The Late Mrs Early

Norman Robbins

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4f, 4m

The Late Mrs Early
by Norman Robbins

Terry Early's announcement that he and Susan intend to marry rouses the fury of his overbearing mother Alice. Alice's sudden demise, following her handling of a faulty electric kettle, promises a peaceful solution. But Alice as a vengeful ghost is ev…

The Late Mrs Early

by  Norman Robbins

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4f, 4m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Farce, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences

Terry Early's announcement that he and Susan Rickworth intend to marry rouses the fury of the formidable Alice, Terry's mother, on account of a previous relationship between her and Reuben Rickworth, Susan's father. Sam Early is caught in the middle of this and his peace of mind – as that of his crony, Joe – is shattered. Alice's sudden demise, following her handling of a faulty electric kettle lent her by the inquisitive neighbour, Mabel, promises a peaceful solution.  But Alice as a vengeful ghost is even more formidable than as a living wife and mother.  Much drama ensues in which both families – and Mabel – are involved before Alice's ashes can be persuaded to lie quiet in her urn, until Sam is ready to join her.


First produced in 1976

As of 2016 over 300 productions worldwide

Dutch and Russian translations


Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • No Special Cautions

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Time Period: 1980s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Action of the play passes in the living-room of the Early's terraced council house

Act 1 Sc 1 - Saturday morning: Sc 2 - The following Saturday evening

Act 2 Sc 1 - Sunday afternoon, one week later: Sc 2 - the following Saturday, early evening


4f, 4m
Cast Attributes
  • Not Applicable

TERRY - young (17 - 20)

SUSAN - young (17 - 20)

MABEL - (50 - 70)

SAM - (40 - 50)

ALICE - (40 - 50)

JOE - (50 - 70)

REUBEN - (40 - 60)

LUCY - (40 -60)

Casting Notes

Ages of characters are 'liquid' but each character must be of an age to compliment their respective partners and relationships to other characters.







Norman Robbins

Norman, one of Amateur Theatre's most popular authors wrote his first stage show almost 60 years ago whilst working for the Yorkshire Evening Post. An avid theatre-goer from the age of 3, (his Grand-parents ran the pub near the local theatre so free tickets were always available) he was equally fascinated by Operett ...

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