Composers and their stage works 


Be Your Age

Romantic Comedy. Reginald Denham and Mary Orr. 5 men, 6 women. Interior.

Archibald K. Holly is a widower with three daughters and a problem. Gwendolyn, his middle daughter, wires that she is jilting the boy next door for a new beau from college and that she is bringing him home. The potential groom is not a young man as expected, but Eliot Spurgeon, a suave, sophisticated professor as old as Mr. Holly himself. But the fun really begins when Mr. Holly realises that Eliot is an old fraternity brother of his, famous as the campus wolf. Holly's determination to break up this May-December infatuation and get his stubborn daughter to marry the more suitable young man her own age, leads to a crescendo of comic situations.
ISBN: 0-8222-1301-X

The Beard

Play: Michael McClure. 1M, 1F. Open Stage

Examining the nature of seduction and attraction the play brings into explosive confrontation two legends of America's recent past: the sultry, platinum blonde movie star, Jean Harlow; and the baby faced, quick-tempered outlaw, Billy The Kid. Drawn to each other, but constrained from yielding by their towering egos, the two probe each other's weaknesses and uncertainties with cruel precision she mocking his vaunted masculinity, and he accusing her of envying his beauty. In time, as their obstinacy fades with the knowledge that there is no one watching them that they are free to slip out from behind the larger-than-life facades with which they have been burdened the two give way to their true feelings in a rush of unbridled passion, leading to a final scene which is one of the most celebrated and widely discussed of the modern theatre.
ISBN: 0-8021-5175-2

Beauty and the Beast

Laurence Boswell
4m 4f, doubling. Drama with or without music. Minimal set.

This theatrically thrilling new version of the classic myth was first produced for the Young Vic in 1996. Rather than presenting kids with gaudy, gobsmacking spectacle, this enchanting Beauty and the Beast stimulates the mind.

Laurence Boswell's adaptation of the fairy story is at once beguiling and disconcertingly strange... his beautifully written script is so evocative that we seem to see wonders that are not actually there ... It is hard to imagine a more hauntingly beautiful children's show Daily Telegraph.

This enchanting play can be performed straight or with music - drawn from traditional French folk melodies - composed by Mick Sands for the Young Vic production. The score is available separately from the text.
ISBN 1854593072

Beauty and the Beast

Play. Warren Graves. 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

While closely following the traditional fable so beloved by all, this imaginative adaptation cleverly compresses the salient points of the story to make them more theatrically effective and easily staged. The main line of the action deals with the merchant, Blotti, who wanders into the castle of the Beast. Having lost his fortune he is reluctant to return home to his hopeful daughters - until the Beast promises him riches if he will send his youngest (and purest) daughter, Beauty, to the castle. There are scenes of humour and daring as Beauty's haughty sisters argue over who will take them to the ball, and the valiant Manello challenges the Beast to a sword fight. But, above all, there is the magic of Beauty's innocence and goodness, which sees beyond the ugliness of the Beast to the handsome young prince whom the purity of her love will restore to his rightful form.
ISBN: 0-8222-0100-3

Beautiful Thing

Jonathan Harvey : 3 men, 2 women. Unit set

Jamie and Ste (short for Steve) are teen-age neighbours in a working-class housing project in London. Jamie is bookish and shy while Ste is more athletic. Neither one has an ideal home life: Jamie's mother Sandra is bitter over her financial situation and her romantic life, but she's willing to settle for a bloke named Tony and cover up her disappointment with scathing humor; Ste's father and brother abuse him in the form of escalating domestic squabbles and actual beatings. After one such fight, Ste asks Sandra if he can stay at her house and she lets him and Jamie bunk together. As their friendship grows, Jamie begins to realize he has stronger feelings for Ste, and one night, after Ste suffers a particularly bad beating, the two boys decide to experiment together. Both realizing they're gay, Ste and Jamie begin a tentative relationship. Soon, Sandra hears the rumor that her son's gay, and knowing that he's been having trouble in school, she confronts him and he admits the truth. Ste and Jamie's friend, Leah, is also in on the secret and she's supportive of them, probably because of her own outsider status as a Mama Cass worshipper The play ends with the two boys feeling less alone in the world than before; they have each other, and even the bickering Sandra and Leah call a truce and accompany the boys in a slow dance for all their neighbors to see.
ISBN: 0-8222-1717-1

Beauty Parade

Farce-Comedy. Conrad Seiler. 10 men, 4 women. Unit Set

After rounding up the mothers of our beauty contestants, who have been backstage giving their daughters last-minute encouragement, a young Master of Ceremonies sends them to their seats. He explains to the audience the kind of contest he is staging for the Super Association for Supermarkets. In this contest both beauty and brains will be judged to select the Supermarket Queen. The five contestants, the Misses "Canned Corn," "Pretzels," "Prunes," "Skim Milk" and "Upside-down Cake," parade before the judges. Then to prove the girls have more than beauty, the M.C. quizzes them about such diverse matters as marriage, their ideal man, the political state of Europe and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. As Etheleene Hudkins, "Miss Prunes", is crowned, the angry mothers of the losing contestants swarm the stage and send the M.C. and the judges fleeing every which way.
ISBN: 0-8222-0101-1

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Drama. Martin McDonagh. 2 men; 2 women. Unit set

Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative ageing mother, whose interference in Maureen's first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play's terrifying dénouement.
ISBN: 0-8222-1664-7

The Beaux Stratagem

George Farquhar
11m 5f. Classic comedy. Multipurpose set.

A pair of London gentlemen pose as a Lord and his servant in order to procure one handsome dowry to split between them. While Aimwell, the 'Lord', works on the affections of Lady Bountiful's daughter Dorinda, his 'servant' Archer makes his bid for her son's wife. First performed in 1707.
ISBN 1854591541

Because of the Lockwoods

Play. Constance Cox from the novel by Dorothy Whipple
M3 (20s, 50) F5 (18, 20, 40, 50). A room in a provincial house.

Set in Lancashire in 1902 this play deals with the Hunter family who are obliged to live in the poorer district of town. The Lockwoods' former neighbours prove patronising but the Hunters are saved from despair by the help of Oliver Read, a young junk dealer whose cheerfulness and acumen assists them to a much brighter future. This play has moments of great comedy and is simple to dress and set.
ISBN 0 573 01722 0

Because Their Hearts Were Pure (or The Secret of the Mine)

Melodrama. Morland Cary. 6 men, 9 women (several extras). Several Interiors & Exteriors.

The plot concerns two worthy widows whose livelihood depends on a coal mine that has been left to them. The lovely daughter of one widow is engaged to the son of the other, and when it develops that the villainous banker who holds a mortgage on the mine is going to foreclose, the girl seeks a precarious livelihood as a schoolteacher. The young man goes to sea as a sailor but very soon is given up as lost. Meantime, the banker, seeking not only to get the mine (in which silver has been discovered) into his hands, but the heroine as well, has spun his wicked web so cleverly that he is on the point of success. But, just in time to save the widows and their children, amazing events take place which bring success and happiness to all who so richly deserve them.
ISBN: 0-8222-0102-X

Becket, or The Honour of God

Play. Jean Anouilh. Translated by Lucienne Hill
M34 F5. Composite setting.

As he waits to be scourged for his part in Becket's murder, King Henry 11 retraces his entire relationship with the saint, once his dearest friend and mentor. His catastrophic mistake was to create Becket Archbishop out of political expediency for Becket found a fulfilment lacking in his hitherto luxurious life and therefore guarded the honour of God as once he had, as Henry's Chancellor, once guarded the honour of his King. Period 12th century
ISBN 0 573 01034 X


Play. Jim Cartwright
M4 F4. A giant bed.

Seven elderly people share a vast bed, to dream, remember and reflect on a long past. The play, with a running time of 90 minutes, was acclaimed at the Royal National Theatre. 'Cartwright writes better about old people than anyone I know, except perhaps Beckett. This is an odd, harrowing and hilarious piece, entirely without sentimentality, sturdy but moving.' Sunday Times. 'Sophisticated of structure and mature in content ... brims with the confidence of a craftsman who can work as happily with surrealism as naturalism ...' City Limits

The Bed Before Yesterday

Comedy. Ben Travers
M4 (young, 35-50) F4 (21, 40s, 50). A living-room.

Alma, a rich but physically far from lovely widow, has had no sexual experience since the sole occasion on her wedding night twenty years ago. She marries impoverished Victor on the understanding that their marriage will be based on friendship. But intervention from Victor's son, his unconventional girlfriend and Alma's free-and-easy cousin warm up her long-cooled fires with unexpected results. Period 1930
ISBN 0 573 01596 1

A Bedful of Foreigners

Comedy. Dave Freeman
M4 (30s, middle-age) F3 (20s, 30s). An hotel bedroom.

On the eve of a local festival in a French village Stanley and Brenda on a motoring trip, think themselves lucky to obtain a hotel room. But in less than an hour Stanley finds himself lowering an attractive girl, stark naked, from the window. The girl's husband arrives and by the second hour almost everybody is in the wrong bed, figures dressed as nuns and monks rush in and out, seductions and confrontations run rampant!
ISBN 0 573 11104 3

Bedroom Farce

Comedy. Alan Ayckbourn
M4 (young, 60) F4 (young, 50s). Three bedrooms in one set.

Three bedrooms are presented simultaneously on stage and the action between three households flows in and out from one to the other during this hectic night. There are Ernest and Delia celebrating an anniversary with pilchards on toast after a disastrous meal out; Malcolm and Kate preparing a house-warming party and Nick and Jan, the former resting his injured back in bed. The marital disasters of Trevor and Susannah weave in out and out of the bedrooms.
ISBN 0 573 11047 6

Bedside Manners

Comedy. Derek Benfield
M3 (young, middle-age) F2 (young). A reception room and two bedrooms represented by the same set.

Ferris is looking after his sister's seedy hotel. Two young couples arrive. Roger has arranged an assignation with Sally, leaving his wife Helen at home, but Helen and Geoff, Sally's husband, have also made plans for a naughty weekend together - at the same hotel. The mischievous Ferris discovers their guilty secrets and tries (at some financial reward to himself) to prevent the inevitable meeting of husbands, wives and lovers in assorted compromising situations.
ISBN 0 573 11030 1

The Bedwinner

Comedy. Tony Lesser
M4 (young, 25, 40s, elderly) Fl (30). A luxury flat.

Hilary and Pat are successful business executives. Hilary wants a baby and when she is offered a large salary increase at the same time that Pat has a row with his boss it is decided that she should continue working whilst Pat babyminder. Hilary's assistant, Brutus, complicates matters by falling in love with her, and Pat returns to his job as he believes Hilary to have been fired. But it looks as if Hilary's wish is to be granted and the problem of housekeeper is solved in the shape of Pat's dad.
ISBN 0 573 01581 3