Relatively Speaking: Synopsis

Cast: 2 male / 2 female
Running time (approximate): 2 hours - not including the interval.
Availability: Relatively Speaking is available for professional and amateur production.
Acting edition: Published by Samuel French.

Relatively Speaking is set in Ginny's flat in London and the garden of the Willows, Lower Pendon. It is set in the mid 1960s and it is the playwright's preference productions should be set in this period.


Greg (A young man)
Ginny (His girlfriend)
Philip (Her older former lover)
Sheila (Philip's wife)
Ginny’s bed-sit in London in the mid-1960s: Greg is in bed when the phone rings, but the caller hangs up. Greg met Ginny only a month ago but wants to marry her; Ginny won’t accept until she has persuaded her former married lover to stop harassing her with chocolates and flowers - and to secure some compromising letters. Greg meanwhile is intrigued by a pair of slippers in the bedroom that aren’t his. Sidestepping questions about the slippers, Ginny proposes to see her parents, who are apparently unaware of Greg’s existence. She leaves and Greg finds a note of the address and decides to follow and surprise her. He packs the slippers in his bag.

Unfortunately, Ginny is not going to see her parents, but her former lover.

Greg arrives at Philip and Sheila’s house, The Willows, in Lower Pendon, in advance of Ginny. He meets the couple, whom he assumes are Ginny’s parents, and all have a conversation at odds with each other, leaving each other none the wiser who everyone else is. Ginny arrives and meets a bewildered Sheila, who has no idea who the newcomer is either.

During the course of the second-act, everyone finds themselves at cross-purposes with each other. Ginny is convinced Sheila is aware of her and Philip’s affair; Philip believes Sheila has had an affair with Greg and that Greg wants to marry Sheila; Greg cannot understand Philip’s attitude to him or why he is so against Greg's proposal of marriage to his ‘daughter’.

Ginny, finally able to speak to Philip, persuades him to pretend to be her father and he eventually agrees to let Greg marry Ginny, but that he should also take his ‘daughter’ off on a holiday abroad first.

Sheila, previously unaware that Philip has been having an affair, cottons on when Greg gives her the slippers. She hides the slippers in an urn and manipulates Philip into changing the holiday into a honeymoon for Greg and Ginny. Greg and Ginny leave with Greg still clueless as to what has happened and who he has actually met.

Philip realises Sheila has worked out what happened, but he is more interested in the pair of slippers he finds in the urn. Philip notes they aren’t his, to Sheila’s surprise, and he wonders whose they are.

But Sheila has no intention of revealing whose they are either….

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.