A Word From Our Sponsor: Synopsis

Cast: 4 male / 5 female
Running time (approximate): 2 hours 15 minutes - not including the interval.
Availability: A Word From Our Sponsor is available for both professional and amateur production.
Acting edition: Published by Samuel French.


Harry (A vicar, 30s)
Janice (A widow, 60s)
Gussie (Her companion, late 20s)
Francis (A chemist, late 40s)
Nonie (His wife and a bookseller, 40s)
Rache (Their teenage daughter)
Earl (A businessman and entrepeneur, 30s)
Valda / Valder (Something else entirely)
In the near future in a disused railway station, the local vicar Harry has a vision of uniting the community with a nativity play. He and Gussie, a former teacher and carer for the elderly Janice, manage to persuade a local 'businessman' Earl to donate £5,000, The composer Francis and his wife Nonie are dubious about taking money from a man known to deal in drugs and who has already confronted them about their daughter Rache, who is perpetually listening to the equivalent of an implanted iPod.

The ethics become irrelevant when Earl’s club is burnt down and the money withdrawn. Harry makes a somewhat embarrassed plea to God for sponsorship suggestions and help with his love for Gussie.

And then a train stops at a station where no train has stopped for years and the attractive woman Valda appears, who offers £50,000 towards the play. Harry later introduces the new sponsor - who is able to change sex on a whim to become the male Valder - to the group. Gussie makes a late appearance and collapses in a fit. She realises the truth that Valda is the devil and cannot believe Harry invited Valda down. They share a romantic moment which is interrupted by Valda who unsuccessfully tries to corrupt Gussie. Gussie and Harry kiss.

Despite saying she would not intervene, Valda begins re-writing the script, replaces Gussie with Rache and insists on product placements. Gussie is revealed to be Janice and Francis’s child and when Harry reveals he knew this, she storms off. When it turns out Rache is also adopted, Valda withdraws the sponsorship due to moral irregularities.

With the company in despair and the devil having apparently won, Harry finds the strength to deliver a powerful sermon, aided by his company and Gussie who realises Harry has broken the influence of Valda. They triumphantly sing "We Can Do It" and decide the show can and will go on. Valda vanishes.

Later Harry and Gussie are alone in the railway station, when another train arrives and Valda re-appears, but Harry has her number now and tells her to “Get thee behind me…”, Valda leaves in disgust leaving Harry and Gussie to hug.

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