If I Were You: Synopsis

Cast: 3 male / 2 female
Running time (approximate): 2 hours and 5 minutes - not including the interval
Acting edition: Published by Samuel French

If I Were You is set in parts of the Rodales' home including their kitchen, sitting room and bedroom. This also serves as an equivalent view of a local showroom of the BFRS Retail Furniture Warehouse.

Mal and Jill Rodale awake to a normal day; we discover their marriage is on the rocks and they are not really communicating with each other. Mal, a rather aggressive manager at a home-fittings store with little empathy for his staff or customers, is having an affair largely conducted during his lunch-breaks. Jill, a house-wife, who has not worked for 15 years and patently regrets it, is also aware of Mal's infidelities.

When their daughter Chrissie comes to visit Jill, she realises Chrissie is being physically abused by her husband Dean, who works with Mal. Meanwhile, Jill’s son Sam, struggling at school, is keen on acting and wants to appear in the school’s Shakespearean production. Jill supports Sam despite clear opposition from Mal, who believes acting is not for men and doubts his son’s sexuality. At the end of the day, Mal and Jill go to bed.

The next morning, Jill makes the horrific discovery that she and Mal have swapped bodies. While Mal’s world falls apart, Jill keeps control and insists they must maintain a façade. This is not as easy as it sounds and Sam is soon confused by his parents’ strange behaviour.

Jill goes to work and proves a far more effective manager than Mal, solving many of the problems encountered by Mal the previous day. At home, Mal - struggling with every aspect of being a woman - meets Chrissie, who reveals Dean’s abusive tendencies. He is also moved to tears when Sam performs a speech from
A Midsummer Night’s Dream for him. So much so that when Dean returns and interrupts him, Mal punches and humiliates Dean. Finally, Sam bonds with Mal when his ‘father’ (actually Jill) makes him a sandwich, although he is convinced his family have been replaced by aliens.

Mal and Jill retire to bed. As they doze off they find their personalities have been restored but are unable to ignore what has happened, they agree to talk about their future in the morning. They fall asleep in each other’s arms.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd 2006. Please do not reproduce without permission.