Just what does it take to decide ‘the show must/needn’t go on’?

Robert Winter is a veteran actor whose career has been in a holding pattern for some time. He finds himself performing in an award winning ‘post modern cataclysmic’ one-man show. A show he thinks is a heap of artless crap.

But today is no ordinary day. Today he received news that would cause most people to take the day off work. As he sits in his dressing room preparing for the performance, he begins to share with his character, the despicable Monsieur T, the frustration and joys of being an actor. But something’s playing on Robert’s mind that needs to come out and Mr T knows it. Even the Tannoy on the wall becomes more than just a stage manager’s voice as Roberts’ conscience struggles to be heard.

Both homage to acting and a lament, Winter’s Discontent is also a play about a man facing up to loss. At times very funny and deeply moving, it reveals an actors life and celebrates the craft of acting with moments of theatrical daring.

Please note: This script includes opportunities to adapt place names and other location specific details to suit the needs of the production. Any further alteration may be submitted for consideration when making a production enquiry.

  • naturalistic
  • 75
  • 2 total
  • 1 female identifying, 1 male identifying
  • culturally and linguistically diverse
  • 18+
  • adult, teen, young adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Male | 50s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 3

EXTRACT: Well can't worry about you now Dan, got a play to do, to get ready for, to perform, to amaze, to earn a crusty crust with. (He hangs up his jacket) A crust? Crumb actually. To earn a crumb with. Thirty-seven years Danny my boy, and I'm still getting crumbs. The occasional slice. I wanted a whole loaf, a fucking bakery. Almost got it, but just when you think it might be there for the taking it's not. It's gone, taken by someone else, someone with darker hair, straighter teeth, longer bones, or a more favourable conjunction of the planets.


Male | 50s | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 18

EXTRACT:'s who I am. That's how it is. She is her work as much as I am mine. I know it's hard living with an actor, I live with one all the time. And on a day like today.......more than's what I have to do. (beat) Because you see Mr T. there is something in the weight of a body, the turn of a mind, the tone of a voice, the beat of another heart, the story of another man, that I may fill with me, that I may fill me with, that, somehow....... makes me feel............whole.



"Winter's Discontent gives eloquent voice to the injustice that the hidden cost of for quality theatre should be quality of life for its creators."



"Theatre addicts like me will be enthralled by this piece."

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