Geeky Joe is followed to a park bench by the aggressive Josh. Their conversation is tense and uncertain.

This play forms part of the SIX VIEWS collection

This play was formally published under the author name Max Porter






JOE – 19yo – A Geek

JOSH – 24yo – Big muscular build. Very short hair.



A BREAK was first performed as part of the Swansea Fringe Festival on 6 October 2019 at Llewellyn Hall in Swansea.

Presented by Jacal Theatre Company with the following cast;

JOE – Joshua Jones

JOSH – Josh Hutin


A BREAK was also presented as an audio recording by The Talisman Theatre in July 2020 – Listen here


A BREAK was performed by MONA THEATRE COMPANY at The Ent Shed, Bedford on 20 January 2024 with the following cast;



The production was directed by BRIDGET PEIRSON-DAVIS




Two words can change everything, and the two words Joe – author Paul Smith’s hapless protagonist – uses in this heartbreaking script are two we all have to say at some point in our lives. And how they change everything for Joe and the antagonistic Josh is both devastating and hopeful. A beautiful two hander that builds in intensity to its surprising, but oh so right conclusion. ” – Doug DeVita – New Play Exchange
As a young gay man, especially as one who grew up in a small Kentucky town, consuming LGBT media always fills me with a sort of dread, a fear of the coming violence, the tension of simply existing. Each passing line in this show builds and feasts on that tension. When the catharsis finally comes, without spoiling the ending, the escape of tension from my body was at once harrowing and uplifting. That duology alone is a worthy enough reason to spend some time with this brief, lovely play. ” – Jarred Corona – New Play Exchange
PAUL SMITH’s play initially leads us to believe we are witnessing the tormenting nature of bullying, but then with a delightful twist, we discover there is a sweet, sensitive, and loving relationship between Joe and Josh. “A Break” is a lovely short play, and it will delight audiences. ” – Jack Levine – New Play Exchange
All human interactions are a complex mix of love, hate and fear. We can never really know what another person is truly thinking unless they open up and tell us. And in the end, that’s all we can do. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Paul Smith means what he says here. The only way we can truly connect is stop hating and fearing. Just love each other. Then we can get through life. Heart-breaking and life-affirming at the same time. ” – John Busser – New Play Exchange
The escalating tension throughout this short play feels so authentic to anyone who has experience with bullying- no matter how Joe tries to diffuse the situation or find a way around the anger, Josh blocks his escape. When the dam bursts, it’s earned and satisfying. The unspoken connection and common ground the two characters find at the end works for the world of the play. ” – Emily McLain – New Play Exchange
The way Smith’s writing leads with a threatening feel of aggression, and how it builds and grows into something else entirely, letting the complicated but ultimately powerful emotions release at the end, is jolting and refreshing at the same time. A brilliantly realized end to an excellent play. ” – Ky Weeks – New Play Exchange