then one day a stranger appears. Where has he come from? – is he an alien from outer space? Robbie’s mother is delighted and soon the stranger is living as part of the family. But Robbie remains mistrustful. It takes a whole year of incidents and adventures in the family before Robbie begins to trust the new man in her mother's life. And even then, will Jared ever be able to fill the empty chair?

 

This moving play examines the stresses and emotions in a single-parent family, and traces with deep sensitivity the gradual development of the relationship between a child and her mother’s new partner.



 

Photos of 'The Empty Chair'

 

 

Extract from the script 'The Empty Chair'

Jared: Oh come along, Robbie. You must do your homework. Now come over here.
Robbie: You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my father!!!
Jared: Well no, I’m not your father. I know that. Of course I’m not your father. But your father’s…not here…at the moment…Is he?
Robbie: My father's coming back.
Jared: Good. I’m glad he’s coming back…
Robbie: I’m waiting for him.
Jared: Yes. But while he’s away – I’m here. Because I think your mother wants me to be here. And…I hope…that you like me to be here too. No-one can take your father’s place. But I can try to help you and your mother. To help you in the house – and to help you to be a bit happier, sometimes.
Robbie: But you don’t belong here, do you?
Jared: Well, as you know, I come from a very long way away. But perhaps I can try to belong here…just a little bit. Perhaps I can be your friend.
Robbie: Not if you make me do my homework…