Bentley: road to justice – docu drama

docu-drama style piece of challenging theatre for a large ensemble.

Derek Bentley was hanged for the murder of a policeman though he didn’t pull the trigger.

His sister Iris campaigned for forty years for his full pardon. This is her story.

This award winning one act drama was performed for the first time at The Leverhulme Drama Festival at The Gladstone Theatre in April 2009 .

 A one act drama play script by Bev Clark.

Re-Published in 2017

Licenced by New Flight Publications © Bev Clark 2017


A full synopsis of this script can be viewed by opening the tab below.

A preview extract of the stage play is available or you can buy the script direct from us. If you wish to request a performance licence or contact us for more information we will be happy to discuss your requirements with you.

for community & amateur theatre groups & professional theatre companies.

click the down arrow below to read the full synopsis of BENTLEY : The Road To Justice by Bev Clark

Full Synopsis

BENTLEY: Road to Justice By Bev Clark Copyright 2010-2015


The story of Derek Bentley is well known and now studied in secondary schools but this one act documentary-style drama is based on the book by his sister Iris Bentley and her relentless fight to clear his name.

It is for a large ensemble, either adult or youth and element of physical theatre and movement may be used. It is suggested that the staging is simple with “motif” accessories that suggest characters. The roles of Iris, Derek and Craig are constant but for all others the ensemble will play multiple characters.

Although it is a one-act drama it has two distinctive parts. 1) The story up to his execution and 2) 1992-98 The Final years.

The ensemble arrive as a troupe of actors who come to tell this story and the Box or chest starts as a dressing-up box for the motifs but becomes many different pieces of set. Iris is the narrator as the story of Derek’s growing up and the events which led to his arrest are flipped back and forth.

The scenes must be fast-moving and free-flowing. Actors walking from one scenario into another, changing a piece of costumes as they move. This is stylized and symbolic – not naturalist theatre. There are lots of quotes and reference to original documents which were researched for the project that eventually led to the writing of this script.

The rooftop scene and court scene are shown in a series of flashbacks which must be choreographed competently. Part 2 begins with a dream sequence between the spirt of Derek and Iris and then leads into more realistic settings of the solicitor’s office, the interviews with witnesses and finally the Home Secretary’s office but we return to a more stylised ending to bring the play back to the execution.

The original opening music and sound effects are available by request.

Download Synopsis

Preview ScriptLicence OptionsBuy Digital ScriptBuy PaperBack Script

Playwright: Bev Clark

Genre: One Act Drama

Time: 50 mins
Characters: LARGE ENSEMBLE 3 principals
Extras: Soundtrack Option on Request


We licence scripts for stage : one act plays ; two act plays ; short plays & full length plays.

Share This Post On
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!