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Plays by Alan Richardson


The Black Ring
One Act Drama

  • First performed by The Troubadours of Edinburgh 1978
  • Winner of the Scott Salver for the best original play in the SCDA One Act Festival
  • My most popular Scottish one act play with over 30 productions
  • Published by Brown, Son & Ferguson

Characters (3m 4f)

Jessie Nairn:  Keeper of the Inn
Geordie:  Passenger on the Lanark-Edinburgh coach    
Lady Elizabeth Haldane:  Passenger on the Lanark-Edinburgh coach 
Morag:  Her maid  
Provost James Meickle:  Passenger on the Lanark-Edinburgh coach    
Nancy:  Passenger on the Lanark-Edinburgh coach    
Sandy Carlyle:  The driver of the coach

The Setting: A Coaching Inn on the road between Lanark and Edinburgh

Period: Late 18th century

Running Time: 45 minutes


A year after the Lanark-Edinburgh coach was robbed at gunpoint and its driver mercilessly killed by an unknown highway robber, five passengers on the same coach find themselves stranded at a remote roadside inn.

Jessie, the innkeeper, harbours bitter memories of that night a year ago. The murdered driver was her husband. Much of her bitterness is aimed against the present driver, Sandy, who, while serving as the guard on her husband's coach, saved his life by running away.


Sandy's most vivid recollection of the murder was a black ring worn by the highwayman. When, later in the evening, a black ring is found nearby the coach, a ring which Sandy swears is the same one, they realise that the murderer is amongst their number. But which one of the five passengers?

Set in the late 18th century, this play was awarded the Scott Salver for the best original play entered in the 1978 S.C.D.A. One-Act festival.

Humbie Players Lauder Amateur Dramatic Society

"A very acceptable mixture of comedy, mystery, suspense and drama" - SCDA Scene