Communicating Doors: Synopsis

Cast: 3 male / 3 female
Running time (approximate): 2 hours 10 minutes - not including the interval.
Availability: Communicating Doors is available for both professional and amateur production.
Acting edition:
Published by Samuel French.


Reece (A businessman, aged 30 & 70)
Jessica (His first wife, aged 25 & 45)
Ruella (His second wife, aged 45)
Julian (His business associate, aged 45 & 65)
Poopay (Phoebe) (A prostitute, aged 33)
Harold (A house detective, aged 35 & 55)
A non-descript hotel room in 2014.* Poopay Dayseer, a professional dominatrix, arrives to service the dying Reece. He has actually hired her in a desperate bid to witness a confession to having both his wives murdered by his assistant, Julian. Poopay signs and attempts to leave with the confession, but Julian spots it and tries to kill her. She escapes through a communicating door, without the confession.

Poopay steps back into the room and into the year 1994. She is startled by Ruella, Reece’s second wife, who is about to be murdered. Ruella reveals she is planning to divorce Reece because of his illegal business activities. She also believes Julian killed his own mother. Ruella does not believe Poopay’s warning about her impending death and only listens when Poopay reveals how Reece’s first wife, Jessica, died in 1981.

Ruella tries the communicating door and finds herself in the same room but in 1974 where Reece is on honeymoon with Jessica. Ruella escapes back to 1994 to discover time has already been altered. Ruella persuades Poopay to go back to 2014 for the confession. Having accomplished this, Ruella returns to 1974 and gives the confession to Jessica. Back in 1994, Julian from 2014 appears through the communicating door.

In 1974, Ruella, held by hotel security, is released by Jessica who does not believe what she has read or Ruella’s story. Ruella leaves, but writes Jessica a note to be opened nine months on. Ruella returns to 1994 and finds Poopay has been attacked by Julian, but a mishap has led to him being killed. The women conspire to get rid of the body, but while Poopay is away, the 1994 Julian arrives to kill Ruella by throwing her off the balcony. Poopay returns but is overcome by Julian who attempts to kill her. At this, a veiled woman appears pertaining to be Julian’s mother to avenge her murder. In fright, Julian steps back and falls over the balcony. The figure is revealed to be an older, but still living Jessica. She and Poopay then rescue the trussed-up Ruella who is hanging over the balcony.

Ruella’s note given in 1974 contained details of Jessica’s first child and Jessica has waited 20 years to help Ruella. Jessica leaves and Poopay reveals what life is like in the future for her. The pair promise to meet again in 2014. Poopay goes back to the future.

All has changed. Reece is a respected and healthy man, who misses Ruella who died the year before. But the biggest surprise is Poopay; she is now Pheoebe, adopted as a child years earlier by Ruella and Reece, happily married and with a full life. The women’s actions have changed everything.

Note: These dates (2014, 1994, 1974) reflect the play as written. The years may be changed to reflect the present day (i.e. 2040, 2020, 2000)

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.