Aoise Stratford


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Drama, 80-minute One Act

In this intimate ghost story, Mary Jane Kelly has a problem. She’s a pound forty behind in her rent, her window is broken, she has lost her key, and her boyfriend just moved out. And it’s 1888—not a good time to be poor and “unfortunate” on the streets of London. Somewhere out there in the foggy shadows, Jack the Ripper, one of the world’s most notorious criminals is at work. Mary only has two ways to secure her own front door. One of them is prostitution. The other is selling something she shouldn’t have in the first place, something she’ll have to betray her murdered best friend and herself to give up.


This script includes two versions of the play. The first, as it was originally written, for one actor, and the second, adapted for a company of 5-8 actors. Character lists and other information are provided at the beginning of each version.

MARY JANE KELLY, a prostitute, late twenties. Plays ALL, or:

CHORUS taking the shape of various figures from Mary Jane’s memory as follows: FEMALE CHORUS MEMBERS play: CATH EDDOWES: a prostitute and alcoholic, 50s. LUCY: a prostitute. COUSIN: a prostitute, Welsh. GOSSIP: a witness and attendee at the Inquest. LIZ STRIDE: a prostitute and alcoholic, 40s, Swedish. Missing her teeth. PROPRIETRESS: Madam of a West End brothel. MALE CHORUS MEMBERS play: JOE: a fishporter, Mary’s on and off boyfriend. CHARLIE: a policeman, Mary’s friend. POLICEMAN: an East Ender policeman. GENTLEMAN: a witness. INQUISITOR: runs the Ripper inquest. LANDLORD: a Whitechapel Slum-lord. MR MARCH: a gentleman, client of a West End brothel. CONSTABLE WATKINS: rookie beat policeman. CONSTABLE HUTT: senior policeman and desk clerk. Irish. DOCTOR BROWN: an experienced autopsy doctor. VIGILANTE: a witness (can be played by a man or a woman).


Aoise Stratford

Aoise Stratford’s plays have been translated and performed internationally and produced around the country at theatres including Looking Glass Theatre, City Theatre Miami, Lakeshore Players, The American Globe, Manhattan Theatre Source, Centenary Stage, SoloChicago, Red Thread, The Kitchen Theatre Co., and many others. Most recently, her short play JO was performed at the National Theatre in London. She was the 2017 Blaine Quarnstrom Fellow at The University of Southern Mississippi and has been a visiting artist at SUNY Plattsburgh, University of Connecticut, and others. She is the winner of a Pinter Review Silver Medal and the Yukon Pacific Playwriting Award. She has twice been a finalist for the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award and was nominated for The American Theatre Critics’ Association New Play Award. THE UNFORTUNATES (“haunting and engrossing” NY Times) was a Time Out NY Critics Pick and winner of The Susan Glaspell Award. SoloChicago’s production resulted in a Jeff Award nomination. Recent commissions include an adaptation of A Christmas Carol for the Hangar Theatre and two award-winning historical site-specific audio plays for the Cherry Arts. Aoise is a member of the Dramatists Guild (where she served as Central New York’s Regional Representative for five years) and the International Center for Women Playwrights. She teaches playwriting, dramaturgy, and screenwriting at Cornell University. She is represented by Beacon Artists Agency... [FULL BIO]