Composers and their stage works 


Agnes of God.

Play. John Pielmeier
F3 (21, middle-age). An open stage. . For further details of the music apply to Samuel French Ltd

Dr Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is asked to determine the sanity of a nun accused of murdering her own baby. The Mother Superior seems bent on protecting Sister Agnes from Livingstone whose suspicions are immediately aroused. In searching for solutions to various mysteries Livingstone forces all of them to face some harsh realities in their own lives. This powerful drama was an outstanding success on Broadway and was filmed with Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft.
ISBN 0 573 63022 4

Alarms and Excursions.

Eight short plays. Michael Frayn
M16 F14 can be played by M2 (35, 45) F2 (35, 45). Various simple settings.
These eight plays examine the difficulties modern technology has added to life - with hilarious results.

Two couples embark on a dinner party which is doomed to failure as labour-saving devices and furniture become hostile.

Two couples in adjacent hotel rooms have similar problems to those in Alarms.

The dinner-party is revisited.

Look Away Now.
Passengers ignore their airliner's safety lecture.

Heart to Heart.
Deals with the impossibility of communication at a noisy drinks party.

Presents us with a political speech sabotaged by a harassed autocue operator.

Shows the problems of trying to eat and work standing up at a function.

This is acted out entirely over the phone, as a couple try to decide where they should be meeting their German guest.

ISBN 0 573 01808 1

Alice in Wonderland

Play. Created by The Manhattan Project, under the direction of Andre Gregory. 4 men, 2 women. Open Stage.

Everyone is familiar with Alice's' antic adventures, and they are all here - but with an arresting difference. From the presumed innocence of the original is drawn a caustic and giddy revelation of the human psyche, and the dark, unsettling shadows which can linger there. Freud and Jung, Kafka and Dali, all make their presence felt, in a piece of pure theatre that is full of truth, and fun, and terror, and uncanny pertinence to our own topsy turvy times. As T.E. Kalem comments: "Alice is an exemplary instance of how a classic can be made 'new,' and one of the extremely rare instances of a book's being turned into a wholly satisfactory theatrical experience."
ISBN: 0-8222-0014-7

Albert Make Us Laugh.

Play. Jimmie Chinn
M6 F8 or M4 F5 (with doubling). Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Some would say Albert Nuttall, aged eleven, is backward - but he is special. He is a poet and a visionary who, as he grows into manhood, inspires unexpected depths of emotion in other people, notably his classmate Primrose, whose glorious future as an actress fails to materialise, and the lost and lonely young schoolteacher, Janet Partington. This strange, touching and uplifting story - written to be enacted entirely by adults - is engaging and theatrically innovative. Period 1940s-1950s.
ISBN 0 573 01761 1

Albertine In Five Times

(in The Guid Sisters) : Michel Tremblay. Trans. van Burek & Glassco
6f One-act drama. Flexible staging. 

Five actresses portray Albertine at different times of her life whilst conversing freely with each other and with their sister Madeleine. Albertine at 30 is recuperating in the country after viciously beating her I I-year-old daughter; Albertine at 40 is a virago at war with the world; at 50 she has rejected her past by reinventing it; at 60 she has given in to depression; at 70 she's found a kind of peace. First performed in London in 1986 at the Donmar Warehouse.
ISBN 1854591185


Comedy. David Rimmer. 2 men, 2 women (all are teenagers). Unit set.

Divided into eight scenes, which span their years at Martin Van Buren High School, the play chronicles the coming of age of two teenaged couples during the turbulent Sixties. The language is frank, but unfailingly funny, as the four struggle with impending adulthood and their awakening sexuality. The action ranges from summer camp, to dormitory bedrooms, to senior prom, with the popular music of the period - Bob Dylan, The Beatles, the Beach Boys - ever ' present as a telling counterpoint to, and emotional anchor for, the lives of its young foursome. As the years spin deftly by it is also apparent that maturity will bring differing perils and problems for each of them, although all will continue to recall the special excitement - and poignancy - of these last few carefree years together.
ISBN: 0-8222-0013-9

The Alchemist:

Ben Jonson
10m 2f, townsfolk. Classic farcical comedy. Simple set. 

Face, Subtle and Dol Common are three rogues intent on conning the gullible out of their money. Simon Callow, Tim Pigott-Smith and Josie Lawrence played the three conmen in the 1996 National Theatre production. First performed in 1610.
ISBN 1854592629


Play. Bill Naughton
M9 (30s, 40s, 65) F9 (20s, 30s, 50). Composite setting.

With sublime amorality Alfie swaggers and philosophises his way through the play, chattily allowing the audience to eavesdrop as he goes from one 'bird' to another, trying hard to communicate his own brand of determined hedonism and carefully rejecting anyone or anything that might touch him too deeply. Premiered at London's Duchess Theatre, the stage play was later successfully filmed with Michael Caine in the role of the ebullient Cockney Alfie.
ISBN 0 573 01008 0

Alfred the Great

Drama. Israel Horovitz. 2 men, 2 women. Interior.
First in The Alfred Trilogy and of the seven-play cycle, The Quannapowitt Quartet.

Alfred Webber visits his old family home whre Margaret, his ex-girlfriend of many years ago, and her husband, Will, now live. Margaret still carries a torch for Albert, driving Will to extremes of jealousy. Even the child Alfred and Margaret share who had been given up for adoption, still permeates Margaret's psyche and her marriage. Alfred uses all these neurosis, plus,some of his own, to find out the truth about his brother's mysterious murder. Though the murder happened years ago, Alfred has his hunches about Will, and on the pretext of coming to visit his father's grave, stays in the old homestead and catches up on old times. When Alfred's wife, Emily, shows up, her presence throws the visit into disarray, but also provides Alfred with the strength to set Will up for a confession to the murder. Through deception, seduction, revelation and even torture, Alfred discovers his father is really alive, Margaret reveals a suppressed past, and a confession of murder is dragged out of Will. The facts are sketchy, but Will pays the ultimate sacrifice when Alfred kills him, prompting Margaret to give up hope of any more illusions and kill herself. Alfred and Emily are left to explain the carnage and pay the price of this tragedy.
ISBN: 0-8222-1297-8

All At Sea

Vanessa Brooks : Comedy 3M 3F Flexible staging

When Graham and Annette, and Gus and Maria, the two winning couples of Meteor Television's popular lover's reunion programme Star-Crossed Sweethearts, head off for the romantic cruise they've been promised on board the Sovereign, little do the, realise what adventures he is wait over the horizon. Unknown to the couples, the "cruise" turns out to be artificially staged for the cameras on a moored ship, which the inept Meteor TV researcher Debbie has been put in charge of organising. It's not long before Debbie's own "ex" Marcus appears under innocent enough circumstances, and while some old flames prepare to rekindle, others soon look positively ready to explode. The situation rapidly accelerates when they realise that the ship is no longer moored and is drifting helplessly into the English Channel shipping lanes, endangering everybody in this black comedy of romance and rust on the high seas.
ISBN: 089676227X

All Because of Agatha

Comedy: Jonathan Troy. 4 men, 6 women. Interior

Being a cartoonist, Duff O'Hara can live where he chooses and, at the urging of his young bride, Joan, this turns out to be historic Salem, Massachusetts. They are both taken by the charming old house which is shown to them although Duff evinces misgivings when the real estate man reluctantly admits that the house has one rather bizarre feature which has discouraged previous tenants from staying on - it is visited each year by a slightly destructive witch named Agatha Forbes. But Joan wants the house, witch and all, so they settle in. Things go so well that by the time Agathâs annual visitation is due Duff and Joan decide to make a party of it, and hopefully a farewell one for Agatha. Joaris Aunt Thelma comes to visit in time for the festivities for which the next door neighbours, Dr. Randolph and his mother (a medium who calls herself Madame La Solda), are also invited Inasmuch as Agatha is a local legend the newspaper sends its star reporter, Flip Cannon, along to cover the affair, but the atmosphere of gaiety soon vanishes when the witch herself arrives in a cloud of smoke and bad temper. Impatient from the outset, Agatha makes no bones about the fact that she wants everyone out of the house, although she does mellow to the extent of admitting that if she had a choice she would rather forego her enforced yearly visits and stay wherever it is witches live out eternity. She even goes along with Madame La Soldâs occult attempts to dissolve the commitment which binds her, but when this fails Agatha loses patience and repeats her evacuation order. As no one will cooperate, she then exercises her special powers and casts a spell which, to every one's dismay, temporarily makes them actually become as they secretly wish themselves to be. The results are uproarious. But Joan, fortunately, keeps her wits about her and solves the riddle of how to free Agatha from her househaunting obligation - which she does in the nick of time and to the relief of all.
ISBN: 0-8222-0015-5

All For Love :

John Dryden
6m 4f, 2 children, extras. Classic tragedy. Flexible staging.

A Drama Classic - the most affordable edition of this classic drama Dryden's version of the Antony and Cleopatra story told as heroic tragedy. First performed in 1677.
ISBN 1854593722

All in Good Time.

Comedy. Bill Naughton
M7 (20x, 40s, 50s) F4 (20x-50). Three interiors, one exterior.

This robustly humorous play centres on the sensitive Arthur and his new bride forced by economic circumstances to live with his good-hearted but rough-tongued father. The lack of privacy is so inhibiting that Arthur is unable to consummate the marriage, and gradually word gets around. But fortunately Arthur becomes so humiliated and enraged - he loses his inhibitions ...! Filmed as The Family Way with Hywel Bennett and Hayley Mills.
ISBN 0 573 01011 0

All My Sons

Arthur Miller : Drama 6.M 4F Exterior set

The story concerns the fortunes of the Keller and Deever families. During the war Joe Keller and Herbert Deever ran a machine shop which made aeroplane parts. Deever was sent to prison because the firm turned out defective parts, causing the deaths of many men. Keller, however, went free and made a lot of money. The twin shadows of this catastrophe and the fact that the young Keller son was reported missing during the war dominate the action. The love affair of Chris Keller and Ann Deever, the bitterness of George Deever returned from war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free, are all set in a structure of almost unbearable power. The climax showing the reactions of a son to his guilty father is a fitting conclusion to a play which is electrifying in its intensity.
ISBN. 0-8222-0016-3

All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Comedy. Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall
M6 (20s-40s, 70) F3 (19, 40x). A kitchen/living-room, a yard.

An exuberant and racy comedy which is yet a sad commentary on twentieth-century bureaucracy. The Hesseltines are living in property well overdue for demolition and are looking forward to being rehoused in more beautiful and salubrious surroundings. The crisis comes when they find that, far from a house with a little bit of garden, they are to live in a warrenous block of flats.
ISBN 0 573 11012 3

All Things Considered.

Play. Ben Brown
M4 (49, middle-age) F3 (young, late 20s, 40s). A living-room.

David Freeman, a Professor of Philosophy about to reach fifty, is tired of life. His only desire now is to control the timing and manner of his death. His plans for 'self-deliverance', however, are disrupted by the earthly demands of people around him. Alone at last he carries out his plan, but is saved by the college electrician. Returning from hospital, David hears news that may change his mind - yet ultimately the vagaries of chance would have it otherwise.
ISBN 0 573 01720 4

All's Fair.

Play. Frank Vickery
M2 (20x) F4 (14, 20s, middle-age). A living-room.

This poignant comedy is set in the wartime Rhondda and captures perfectly the claustrophobic yet protective and supportive atmosphere of life in the Welsh Valleys in 1942. The two central characters - Dilys, in love with an American GI and Sophie, frustrated at being unmarried and happy to settle for Dilys's dull brother- are contrasted and astutely observed, as are the other members of the household - Mother, nearing the end of her years and precocious Brenda, trembling on the brink of adolescence.
ISBN 0 573 01675 5