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WHY ARE YOU LATE? is a drama class favourite - it's a fantastic game that combines mime with creative storytelling.

​How to play why are you late?



  • This is a theatre game with 3-4 players and audience involvement.


Instructions for this theatre mime game:

  • Allocate one student as the boss, one as the person who is late for work and one or two students to mime.

  • The boss and the person who is late for work, leave the room so they cannot hear the story.

  • The rest of the class devises an “unbelievable” scenario that has caused the person to be late to work.

  • Add in multiple layers to the story.


“I was making toast and my toaster caught on fire. I accidentally poured flammable liquid on the fire and my whole house caught fire. I called the fire brigade and as I was waiting for them, I was attacked by a dog. I then had to go to the hospital. That’s why I’m late”.

  • Once the story is decided, set the scene up so that the boss is waiting on stage for the late person and behind the boss, one or two students who have been given the task of miming the scenario.

  • The late person arrives and the boss says:

“Why are you late?”

  • The late person proceeds to tell them the story as they are guessing the mime being performed by the miming students (who are standing behind the boss).

  • The idea is to accurately guess the far-fetched story before they get fired by their boss.

  • They must verbalise the mime as it is being played out and correct themselves if they get parts wrong.

  • The mime students should mime out one part of the story at a time, until that part is guessed.

  • When the whole scenario has been discovered, have the late person explain the whole thing again and bring an end to the scene.


Addition: The audience play the role of the office workers and must pretend to be
typing and working as the scene unfolds. If the boss looks at a worker and they
aren’t working – they get fired.

This theatre game is included in the FREE Drama Games PDF which you can download HERE!

If you are looking for more mime activities...

Mimes for Kids
Theatre Games

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