Script File

A Mere Interlude

Set in the socially limiting Cornish and Scillonian society of the
1860s, this is the story of an ambitious woman. To improve her
situation and escape teaching she agrees to marry the wealthiest man
on the Isles of Scilly, upon a secret contract set up by her parents.
On the journey home to her wedding she meets an old flame who seduces
her and makes her see that ambition must be subordinate to love.

They secretly marry but her bliss is immediately shattered by the
death of her lover in a swimming accident. Shocked and numb she
returns to her original plan of marrying the older man, the only
practical way forward for her. Fortunately no one seems to know of her

The wedding is difficult but the honeymoon is worse since her new
husband insists on taking her on honeymoon to the same town and the
very hotel where she had been a few days earlier with her lover. Even
his body is in the hotel. At his funeral she is confronted by an old
tramp, a witness at her first marriage, who attempts to blackmail her,
threatening her newly found security and independence. He pursues her
to the Isles of Scilly and begins the blackmail.

Unable to escape it and afraid of further complications she resolves
to kill him. After this and afraid of other revelations she tries to
confess her first marriage to her husband, who instead of being upset
is delighted, since it allows him to reveal his own secret, namely
that he has four daughters who he wants to raise and educate. Though
fearing a return to teaching, she elects to educate them in her own
progressive way, and they live a negotiated happily ever after.

  • Alan Kent
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    United Kingdom
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Writer Biography - Alan Kent

Alan Kent grew up in the industrial china clay region of Cornwall and attended the universities of Cardiff and Exeter. He has written a number of touring plays such as the award-winning The Tin Violin and Surfing Tommies. The Guardian said of his work that it is 'required reading' for anyone interested in Cornwall.

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Writer Statement

My adaptation of Hardy's story is hopefully faced paced with lots of twists and turns. It is not well known but places a woman in a serious dilemma. I believe it has widespread appeal, coupled with the incredible landscape of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.