Haunting Julia: Synopsis

Cast: 3 male (+ 1 female pre-recorded voice)
Running time (approximate): 1 hour 50 minutes (Haunting Julia wasn't conceived as a one-act play and not intended to have an interval).
Availability: Haunting Julia is available for both professional and amateur production.
Acting edition: Published by Samuel French.


Joe (Father of Julia, 60s)
Andy (Julia's former boyfriend, 30s)
Ken (A psychic, 40)

Haunting Julia also requires a female pre-recorded 'voice' .
Julia Lukin was a musical prodigy who died from a drugs overdose 12 years earlier. Her father Joe has never come to terms with her death and in the Julia Larkin Centre For Performing Studies - formerly the building where Julia lived as a student - he hopes to discover what happened by meeting with a psychic, Ken, and Julia’s sceptical boyfriend, Andy, who was the last person to see her alive.

The men meet in Julia’s preserved bedroom and Joe reveals that he believes Julia is trying to contact him as a result of mysterious sounds he has heard.

Over the course of an evening, the story of Julia’s life and death is gradually revealed by the three men - often at odds with what each man believes he knew.

Ken attempts to contact Julia, but all is revealed not to be as it seems when he picks up Julia’s teddy-bear saying he can feel Julia's presence strongly through it. The bear is a replacement, the original having previously been stolen. Faced with Joe's anger and accusations, Ken reveals he has waited many years to meet Joe to explain he knew Julia; that he was the caretaker of the building and she would come and find refuge in his and his family's normal life away from the pressures of her gift and her father's over-protectiveness. He tells Joe that Julia told him at the end she loved him.

Joe, of course, is unwilling to accept his love could ever have led to Julia’s suicide, and that there must be more to it. Meanwhile Andy is still guilt-ridden about whether he could have prevented the tragedy had he not broken up with her on the night of her death.

Ken is actually more aware of what is happening than the others credit him for though and as each of the men’s feelings and recollections come to light, Ken believes they have summoned Julia back.

A door onto what should be a brick wall blows open; impossibly the original corridor is present. Julia manifests herself, visible only to Joe, although the room is wrecked by an eerie wind and the bed on which she died begins to bleed. Joe finally understands what Julia has endured and that she is not at peace; he is haunting her. In a final moment of understanding and love, Joe lets his daughter go.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.