This play is the story of an intruder. He breaks into a lonely house. A man named Gerrard lives there. He is a playwright. The intruder is a criminal. He has killed a policeman and is now on the run. This man has some physical resemblance to Gerrard. His plan is to kill Gerrard and live there under his name. But Gerrard is smarter than the criminal. He tells the intruder that he has also killed someone and the police are after him. He offers to take the intruder in his car to safety. He opens a door and tells the intruder that it goes to the garage. As soon as the intruder enters, Gerrard locks the door. In fact it is not the way to a garage but the door of a cupboard. Then he phones the police to come and arrest the intruder.
The play thus brings out that intelligence and presence of mind can help us come out of trickiest of situations.
The intruder is a criminal who has been eluding the police ever since he killed a cop. Having no sense of remorse for the crime he has committed, he is further sinking in the mire of criminal activities. Over-confidence makes him feel that he has made a brilliant plan of murdering Gerrard and escaping the law by impersonating him. However, he is soon outwitted by Gerrard and he unsuspectingly walks into the latter’s trap. All his tall claims about his intelligence prove to be hollow. This heartless and hardened criminal meets a befitting end.
Gerrard is associated with the theatre. He writes, acts and provides props for plays. He is a refined and a cultured man, who keeps his cool even in the most difficult situations. The sight of an intruder doesn’t ruffle him and he talks to him very courteously and pleasantly. His sense of humour irritates the intruder many times. Even when acting funny, he keeps his presence of mind and lays a trap for the intruder. Everything comes so naturally and spontaneously to him that the intruder walks into his trap unsuspectingly. Gerrard’s intelligence not only outwits the intruder and saves his own life, but also helps the police in nabbing a wanted criminal.
“If I Were You” is an interesting play that has mystery, suspense, surprise and humour. It is a story in which an intruder intends to kill Gerrard and impersonate him to escape the law but the tables are turned on him as he is trapped due to Gerrard’s presence of mind.
Gerrard is an actor-playwright. He is well-educated, fearless and full of humour. The play opens with Gerrard answering a phone call which is from a client whom he promises to deliver the props for rehearsal. So after the talk is over, he starts packing a travelling bag. Suddenly a man enters silently from the right. He is similar to Gerrard in appearance. He has a revolver in his hand.
This intruder is a criminal. He orders Gerrard to put up his hands. Gerrard obeys him but is not afraid. He talks pleasantly to the intruder. The intruder warns to stop being smart and answers his questions. Gerrard says he cannot feel comfortable while his hands are up. The intruder asks him to sit in a chair.
From their conversation, we come to know that Gerrard’s full name is Vincent Charles Gerrard. He lives there alone. He has a car also. He is a sort of mystery man. Sometimes he is here and the very next day he is nowhere to be seen. He gives his orders on phone and never meets tradesmen.
Then the intruder tells Gerrard about himself. He is a criminal. He specializes in a jewel robbery. He has killed a policeman. Now the police are after him. He knows that he bears a resemblance to Gerrard. Then he tells his plan to Gerrard. He has decided to kill Gerrard and live there under the identity of Gerrard. From the intruder’s way of talking, Gerrard guesses that he is a foolish, boastful man. It would not be difficult to get rid of this man.
Gerrard makes up a story. He says that he is also a criminal and a murderer. The police are also in search Of him. That is why he lives in a mysterious way. He often disappears from there. He tells the intruder that it would be a folly to kill him. He killed him, he would be hanged, if not as himself, then as Gerrard. The intruder begins to think. This is an opportunity for Gerrard. He offers to take the intruder to a safe place in his car. He asks him to hurry up as the police may come there any time. The intruder is taken in.
Gerrard opens a door and asks the intruder to enter it. He tells him that the door goes to the garage and they will escape in his car. Just the intruder turns his head to step in, Gerrard pushes him and knocks the revolver out of his hand. Then he shuts the door and locks it. In fact, the door does not lead to any garage. It is the door of his cupboard. The intruder shouts from inside to let him out.
But Gerrard picks up the phone and tells the police to come. In this way, Gerrard saves his life by a clever trick. Gerrard is so amused by this incident that he decides to use it as the plot for his next play.