Out Of The Frying Pan

Housewife, Breda Flynn has her mind set on two things: breaking up her brother, John Joe’s relationship with the man-hungry Gretta Dunne; and winning the Imelda Crotty Memorial Cup in a forthcoming local baking competition. Meanwhile Breda’s husband, Arthur is feeling neglected and has health worries. Gretta is only too willing to lend him a sympathetic ear. Also, unknown to Breda, her son, Rory is getting friendly with Gretta’s daughter, Melanie.
To break up Gretta and John Joe, Breda tries to locate John Joe’s first love, Elaine Kirwan, a librarian and culinary genius. At first she has no luck, but then she learns that Elaine is judging the very baking competition that she (Breda) is entering. Breda not only wins the competition but also manages to arrange for John Joe and Elaine to meet at her house. Her plans are thrown into disarray, however, when Arthur is suddenly taken ill, necessitating a dash to Casualty, which leaves John Joe and Elaine to their own devices. John Joe lies to Elaine and says he has never looked at another woman since he broke up with her. The romance is rekindling nicely when Florrie Hackett, a disgruntled entrant in the baking competition – who lives across the road and who suspects foul play when she sees Elaine go into Breda’s house – bursts in. Florrie reveals John Joe’s relationship with Gretta and Elaine storms out. Breda manages to calm Elaine down and arranges another meeting for the couple at her house a few weeks later. But Melanie discovers what is going on and alerts her mother. There is a showdown between the main protagonists, but Gretta has the last laugh. Rory. meanwhile, has another unpleasant surprise for his mother.

The final scene takes up the story one year later and there are still surprises in store for everyone.

List of Characters:

Breda Flynn – a determined housewife in her late forties, who means what she says
Arthur Flynn – Breda’s husband. He is a few years older and has health worries
John Joe Foley – a quiet farmer in his forties, who is a doormat for women
Gretta Dunne – John Joe’s traffic-warden girlfriend, who has a reputation
Elaine Kirwan – a shy, inhibited librarian, who was John Joe’s first-love
Florrie Hackett – a demented, baking-mad countrywoman in her fifties
Rory Flynn – Breda and Arthur’s student son, who is in his early twenties
Melanie Dunne – a superficial style-oriented twentysomething

The play is set in the Flynn’s living-room. Each act contains two scenes.

Performed by:
Glengoole/Gortnahoe Drama Group, Co. Tipperary – February 2009 (4 nights)
Knockaderry/Clouncagh Drama Group, Co. Limerick – March/April 2010 (4 nights).

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