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School of the Dead (script)The Girl in the Hood

The Devil's Rope
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The Devil's Rope

( Zella Compton )
Price: £7.50

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Performance Licence: Band A - See Here

For 1 / 2 / 3 actors - see below (male characters) 

Run time 12 - 15 mins.


About the Resource

The Devil’s Rope tells the story of a World War One soldier who lies dying, caught in barbed wire - the devil's rope - just yards from enemy lines. Overnight, and into the next morning, the soldier waits for his friend Joe who he urges to come and save him from the wire and his injuries.

The soldier speaks of his role as a human bridge over the wire for his Officer and other men, before he became trapped in its barbs during a bombardment. As the sun rises, it brings release from the icy night.

This play was written for commemorative work for World War One, and calls for 1, 2 or 3 competent actors. (The script is written for three actors but can easily be adapted to a duologue or monologue). The language and structure are challenging. During The Devil’s Rope, the soldier’s waking state and his unconscious one are shared between the two actors on stage. The third role of the Officer can be given to a third cast member or played by the soldier’s awake state. The role of the Officer is NOT sufficient for Edexcel GCSE assessment (circa 20 lines).

For a sample of the play, click here.

About the Author

Zella Compton is a playwright and lecturer at Bournemouth University.

In 2016 she was awarded a place in Portsmouth’s Extraordinary League of Ten writers and begins teaching at New Theatre Royal.

Her previous roles include writer in residence for Bay House School, Hampshire (2013-2015), and for Havant Literary Festival (2014).

Her plays (including Girl in the Hood, Brotherly Love, Five Beaches, Genghis etc) - have been widely used by GCSE students since 2014, both nationally and internationally.

Zella’s first novel for young adults was published in 2012, and she continues as a weekly columnist for the Portsmouth News – a role she has enjoyed since 2006. Prior to becoming involved with education, Zella enjoyed many years as a freelance writer working for national and regional media.

As well as developing works for the stage, and lecturing, Zella teaches creative writing and performance poetry to primary and secondary school students.


Tags: World war one, WW1, WWI, soldier, dying, barbed wire, barbs, trenches, officer, field, history, duologue, monologue, commemoration, anniversary, Great War,wartheme


In Stock: 50

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