BREAKTHROUGH by Paul O’Farrell & Ben Smithard


Shackled by the constraints of his drama classroom and recovering from a heart-breaking past; Gregory Lloyd-Thompson needs more. Haunted by his ‘what could have been’ mentality, he is driven by the notion that he is worth more to the world in which he lives. Gregory’s play ‘Exit Stage Left’, will be his break-through, or so he believes. His jet-black play centres on a celebrity couple involved in a fatal car accident involving the death of a little girl. Supported by his cast of ambitious ex drama students, colleagues from school and an inept technician, Gregory is ready to receive the acclaim he so desperately craves, but at what cost?

The play ‘Breakthrough’ cuts between the theatre group in their apocalyptic final rehearsal stages and the real life roadside tragedy, as we learn more about the characters from both sides of the stories. Boundaries between past and present blur to reveal how ruthlessly Gregory will pursue his dream.




Gregory Lloyd-Thompson



Greg is a bitter and resentful drama teacher at a school in Sheffield who is driven by the need to be someone. After nursing his ill wife through her final days, he is now looking to make up for lost time with his new jet black little play ‘Exit Stage Left’, which he has written. Greg is a ruthless and uncompromising man.
Liberty Fowler



Liberty is very ambitious and is Greg’s leading lady. Liberty was taught by Greg and has graduated from a famous acting school in London and is looking to cement herself into the world of fame. This has, so far alluded her despite once being a child television star. She is currently dating Jonathan.
Stu Burnham




Stu is enthusiastic, but an incompetent lighting and sound Technician at the school, supporting Greg with the play. Stuart idolises Greg and is socially awkward.
Philippa Parfitt



A teacher at the same Secondary School as Greg. A popular, dedicated and well respected teacher who is giving up her summer to help take the play to Edinburgh. Philippa’s calming influence is a contrast to Greg’s intensity.
Jonathan Truman



Greg’s leading male and dating Liberty. He has a carefree approach to life and is far more interested in his social life than studying or being successful in Greg’s play. Jon is the son of Peter Truman, Greg’s best friend
Sian Hopewell



A young woman who is mid-way through her Drama course at an acting school in London. Previously she had been taught by Greg and has a minor role in the play. She is in Liberty’s shadow and feels she is worthy of more.
Daniel Malcolm



Currently employed in a theatre group, which mostly tours schools in South Yorkshire giving advisory workshops. He has a minor role in Greg’s play. Daniel is a snide, self-gratifying cast member who spends the majority of his time criticising and finding fault with others.
Peter Truman



A lifelong friend of Greg’s and a source of support for him following the death of his wife. He is a millionaire after making his fortune through a string of coffee shops in the North of England. He is bank rolling Greg’s play. Jonathan is his son.
Catherine McHale



A university student who was also taught at school by Greg and Philippa. Though not a Drama specialist she is a competent performer and a reliable pair of hands. She has a role in Greg’s play and is a genuinely nice person.
Stefan Wilson



A fictionalised leading male in Greg’s play. He has the lifestyle and success that Gregory feels he is owed. He is a superstar actor and married to the stunning Olivia. He is controlling and arrogant. He is responsible for the death of Jessica Turner.
Olivia Wilson



The leading lady in Greg’s play and Stefan’s wife, she is also a big success with a great future ahead. She is pleasant and admired but is easily manipulated by Stefan. She is in the car when Jessica is killed and is riddled with guilt.
Liz Turner



The mother of a young girl who is killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver she is devastated and struggles to comprehend what has happened.
Jessica Turner



A 10-year-old girl who is killed by a hit-and-run driver. Daughter of Liz, a lovely sweet girl.
Charlotte Turner



The sister of Jessica Turner. She is a source of support for her mother
Police Officer

(male or female)

The officer who visits the Turner family to deliver the news that Jessica has been killed.


Breakthrough (originally titled ‘Exit Stage Left’) was originally performed at The Eppic Theatre in Ecclesfield, Sheffield. The show went on to be performed fifteen times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at Greenside Venues.



Preview available here

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