Contemporary Monologues for Women

Compiled with the kind assistance of: Cath Badham, Robin Booth, Patrick Duggan, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Emma Gee, Lewis Morgan, Kate O’Reilly, Eleanor Pike, Graham Saunders and Andy Smith.


Award Monologues for Women (2008)
Edited by Patrick Tucker, Christine Ozanne

Comic Monologues for Women (2014)
Contains 40 original comic audition pieces by Katy Wix. Katy Wix is a comedian, writer and performer who stars in Not Going Out (BBC 1). She is also one half of the sketch show double act Anna & Katy (Channel 4). As a writer, Wix has for the past few years been creating audition speeches for students at drama schools including RADA, LAMDA, Drama Centre and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Contemporary Monologues for Women (2014)
Edited by Trilby James, containing fifty speeches from plays by writers including Mike Bartlett, Vivienne Franzmann, Caryl Churchill, debbie tucker green, Helen Edmundson, Enda Walsh and Jack Thorne – all of them written since the year 2000.

Of related interested:

100 Great Plays for Women (2013)
Lucy Kerbel; useful starting point for women students looking for material to perform.

Auditions: The Complete Guide, 2nd Edition (2014)
Richard Evans


Brennan, Clara Hi Vis (2011)
An interesting extended monologue that offers a number of good sections from which to select an appropriate audition piece. Available in:

Churchill, Caryl
The Skriker (1994)
Terrific opening monologue delivered by Churchill’s mythical figure of Skriker originally played by Kathryn Hunter; political/experimental.

Far Away (2000)
Has a final monologue delivered by a young woman, Joan; dark-ecological theme.

Frost, Emma Airsick (2003)
Includes two women in their 30s, best friends Scarlet and Lucy; Scarlet has extended monologues about an abusive past and damaged sexuality; premiered Bush Theatre.

green, debbie tucker Stoning Mary (2005)
Hard-hitting, political, ‘bitches’ monologue by a young woman imprisoned and about to be stoned to death.

Jones, Alex I’m a Minger (2008)
Solo show; character 14-year old girl, Katie; ‘a turbulent and triumphant tale of a totally troubled teen; dark comedy.

Hall, Lee Cooking with Elvis (1999)
Contains monologues by two female characters: cooking-mad teenager Jill and man-mad mother/Mam; dark comedy.

Lavery, Bryony Frozen (1998)
A three-hander written mainly in monologue form; story of child abduction/killing; has two women roles, one the mother of the murdered child, the other a criminal psychologist.

Murphy, Elaine Little Gem (2008)
All women play; composed of monologues across three generations of Irish women (grandmother, mother & daughter); poignant and funny stories about events in the women’s personal lives.

O’Reilly Kate, Peeling (2002)
Peeling is a three hander, all female, about actors in a post-modern production of ‘the Trojan Women here and now’; lots of meta-theatrical fun and lots of monologues of various styles and content from ‘chorus’ sections from the supposed production about war, to contemporary monologues about relationships between women and their bodies, women and their mothers, women and their fertility. Written for disabled and deaf female performers; first performed by Graeae Theatre Company.

Prichard, Rebecca Yard Gal (1998)
Girl-gang drama; two-hander; includes several extended monologues that narrate episodes of girl-gang life in Hackney. Published by Faber; currently out of print, though university libraries should have this in stock.

Ridley, Philip

The Pitchfork Disney (1991)
Haley Stray 28 a twin who lives in squalor eating nothing but chocolate with her brother has a fantastical speech about being chased by dogs and escaping by climbing a statue of Christ in a church.

The Fastest Clock in the Universe (1992)
Sherbert Gravel 17 streetwise east Londoner has some good stuff as well especially a speech which starts “I wish I could grow old gracefully”.

Vincent River (2000)
Anita 53 a mother whose son has been murdered has some speeches which have very brief interjections and could be made into an audition piece for an older woman.

Dark Vanilla Jungle (2013)
Monologue for a young woman (originally performed by Gemma Whelan) who forms an obsessive relationship with a crippled solider on a life-support machine.

Shawn, Wallace The Fever (1990)
Political and provocative monologue on the disparity between rich and poor; ‘originally written with the idea in mind that it could be performed in homes and apartments, for groups of ten or twelve’; can be performed by a man or a woman; Clare Higgins performed the monologue at the Royal Court Theatre in 2009.

Spallen, Abbie Pumpgirl (2006)
Play written in monologue form; ‘set in a petrol station in present-day Ireland’; Pump girl works in the petrol station, a ‘woman who loves her job and thinks she’s one of the lads’.

Thompson, Judith (Canadian playwright)
A Canadian playwright who has written some excellent monologues for women. Recommendations include:
Perfect Pie written as a monologue for TV (1994); subsequently made into a full-length play; deals with friendship between women; childhood memories; epilepsy.
Palace of the End (2008) triptych of personal stories about Iraq.
Thompson has also edited this collection of Canadian monologues for women:

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