Family Planning

by Jane And Mark Lewis
Potted JAM
Copyright © 1991, 2007 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:



This sketch was written to highlight the fact that we so often blame other people for our problems rather than recognising our own shortcomings.  We loved performing it in churches just because we got to put a Family Planning Clinic sign up the front - goodness knows what people arriving late thought!!!



  • a Family Planning Counsellor
  • a very strange man


Typical office/medical examining room.  Sign on the desk or wall reads "Family Planning Clinic". 


[Man enters through door]
FPC:    Good morning...
Man:    Good morning.
FPC:    [Looking at appointment papers] Mr Jacob isn't it?
Man:    That's right, yes.
FPC:    How can I help you Mr Jacob.
Man:    I'd like a new family please.
FPC:    I beg your pardon?!?!?
Man:    I'd like a new family please.
FPC:    You'd like a...a what?
Man:    Are you deaf?  I WANT ...  A NEW FAMILY ... PLEASE.
FPC:       There’s no need to shout!  Um ... Mr Jacob ... er, we usually help prevent people having new families rather than acquiring them.
Man:       I'm mean you can't help me with a new family? Well that's no good is it!!!  Call yourself a family planning clinic?
FPC:       Well I don't actually call myself a Family Planning Clinic. Perhaps you'd better explain exactly what you expect me to do.
Man:       [Annoyed]  Listen, its very simple.  If I went down to Boots and bought a saucepan, took it home and then found that it was defective I would take it back and they would give me a new one – no questions asked.  So, I am unhappy with my family and I want a replacement.
FPC:       Ah ha! I see so you want me to give you a replacement family.  Have you brought your present family with you.
Man:       Well no –  I wanted to see your range of replacements first.
FPC:       Oh.  Can I ask why you think that your family“defective”.
Man:       Well I don't get on with them anymore because they're all short-tempered and argumentative.
FPC:       Mr Jacob...
Man:       Look I haven't finished yet!  They're not at all patient – they never take the time to listen to my problems.  They don't understand me y'know!
FPC:       Really?!?
Man:       I know unbelievably insensitive isn't it.  They don't consider how I feel – never tell me anything. In fact all they do is nag, Nag NAG, shout, SHout SHOUT, whine whine whiiiine.  Basically they're all completely and utterly selfish.
FPC:       Mr Jacob – have you ever thought that you might be the problem?
Man:       Well no, I’ve always thought that I was a generous and considerate member of the family.
FPC:       You mean you don't contribute at all to your family's problems?
Man:       [Sigh]  We all have our moments in times of extreme provocation don't we?
FPC:       Do you really think that you can spend the rest of your life blaming your family and other people for your problems?
Man:       I don't see why not – I mean, after all, it is their fault!
FPC:       In that case I'm afraid I cannot help you.  [Patronisingly] We're right out of replacement families at the moment so I'm afraid you're stuck with the one you have....or rather they are stuck with you.
Man:       You can't talk to me like that – I know my rights as a consumer!  I'm not standing for this!
FPC:       No, you’re sitting down.
Man:       Is that all you have to say?!?
FPC:       Yes.
Man:    Right! I’m leaving then... [stands].
FPC:    OK.  Goodbye.
Man:       Oh. [Turns to leave]
FPC:       Oh Mr Jacobs?
Man:       Yes?
FPC:       [Reaches under desk to produce a cardboard box] I do have a gerbil.  Its easy to live with and is guaranteed not to shout.
Man:       No nagging?
FPC:       Definitely no nagging.
Man:       Oh alright then [picks up box and FREEZE ]

Copyright © 1991, 2007 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:

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