Black Widow by Paul Thain

Drama/ 12 Characters, 6 men, 6 women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Act One of “Black Widow” may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To buy the complete text in its Samuel French print version, click here.

Synopsis: Murder, madness, ghosts, and retribution are all themes of this complex and compelling drama.

Lord Arlington is dead, apparently from food poisoning. Obsessed by Hamlet, his daughter Emily becomes convinced her mother Cressida and family friend Richard Harker are responsible for her father’s death, and so resolves to exact revenge

Set in the Edwardian era, but with a very modern sensibility, this intensely theatrical work offers 12 strong roles, and can be performed on a virtually empty stage

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur rights:
Samuel French UK, Ltd.
Professional rights:
Casarotto-Ramsay Ltd.
National House
60-66 Wardour Street
London W1V 3HP
Tel : +44 20 7287-4450
Fax : +44 20 7287-9128
Playwright’s website:

About the Playwright: Paul Thain was born in South Shields, UK. Inspired by his acting experience with the National Youth Theatre, he gave up life as a bus conductor, studied A-levels, and then read Drama & Theatre Arts at Birmingham University. When his first child was born he left teaching to become primary parent and playwright. His second radio play, The Biggest Sandcastle in the World, won a BBC Giles Cooper Award as one of the Best Radio Plays of 1981, and he has subsequently written many more including The Paradise Machine, for which the BBC’s production won the 1995 European Broadcasting Union Award for Best European Radio Drama.

Other work includes four commissioned screenplays, as yet unproduced, and five stage plays. His plays have been published and performed throughout the world, particularly the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Black Widow premiered at The Library Theatre, Sheffield, UK in April 1998.