Dennis Kelly Playwright

Dennis Kelly Playwright

Written by on | Featured Playwright Playwrights

Dennis Kelly is a contemporary British playwright whose work is dark and character-driven. His rich and intense style of writing is great for actors. He is best known for his plays Love and Money and Orphans. Dennis’ play Matilda the Musical recently won a slew of Tony awards and has received widespread critical acclaim. Many of his plays have been performed at England’s premiere theatres and around the world. 

Kelly has also written for film and television. Some of his television work includes the BBC Three sitcom Pulling, and Channel Four’s Utopia. If you are looking for a deep and dark play, scene, or monologue, Dennis Kelly is a great place to start. I strongly believe Love and Money and Orphans (Ranked 1 and 2 here) are must read plays for any new actors. 

Best Dennis Kelly Plays

Dennis Kelly Monologues

After the End
Louise (Female 20s):

I think a lot about what makes people do things. What makes us behave in certain ways, you know. Every night I’ve been thinking about this. Trapped in whatever, behaviour, I dunno, cycles of violence or something and is it possible to break, these cycles, is it possible to break… And I’d be sitting there thinking about this and this cat, this gorgeous cat with no tail would come to my door. I’d have the back door open because the garden looks, and she’d be terrified at first, it looks beautiful it really does. So I bought some food for her and the first time she just sniffed at it and ran away, the moment I moved, you know, no sign of her for the rest of the night, and I’m thinking, reactions and responses, patterns, violence breeding violence, and the next night she’s in a bit further and I’m looking at her tail thinking ‘that’s been cut off’ and I don’t think it was, I think she’s a Manx, I think they’re born without tails, and the next night she’s further in and I’m beginning to get used to this, beginning to look forward to it. And the next night she’s in and she’s eating and from then on she’s in every night; she’s on my lap she’s following me around, she’s wating on the window ledge for me when I get home. And we sit there every night and I’m thinking behaviour and patterns and is it actually possible to break these patterns of whatever and she’s eating and meowing to be let in. Every night. And one night she scratches me, out of the blue, cats, you know, just a vindictive cat-scratch, look: (Shows him.) See?

She knew she’d done wrong. Took her three nights to get back into my lap. And I’m stroking her and thinking. Warm, delicate, you know. And I put my hands around her neck. And I squeeze. And I squeeze. Until her neck is about the thickness of a rope. And I still squeeze. And I’m sitting there – and this is last night – with this dead cat in my lap, and I thought I’d come in and see you. And here I am.

Love and Money

Debbie (Female):

I put wall-paper paste in the coffee machine at work.


You know the powder, you buy the powder in, while no one was looking I put it into the machine and stirred it all in and left it and it clogged up the machine and they all stood around it staring at it, hurt, like it was a dead puppy.


When you print orders at work, they come out face up with the address on, on, on the front and you never see the backs until they, you know, come back from the clients completed, the order form is on the back, you see, so you never see the, until, so I stayed late one night and I photocopied the word ‘cock’ on the back of all the order forms, with a big picture of a cock and balls that I drew in magic marker, and then I put them back in the printer, and the next day they sent out thousands and they got hundreds of
complaints and lost their two biggest clients.

I keep falling asleep in meetings and no-one’s noticed yet. They think I’m concentrating.

Last week I caught a mouse in my flat, I have mice, which is something I don’t really, I don’t really like that, I have mice and I caught this one on glue paper, you know, the glue traps, I’ve tried everything else and that’s the only thing that works and the worst thing is that when you catch them they’re still alive so you have to, you know, despatch them, so I put a cloth over it and I hit it on the head with a cup, a mug, but it took quite a few, you know, hits and it was screaming and I felt sick and I was crying and everything and then I peeled it off the paper, you have to be very careful because the body’s quite delicate, and then I took a scalpel that I have for handicrafts and I slit its little belly open and I tugged out all its insides and I stuck them and the body onto this Christmas card, so that it was splayed open with the guts out into this Christmas tree design, and I sent it to my boss with writing cut out from a newspaper saying ‘Thanks for all the hard work and good luck in the new job cunt-face’. They called the


I wanted to be a newsreader when I was a little girl.


She picks up the card. He stares at her

About the Author

StageMilk Team

is made up of professional actors, acting coaches and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew, Alex, Emma, Jake, Jake, Indiana, Patrick and more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

One response to “Dennis Kelly Playwright”

  1. Avatar Steve Chizmadia says:

    Thank you for this site. I became an actor thirty years ago, plied my craft for a number of years and then fell off the tracks as life got in the way. I’ve been singing and songwriting in the years since I stopped pursuing acting gigs, so I’ve kept my hand in the arts, but I’ve recently come to realize that without practicing and working on the craft of acting there’s a terrible void in my life: my Rip Van Winkle moment. I came upon your site looking for monologues to go on my first pro theatre audition in sixteen years, What a great resource. I appreciate your hard work and dedication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 + one =