Diana. Play. Dario Fo adapted by Stephen Stenning
Millionaire media boss, Diana Forbes-McKaye, is kidnapped - but the ruthless magnate proves more resourceful than her clumsy abductors. Are things what they seem? Who masterminded the abduction? Who has the television rights to this premier media event? Into this cocktail of chaos, Fo adds a gun-toting priest, a deranged altar boy, a kidnapper hiding in the fridge, pyromania and an explosive climax. This adaptation was presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994.
The famous love story of Abelard, the renowned teacher who fell in love
with Héloise, a girl half his age, had a child by her, married
her, was cruelly punished and was eventually received into the Church,
is told in flashback. Throughout looms the presence of the Church, the
monasteries and convents of twelfth-century France, with the monks and
nuns who watch and silently comment on the action. Keith Michell and
Diana Rigg starred in the original production at London's Wyndham's Theatre.
Party. Play. Devised by Mike Leigh
First performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, and subsequently produced
for BBC TV, this sharply wicked social satire on lower-middle-class suburbia
starred Alison Steadman in an award winning role as the formidable hostess,
Beverly, entertaining new neighbours. The evening's initial good-will,
clichés and fatuous small-talk only serve to create a rising tension
which finally snaps with a dramatic denouement.
Absence of a 'Cello
The story is about a physicist who needs money so badly he turns to
the $60,000-a-year job offered by a big corporation. He wants the job
but does the company want him? Mr. Personnel is sent to find out. What
seems to be starting out as a shopworn target - individually versus conformity
- turns out to be an ingeniously conceived comical discussion of honesty
and truth. After being coached by a gray-flanneled collegiate on how
to be what every company wants, the scientist is prepared to confront
the enemy (after quickly trading in his rolled-up trousers and flapping
shirt for a neat brown suit) ... He hides the cello he plays with pick-up
quartets, he hides the medieval history books his wife writes, he hides
all but the acceptable three liquor bottles. He hides, in fact, everything
that he and his wife are. And hauls out the television set ... What follows
is a literately comical playaround with industrial conformity that for
sheer humour is, well, wonderfully adult.
Alice. Play. Charles Laurence
Alice, the second wife of a famous sculptor, has indomitable humour
and a lusty spirit that never let her down. So, when Peggy, a businesslike
publisher, arrives with a sexy young gigolo in tow and a proposal to
publish the renowned sculptor's memoirs, Alice has no trouble in dispatching
the publisher but retaining the young man. That is, until Peggy returns
with some news which will stun Alice. An ingenious comedy thriller which
twists and turns and maintains the suspense until the very end.
About Time takes place in the condominium kitchen of an old married
couple. Over the course of the day from breakfast and lunch to dinner
and a late snack, the couple talk about everything under the sun, especially
food, sex, children and ageing. She is getting slower than she used to
be; in fact, it takes all morning to chop vegetables. He cannot move
around quite as fast as he once did. Neither see their children as much
as they would like. Yet both certainly have their wits about them as
the dialogue snaps and crackles its way through the four scenes. Faced
with the thought of mortality, they grapple with what it means to share
and to come to the end of a life together.
Friends. Play. Alan Ayckbourn
Colin's friends are determined to comfort him in his grief over the
death of his fiancée - a girl they have never met. They arrange
a tea-patty for him and are understandably on edge wondering what to
say to him as they await his arrival. Their unease, however, has deeper
roots as they are all kept together by a mixture of business and cross-marital
emotional ties and by the time Colin arrives their tension contrasts
dramatically with his cheerfully relaxed air.
Hell. Play. Rodney Ackland
This fascinating evocation of Bohemian life in London in 1945 was presented at the Orange Tree, Richmond, in 1988 and is a revision of the play The Pink Room originally staged at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, in 1952. A world-weary hostess runs a drinking-club where the members gather to drink and, variously, escape, dream, seek, bitch, mock and destroy. 'This is not only an archaeologist's treasure, but is among the most convincing, moving pieces to hit London yet this year.' Independent
Turkey - Farce.
Georges Feydeau, adapted from Le Dindon, by Nicki Frei and
Georges Feydeau's elegantly complex play is brought to life in this witty; seamless and acutely funny translation by Peter Hall and Nicki Frei. Feydeau, the supreme master of farce, displays all his dramatic tricks as his characters are pulled back and forth spinning dizzily in a surrealistic climax of complications. This translation received its London premiere at the Globe Theatre in 1993 starring Felicity Kendal and Griff Rhys Jones.
Person Singular. Play. Alan Ayckbourn
We visit three couples in their three kitchens on the Christmas Eves
of three successive years: the lower-class Hopcrofts; their bank manager
and his wife and their architect neighbour with a suicidal wife. Running
like a darker thread through the wild comedy of behind-the-scenes disasters
at Christmas parties is the story of the advance of the Hopcrofts and
the declines of the others.
Bess Johnson and Macon Hill are mail-order brides who meet while waiting
for their husbands to pick them up to start life in a small town in the
Wyoming Territory in the 1860s. Bess is a romantic while Macon Hill is
exuberant and determined about getting on with life in the West, one
that promises to be full of possibility. The husbands arrive. Bess, expecting
Mike Flynn,.gets his bother, Jack. Macon's husband is William Curtis,
a widower with one eye and a scarred face. Life becomes very difficult
for Bess and Jack, and Bess is constantly abused and totally unappreciated.
They struggle-and fail-to make ends meet. On the other hand, Macon is
hardly tolerant of William, although the couple is affluent. One Christmas
Eve, in a rage, Jack burns down the cabin. Macon and William take the
couple in and start living together for a longer time than expected.
Bess and Macon, having forged a strong bond, decide that some day they
will strike out on their own, though Macon is reluctant to actually do
so. Some time, later, while celebrating their mutual wedding anniversaries,
Jack and Macon become lovers at the same time Bess is abducted by Indians!
Macon, Jack and Will continue to live together over the years, believing
that Bess has been killed. However, Bess returns, having escaped death
by becoming assimilated into Indian life, and now seems incapable of
resuming a normal life. During her absence, the fortunes of Macon and
Will have greatly diminished. Bess agrees to tell the story of her abduction
and escape for publication and the lecture circuit. With the help of
a professor, she becomes the country's hottest sensation with this dramatic
-and embellished -tale. Jack develops a new love for her, while Macon
and Will separate and fail miserably at their new business pursuits..
Many years later as Bess is getting ready to retire and Macon is ready
to die, the women reconcile as they muse over how they have and have
not "savored the boundlessness of it all."
This romantic comedy employs twelve scenes to reveal a relationship
that spans an entire nighttime, because: A) with the way the world is
speeding up now-a-days, a night time is really what a lifetime used to
be; B) HE's busy, and; C) SHE's in a rush. HE is a classical musician
and filmmaker who lives for Art. SHE is a dancer determined to find Love.
(The audience will ultimately be asked to vote on which is more important.)
Other obstacles are their Mothers (Puerto Rican and WASP), who appear
in dreams, or when reason takes a walk or a giant leap, leaving the door
open for all mothers ... And Fathers, who appear as slides - not quite
flesh and blood, but still able to have left an impression. A live musician
accompanies all the fun.
Farce. Dario Fo, adapted by
Gavin Richards from a translation by Gillian Hanna
Dario Fo has always put a premium on entertainment and this sharp and hilarious satire on police corruption in Italy is no exception. This translation and adaptation was first seen in 1979 and enjoyed a very successful run at Wyndham's Theatre, London, in 1980. 'The brothers Marx, Karl and Groucho, have been working in unison ... when broad farce and social protest miscegenate the offspring is a real cracker.' - Guardian
William Trenting, a successful novelist and Nobel Prize winner, encountered early criticism of his works which were labelled 'indecent'. Now accepted as an enfant terrible he is knighted in the 1950's Honours List. But his sordid past, on which his novels were based, comes back to haunt him on the day of his investiture and he finds himself facing a very serious charge.
Lee decides to leave her husband and suburban home for six weeks to
assert her independence and moves into a New York apartment with two
roommates. One is an aspiring actress, never out of character or costumes;
the other, due to an agency mix-up is a serious, young, graduate student
called Tracy - but male! The ensuing complications make for an hysterical
Five old friends meet for a traditional evening of poker. As the stakes
rise the deception of the game exposes the deception in their lives.
'A sharp, entertaining comedy' Guardian.
Mary, a widow, and her two sons have moved to a new farm in the Scottish Borders where, for the first time, they are landowners. The play's action is spread over the first year in the new place and details the family's daily routine, their attempts to make the farm pay, Mary coming to terms with widowhood, the boys growing up without a father and the exploration of their own awakening sexuality - in the case of Donald, emerging homosexuality.
This lyrical, absorbing play, premiered by the RSC, is set in Accrington
during 1914-16. The 'Pals' are the men from the local volunteer battalion
who march high-spiritedly oft to the Great War with their experiences
in the trenches contrasted with those of the women left behind. At times
funny, at times sad, it paints a moving and powerful picture of the changes
in civilian life during wartime.
Play. Fay Weldon
This is a study of the shifting inter-relationships between three young
couples, following the developments with sympathy and a certain ironic
humour, through a span of twenty-five years. The 'Action Replay' technique
of television sporting coverage is here used to present the characters
in different lights and situations by repeating the action, sometimes
in quite brief scenes, with subtle and often radical differences, in
order to examine a vast part of the male/female relationship.