Composers and their stage works 



Play. Bertolt Brecht
Translations: Peter Tegal, Christopher Logue, William E. Smith and Ralph Manheim
M 18 F12. Extras. Interior and exterior settings.

Baal, a poet and singer, drunk, lazy, selfish and ruthless, seduces (among others) a disciple's seventeen year-old mistress, who drowns herself. He mixes with tramps and drivers and sings in a cheap nightclub. With his friend the composer Ekart he wanders through the country, drinking and fighting. Sophie, pregnant by him, follows them and likewise drowns herself. Baal seduces Ekart's mistress, then kills him. Hunted by the police and deserted by the woodcutters, he dies alone in a forest hut.

The Baby

in (The Evil Doers & The Baby) : Chris Hannan
5-12m 5-19f: up to 31 actors. Drama. Multipurpose set.

Set in Rome in 78 BC with dagger-men on the street, the mob rioting, and bodies dumped in the Tiber, The Baby is an epic, complete with heightened language, earth-shattering emotion, weighty moral dilemmas, low-brow comedy and disturbing bloody tragedy. It is also a simple love story.
ISBN 1854591002

Baby Anger

Comedy. Peter Hedges. 3 men, 2 women, 2 boys. Unit Set.

"Bringing up baby" takes on new meaning for a successful young couple who start living their lives through their baby boy when he is cast in an award-winning commercial - as a girl! Their lives are turned upside down and the spoils of success bring unexpected results in this surprising, twisted comedy. Told in twenty-seven scenes, beginning in the present and spanning ten years, Baby Anger presents a timely discourse on the trend of casting our children in the all-too-bright limelight.
ISBN: 0-8222-1637-X

Baby With the Bathwater

Comedy. Christopher Durang. 2 men, 3 women. Unit set

As the play begins Helen and John gaze proudly at their new offspring, a bit disappointed that it doesn't speak English and too polite to check its sex. So they decide that the child is a girl and name it Daisy - which leads to all manner of future emotional and personality problems when it turns out that Daisy is actually a boy. Thereafter, in a series of brilliantly theatrical and wildly hilarious scenes, the saga of Daisy's struggle to establish his identity continues, despite his parents' growing obliviousness. At the outset there is a zany nanny who gives him a lethal toy to play with; then the small problem of Daisy's penchant, as a toddler, for throwing himself in front of buses; then his bizarre problems in school; and, finally, the sessions with his analyst which enable him, at last, to accept his maleness and stop wearing dresses. In the end the play comes full circles as the former Daisy and his young bride fondly regard their own baby - forgiving of the past but determined not to repeat its calamitous mistakes.
ISBN: 0-8222-0084-8

Babylon Gardens

Play. Timothy Mason, 5 men, 5 women; unit.

Bill and Jean are a young couple living in New York's East Village struggling to overcome the death in childbirth of their first-born. Bill's job as a nurse/anaesthetist brings him face to face with life's harsh realities on a daily basis. Jean is a painter valiantly endeavouring to paint again. Day after day she brings her easel to the East River where she finds a good urban landscape to paint and where one day she also finds Hector, a young boy who fishes there, and who Jean tries to take under her wing. While Bill finds solace in the memories of his elderly patients and in helping Opal, a homeless woman, Jean attempts to get to know Hector, only to have him turn on her in a scene of terrifying violence. Retreating to a world of her own as a result of the attack, Jean remains city-shocked and incapable of action. Bill, needing to commit himself to something, no matter what, brings Opal to live in the room he and Jean had been preparing for their lost child.
ISBN: 0-8222-1369-9

The Bacchae

Play. Euripides, translated by Neil Curry
M7 F1, chorus of women. An open stage.

A lively, modern English translation of Euripides' last and greatest play which depicts the turbulent arrival of the Dionysian religion in Greece.


Euripides. Trans K. McLeish & F. Raphael
7m 1f, chorus, extras. Classical tragedy. Flexible staging.

First performed in Athens in 405 BC this bloodthirsty story still has a timeless theatrical power. The half-god Dionysos returns to Thebes intent on punishing his family for rejecting him. Dionysos persuades his cousin Pentheus, King of Thebes, to disguise himself as a woman so he can witness the Theban women celebrating the wild Bacchanalian rites. Pentheus's mother mistakes Pentheus for a lion and tears him to pieces. But that only marks the beginning of Dionysos's revenge.
ISBN 1854594117

Back In the Race

Play. Milan Stitt. 2 men, 1 woman. Unit Set

Returning to the now ramshackle country house where he had spent his boyhood summers, Jonathan Edwards VII, a direct descendant of the famous 18th century Calvinist preacher, wants to learn why his late father willed the place to the aging caretaker, Cliff, who now lives on there with his assumed daughter, a half-Indian girl named Zabrina. Sensing unanswered questions in the relationship between Cliff, who had served several generations of his family, and his father, Jonathan seeks answers, only to be met with antagonism and the threat of violence. But as he probes deeper he also confronts the disturbing truth of his forebears' often destructive singlemindedness - from those who ravaged souls in order to save them, to those who despoiled the land in search of wealth and power. In the end Jonathan and Zabrina (who may, in truth, be his half-sister) symbolically burn the Edwards family album, thereby exorcising the ghosts of the past and, at last, freeing themselves to deal with the present - and the future - as individuals in control of their own destinies.
ISBN: 0-8222-0086-4

Bad Company

Play. Simon Bent
M6 (20s) F2 (20s). Various simple scenes.

A group of twenty-somethings hangs out on the sea-front of a northern resort at the end of the summer season, finding little to relieve the futility and boredom of their lives: they gamble in amusement arcades, bicker in cafes, lust on the beach ... Casual sex, mindless violence and comic clashes of outlook permeate this entertaining, contemporary and humane play which paints a believable, touching portrait of modern youth.
ISBN 0 573 01723 9

Bad Habits

Comedy. Terrence McNally. Both plays can be performed by the same cast, as each calls for 6 men and 2 women. 6 men, 2 women. Simple Unit Sets.

In the first play, Dunelawn, we are in an expensive retreat for the unhappily married, where the wheel-chaired director, Dr. Pepper, dispenses a definitely unique sort of marital guidance. His theory includes complete indulgence of such "bad habits" as smoking, drinking and sexual promiscuity - which seems to work wonders for his patients, whose wacky case histories are each examined in hilarious detail. In the second play, Ravenswood, the approach is quite the opposite. Here the saintly Dr. Toynbee injects his straight-jacketed charges with tranquilising drugs to calm such urges - but again the catalogue of aberrations revealed in his patients is subjected to close, and enormously funny, scrutiny.
ISBN: 0-8222-1435-0

The Bad Seed

Thriller. Maxwell Anderson from William March's novel. 7 men, 4 women, 1 small girl. Interior.

The scene is a small southern town where Colonel and Christine Penmark live with their daughter, Rhoda. Little Rhoda Penmark is the evil queen of the story. On the surface she is sweet, charming, full of old-fashioned graces, loved by her parents, admired by all her elders. But Rhoda's mother has an uneasy feeling about her. When one of Rhoda's schoolmates is mysteriously drowned at a picnic, Mrs. Penmark is alarmed. For the boy who was drowned was the one who had won the penmanship medal that Rhoda felt she deserved!
ISBN: 0-8222-0088-0

Bad Weather

Robert Holman: 3m 3f. Drama. Multipurpose set.

Following a fight at a local Chinese in Middlesborough in which a man is badly injured, one man is sent to prison. The other man involved goes free, but it is a freedom full of burden. Out of the blue, a figure from the family past arrives and another kind of escape is on offer. The emotional fluidity of Bad Weather's characters, their capacity for surprising - almost shocking - changes of direction, and their literacy in discussing how they feel, makes this sincere, absorbing play as contemporary as anything by the new nihilists. First staged by the RSC, 1998.
ISBN 1854593242

A Bad Year For Tomatoes

Comedy John Patrick. 3 men, 4 women. Interior.

Fed up with the pressures and demands of her acting career, the famous Myra Marlowe leases a house in the tiny New England hamlet of Beaver Haven, and settles down to write her autobiography. She is successful in turning aside the offers pressed on her by her long-time agent, but dealing with her nosy, omnipresent neighbours is a different matter. In an attempt to shoo them away, and gain some privacy, Myra invents a mad, homicidal sister - who is kept locked in an upstairs room, but who occasionally escapes long enough to scare off uninvited visitors. The ruse works well, at first, but complications result when the local handyman conceives an affection for "Sister Sadie' (really Myra in a fright wig) and some of the more officious ladies decide it is their Christian duty to save the poor demented Sadie's soul. In desperation Myra announces that her imaginary sibling has suddenly gone off to Boston - which brings on the sheriff, and the suspicion of murder! Needless to say, all is straightened out in the end, but the uproarious doings will keep audiences laughing right up to the final curtain, and then some.
ISBN: 0-8222-0089-9

Ballad of Yachiyo

Drama. Philip Kan Gotanda. 3 men, 4 women. Unit Set

The time is 1919, a period of limited prosperity for Japanese families toiling in the sugar cane fields of the Hawaiian islands. Yachiyo, a young peasant girl, is destined for life in the fields and for a marriage to Willie, a lowly worker. Cashing in on an old family dept, she is sent by her parents to board with a pottery artist, Hiro Takamura and his wife, on a distant island where she will learn proper Japanese manners and traditions. The education that she receives is more about life's cruelties than its civilities. Hiro, consumed by bitterness over his father's success, is a perfectionist potter stuck in a loveless marriage. While his wife waits for him to learn to love her, she educates Yachiyo on how to ascend the social ladder and in doing so becomes her confidant. Hiro is inspired by the young visitor and his pottery flourishes as Okusan begins to become suspicious of her husband and Yachiyo's growing fascination with him. The story unfolds with Yachiyo's discovery of life's beauties, her sexual awakening and the infinite possibilities that ultimately lead to a tragic end.
ISBN: 0-8222-1547-0


Play. Arne Skouen
M2 (25, 50s) F4 (18, 20s, 40, 50s). An hotel room.

This deeply moving play is a poignant examination of the resistance of ex-ballerina, Edith, to be parted from her autistic daughter, Malin against strong opposition from family and friends. Edith has built a language of imagery and ballet-related movement which enables Malin and herself to communicate. Now circumstances force her to make a desperate plea for help to Birger, her husband, and their son Audun, in order to preserve their life together.
ISBN 0 573 11018 2

Balm In Gilead

Lanford Wilson. Drama 16M 8F Interior set

Set in an all-night cafe in New York's upper Broadway district, a group of drifters, bums and no-hopers reflect on their dreams and aspirations during one evening's comings and goings. A bleak and vivid portrayal of what can happen to people who fail to live up to our expectations - having to face society's ridicule and their own sense of failure. Perfect for large scale student groups in search of a powerful drama.
ISBN: 0 8222 1627 2


Comedy. Michael Frayn
M6 (20s, 50s, 60) F2 (20, 40). A room in Balmoral Castle.

It is 1937. Twenty years earlier the Revolution took place in Britain instead of Russia and the Soviet Republic of Great Britain is at the height of the purges. The royal residence of Balmoral is now a State Writer's Home with Godfrey Winn, Warwick Deeping, Enid Blyton and Hugh Walpole among its current inmates. Upon this very entertaining premise, Michael Frayn has constructed a witty, ingenious farce which was presented at the Bristol Old Vic in 1987.