Veronica Cecil - Actress, Author, Playright.

Author, broadcaster, playwright, actress… 


Film scripts

I have recently written an original film script called ‘Orange Blossom’. It is about an old lady who is in hospital suffering from a haemorrhage. Before she dies, she needs to unburden herself and tell her only son about his true paternity. He is not only determined not to hear what his mother is trying to tell him but is battling with his own memories of sexual abuse as a child, which are being resurrected by his mother’s confessions …


Veronica Cecil



We see young Alastair running down the driveway after the taxi. He follows it for a hundred yards or so but, when it doesn’t stop, he gives up. He is out of breath, panting. He stands in the rain watching it go.

We see him walking back down the driveway with the rain bucketing down. When he gets close to the front door he takes shelter under some bushes.

From Young Alastair’s point of view we see parents come out of the front door, embrace their sons before driving away.


Young Alastair is still crouching under the bushes. He is shivering with the cold. Then a beam of torch light hits him.


There you are Bagshaw. We’ve been looking for you everywhere. I was just about to call the police.

Young Alastair comes out guiltily from under the bushes and sees Frank standing there with torch.


I’m sorry sir …


You poor chap, you’re soaked. We’d better get you into the warmth as fast as possible.

He puts his arm round the shivering Alastair and leads him into the hallway.


You must be starving. The boys have finished their supper I’m afraid but I’ll ask cook –

(he has as thought)

Tell you what, why don’t you come upstairs and I’ll make you a cup of hot cocoa and some biscuits. Get you out of those wet clothes. How about that?


(responding to his kindness)

Thank you very much Sir.

Frank leads Young Alastair up the wide staircase. On the landing they go past the dormitories and Alastair hears boy’s voices.

Frank leads him up another set of stairs to his own private apartment. Unlike most school master’s rooms, it is modern; furnished in simple good taste with an erotic line drawing and a reproduction of Egon Schiele on the wall.

Young Alastair is clearly nervous.


Before anything else we’d better get you out of those wet clothes.

He takes Young Alastair through to a bathroom where he starts running a bath.

Alastair looks around him, not knowing what to do.


You can warm up in the bath while I get you some dry clothes.

Slowly and diffidently Young Alastair starts to undress trying to shield himself as he does so. Then he climbs into the bath.


It’s all right. You needn’t be shy. We’re all boys here.

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Veronica Cecil


I have lived a life on the edge of the great chasms of the twentieth century. A child of partition – growing up on North West Frontier, bordering on Afghanistan, as the Great Game played out in my girlhood home and the Nazi threat loomed; a white child in South Africa as it descended down the monstrous road of Apartheid; a young woman caught up in a deadly civil war in the Congo, a cat’s paw of the superpower Cold War conflict.

I write memoir with a difference – the backdrop is the conflict and upheaval you read about in the history books. I give you the mood, the intrigue and the lies adults told each other about a world changing in front of them. I show what it was really like and paint the past in vivid colours.

I am widowed with four children and nine grandchildren.

I have performed, taught drama, broadcast on the radio, and written for most of my adult life. I am widely travelled and give talks on my adventures.

I started my career as an actress – in repertory companies including Newcastle and Richmond in the UK.

When my children were small I got regular commissions to write half hour satirical television plays for children. I scripted a film and wrote two stage plays and published a short story in New Stories 3, an anthology published for the UK Arts Council in 1978 by Hutchinson.

I also wrote plays for BBC Radio 4

After taking a degree in English and Drama, I taught drama to young adults.

This was followed by a career as a freelance reporter making features and packages for BBC Radio 4 –  mainly for Woman’s Hour – as well as Radio 3 and the BBC World Service. I also wrote and broadcast documentaries and wrote and read short stories for Radio 4.

In 1990 I went out to South Africa and did a number of pieces mainly about the women in South Africa.

Having been born in British India I got a commission to go back to where I grew up and wrote and broadcast a series of six ‘Letters from Abroad’ about what the country was like during the days of the Raj and the current situation in what is now Pakistan.

I have also written articles among others for the Guardian and the Oldie – about playing a cameo role in the Profumo scandal when  British Intelligence listened in on the MP’s sexual exploits through our nursery wall.

In 2011 I wrote a book entitled ‘Drums on the Night Air’ published by Constable and Robinson, a memoir about going out to the Congo with my husband, getting caught up in a war and having to give birth to a baby while fleeing with my one year old son.

I have written a book entitled ‘Blood for our Blood’ about the murder of my mother’s cousin, a brilliant young surgeon, in Peshawar, British India 1932. The case appeared to have been abandoned for political reasons. In 1995 I went out to Pakistan and discovered the true reason for the murder.

After leaving India in 1947, my family went to Southern Africa.

I am currently writing a book about racism and colonialism entitled ‘Confessions of an Imperial Childhood

More about me

Past achievements
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