Take a look at our sample monologues and duologues below. You may want to perform one of these. More can be written for you if you are interested or they may spark an idea for you to write your own.
If you would like to write your own monologue – JUST DO IT.
Even though it’s inspired by Shakespeare, you don’t have to write it like Shakespeare writes - just use his plays as inspiration to write a modern monologue.
Take a theme from his plays: betrayal, love, revenge, appearance and reality, ambition, conflict, corruption, deception, loss, good and evil, hatred, transformation, power, relationships – any theme that you find in his work.
You may be inspired to modernise a storyline and present characters in current situations.
Aim to write about a page; redraft until you’re happy with it; learn it and film on a camera or a mobile phone. You may want to edit the video, or you may want to leave it as it is – either is fine.
If you choose to write a duologue, you may film from different houses and edit the video together.
Idea on how to perform monologue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b0mzm7jDEs
We have two monologues and two duologues for inspiration and performance below.
ANNIE lies on top of her bed holding a tissue. She opens her eyes and looks at the camera. She sits up on her bed. She sniffs.
ANNIE: You must think I’m stupid. Crying like this. I never cry, ever. Not even when my aunt died. I’m not heartless, I just don’t cry really, but this –
ANNIE stands up. Pause.
I have a best friend. We met in nursery, Jade, she was pretty but shy. Really shy. I always had to bring her out of her shell, encourage her to go to parties with me, to meet new people. When we were little, I would help her make friends but when we got older, she found it a bit easier. She made friends with a couple of new girls in our class, and they’re like, not nice girls. You know, the kind that judge you. I acted in school plays and they used to make fun of me for it. So, when Jade made friends with them, that hurt. She’s still friends with me, but it’s like separate and we only go round each other’s house occasionally.
She knows everything about me, just about everything.
I got a boyfriend, Matt, six months ago. He’s funny, nice, popular. Jade had started going off with her new friends then, and I fell into Matt’s group. I really like him. I really love him. I know young love doesn’t always last, but I know this is going to be forever.
And now I’m at home sick. I’ve been off school for a week. I don’t know why, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just feel really, really ill.
And Matt… he was texting me every day at first but now I have to wait hours for a text and I just saw… he was in Jade’s snapchat story hugging her. That’s weird, right? I’m pretty sure they don’t talk. I think I should text him. Or her, I don’t want to seem weird. I should text her. Say something like…
She picks up her phone and goes to text.
I saw… No…
Casual. I saw your snapchat story, we can all hang out together when I’m back at school. Yes. That’s it.
She presses send. Pause.
I’ll text him again. Maybe he didn’t see it.
She’s replied. Jade’s replied.
ANNIE looks at the text and her face falls.
She… and he…
ANNIE returns to her position on the bed.
Guess she doesn’t need my help anymore.
ROB sit on the floor, his back against a door, his knees tucked up to his chest.
ROB: I’m smiling.
And just like that, I’m fine. That’s all it takes, right? I’ve been… drifting. Doing nothing. All I want to do is sit in my bedroom. Well, I don’t want to. I just don’t want to go outside. I don’t have the energy to exist.
I feel… depressed, empty. I’m always the one that makes everyone else happy. I’m always the one smiling. While my sister went off the rails, drinking, getting excluded from school, I was the one who cheered my mum up. And at college, I’m always the happy one that everyone wants to be friends with. There’s no reason why I feel like this. I have no reason to be sad. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand.
My friend, Gavin, he shared a post saying that if anyone’s struggling, they can talk to him. I just… I’m nervous.
He picks up his phone and rings Gavin.
Hi, Gavin? Gav, it’s Rob. Hi… I know. I don’t really call people.
I know it’s late, mate, but I just want to… say something. I… I don’t know how to say it. I…
I’ve not been feeling great, actually, I…
Oh, yeah. Yeah it’s probably that. Just a bit of stress. Nothing really wrong. No, right yeah.
Yeah… I’ll see you, mate, gotta go. Thanks. For the chat.
ROB hangs up and puts his phone down. He sits in silence for a moment and then he stands up.
(Calling) Mum! Hey, mum! I’ve got something to tell you!
QUINN sits in front of the screen with a face like thunder. She checks her watch and shakes her head. ALI appears on screen.
ALI: Hi Quinn!
QUINN: I was just about to sign off.
ALI: Sorry I was –
QUINN: What were you doing Ali? I’d really like to hear your excuse this time.
ALI laughs, shocked.
QUINN: This is the first time you’ve agreed to rehearse with me. We’ve been in lockdown for weeks. Weeks. And when life gets back to normal, we have to put on this play.
ALI: I know.
QUINN: So, can you please take it a little more seriously. We need weekly rehearsals.
QUINN: Oh, sorry. (sarcastically) Don’t you have much time on your hands right now?
ALI: I will come to our online rehearsals. But where’s everyone else?
QUINN: They’ve acted before. This one’s just for you. I need to prepare you as you’re further behind than everyone else.
ALI: I’m here now and ready to go.
QUINN: Okay, start at the top of page three.
ALI lifts up her script.
QUINN: Wait. What is that?
ALI: My script.
QUINN: Your script.
ALI: Well I can’t very well make it up, can I?
QUINN: You need to learn your lines!
ALI: I will.
QUINN: Like two weeks ago.
ALI: I said I’ll learn them.
QUINN: Fine. Next time, I don’t even want to see a script, and that doesn’t mean you can hide it behind the camera. Okay, stand up.
ALI: Stand up?
QUINN: I want to see you as if you’re acting.
ALI gets up and stands further from the screen so the audience can see her whole body performing.
QUINN: And begin.
ALI: My love for you grows she steps closer to him like a –
QUINN: She steps closer to him?
ALI: I read it –
QUINN: That’s the stage directions, you - Just try and get it right, please.
ALI: (very bad acting) my love for you grows she –
QUINN gives her a warning look.
ALI: Like a moon lighting up the sky in the dark.
QUINN: And put your hand out and stroke his face.
QUINN: Stroke his face.
ALI: He’s not here.
QUINN: Act like he’s here.
QUINN: Just imagine.
ALI raises her hand up and down in the air.
ALI continues in the exact same way.
QUINN: Okay. And then he grabs your hand and pulls you into the car which will be made by the backstage team, so show me that movement.
ALI turns around and does a really awkward move before standing facing the camera.
QUINN: And you sit.
ALI: I don’t have a chair.
QUINN: (frustrated) And you pretend to sit.
ALI goes into an awkward squat.
ALI: (very bad acting) Don’t drive so fast.
QUINN: A bit more passion, you’re scared.
ALI: (louder) Don’t drive so fast!
QUINN: And show me through your body that it’s fast.
ALI starts bopping her body up and down in this awkward squat and QUINN watches, horrified,
before putting her head in her hands.
ALI’S MUM: (offstage) Ali… are you doing yoga?
JULIA SIMMONDS (16) sits on a chair in front of her computer screen. She picks up a mirror beside her, sees her expression and hurriedly puts some more make up on – lipstick and a bit of concealer. She looks at herself again and nods, satisfied. She presses a button on her keyboard.
ROMAN ANDERSON (17) in front of his computer screen, smiles.
JULIA: Shh! (shyly) Hi, Roman.
ROMAN: Why’d you shush me?
JULIA: We just have to be quiet.
ROMAN: You haven’t told your mum yet.
JULIA: Well, have you?
ROMAN: It doesn’t mean I won’t though.
ROMAN shifts awkwardly.
ROMAN: We can’t keep it secret forever. We can’t just ignore each other if our mums bump into each other.
JULIA: Like last time.
ROMAN: That was just… painful.
JULIA: Your mum glaring at mine.
ROMAN: And yours dragging you away whenever she sees us.
JULIA: How did they –
ROMAN: Used to be friends? I have no idea.
JULIA: Do you think your mum would be angry if she knew?
JULIA: You do?
ROMAN: I don’t think she’d be happy… but she doesn’t know you, it’s just your mum. If she knew you, she’d like you. I know it.
JULIA: I wish… I want you to be able to come round my house, eat dinner with my family… Not have to hide you, I guess.
ROMAN: I know.
JULIA: D’you think they’d make us break up?
ROMAN: Could they?
JULIA: I don’t know. My mum can be persuasive. They could stop us from seeing each other.
ROMAN: I keep waiting for my mum to walk in and see you on the screen and…
JULIA: You really should get a lock.
ROMAN: I wish.
JULIA: I wish I could see you.
ROMAN: Why don’t I…
ROMAN shakes his head.
ROMAN: It’s stupid.
JULIA: No, what?
ROMAN: Why don’t I try and sneak in your room?
ROMAN: You have a lock.
JULIA: Yeah, but how will you get inside? Crawl past my mum?
ROMAN: No, you could open your window and… I’ll climb up the drainpipe.
JULIA: The drainpipe?
JULIA: You’re going to climb up my drainpipe?
ROMAN: I’ll do it at night so no one thinks I’m robbing you.
JULIA: That’s not what I’m worried about.
ROMAN: I think it’s perfect.
JULIA: It’s not. But I admire your efforts. (Julia laughs) Let’s give it a go.
JULIA: Yeah… but be prepared to crawl up my stairs because if you fell off my wall I wouldn’t be able to explain that to my mum.