Composers and their stage works 



Play. James Saunders
M2 (40s) F2 (30s). Two living-rooms.

Mervyn, Anne, David and Helen are middle-class, respectable couples. Years before, each man had an affair with the other's wife. For nine years they had not met. Now Mervyn has asked them over for dinner. The meeting leads to a discussion in which a great deal of the inner lives, opinions, prejudices and outlooks of the four are revealed. In the first act dialogues between the couples in their separate houses alternate with monologues from each character in which earlier events are recalled. The second act is set in Mervyn and Anne's home, in more straightforward style, on the evening of that significant meeting.
ISBN 0 573 11056 5


Play James Saunders. 2 men(40s), 2 women (30s). Unit set (Two living-rooms)

As the play begins, Anne and Mervyn, a seemingly well-setded middle-aged couple, are awaiting the arrival of Helen and David, a younger couple who were formerly their neighbors and close friends. Their reunion begins on a light and humorous note, but as the after-dinner talk grows more serious we become aware that the two couples had once engaged in an adulterous arrangement - and both have found it difficult to deal with the self-recriminations which this has created. Mervyn has begun to drink more than he should; Anne is coldly cynical; and Helen and David have turned to group therapy. But their problems still remain and, as the conversation becomes more revealing - and provocative - the underlying values of human existence are drawn into question. In the end the inescapability of the deep-seated guilt is powerfully evident with Mervyn, his vulnerability touchingly evident, sinking into tearful, defeated despair.
ISBN: 0-8222-0129-1

Bodies, Rest and Motion

Play. Roger Hedden. 4 men; 5 women (several roles may be doubled). Interior.

The place is a small and rather rundown house in Enfield, Connecticut, the "pad" shared by Nick and Beth. Rootless and undecided about what to do with their lives, Nick keeps them going by selling TVs, but his plan (to which Beth reluctantly agrees) is to head off to the Midwest for a fresh start. As the play begins Nick is lounging about, drinking with their mutual friend (and his former lover) Carol, while waiting for Beth to return with more booze. When she arrives they discuss their imminent departure for Ohio but then, and abruptly, Nick takes off - alone - for parts unknown. Left in the lurch, Beth is drawn into a brief but fervid affair with a hip young house painter, Sid, who shows up to redecorate the house for the next tenants. But while Sid begins to take their relationship seriously, Beth does not, and echoing Nick, she sells the furniture (except for the colour TV which Nick got from his former employer) and vanishes without a goodbye. When Nick, having had a change of heart, returns, it is to an empty house which, in a very real way, symbolises the inertia and rootlessness which have brought them all to where and what they are. As the play ends Nick drifts back into a relationship with Carol, while Sid, abandoning his buckets and brushes, goes off in search of Beth. But the lesson of the play is that nothing has really changed, nor will it do so until those involved find something to believe in and pursue, with a seriousness they have, thus far, failed to find.
ISBN: 0-8222-0130-5

A Body of Water

Drama. Jenna Zark. Three playlets that follow the lives of 9 people who become involved with sacred Jewish rituals. 3 men, 11 women (flexible casting). Unit Set

  • Foreign Bodies centres around a mother and daughter who, after a lifetime of miscommunication, are able to connect in the unlikeliest of ways. Rise, a young woman in her early 30s, impulsively joins a Jewish Sacred Burial Society. By doing so, she not only comes to terms with her mother's death, but discovers, through memory, a woman she had never, really known, A "Tahara" (washing) is performed as the members of the society join in this loving, personal ritual which is as much an affirmation of life as it is an evocation of how we let it go.
  • White Days. Sandy decides to save the passion in her marriage by going to a "Mikveh" (Jewish ritual bath). Because the Mikveh involves putting limits on her sex life, and is considered an archaic custom by the modern society in which she lives, her husband and her mother are horrified. As Sandy tries to justify her choice in what becomes an often humorous battle with her mother and husband, she also finds herself confronting powerful feelings of her own about intimacy, marriage and sex.
  • Shooting Souls. Devi, the attendant at the Mikveh, prepares for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) along with her religious community. She gathers with other Jews for the "Tashlich," the casting off of sins by throwing them into a body of water and saying prayers. Devi, always devoutly observant, finds herself unhappily pregnant for the sixth time. As she wrestles with her anger towards God and her community, she begins to breathe life into a new soul - herself. Through several encounters - sometimes funny, sometimes sad - with her family, her Rabbi and a sometimes enemy of the Rabbi's wife, Devi learns more about sin, perfection, children, expectation and forgiveness than she thought possible.

ISBN: 0-8222-1390-7


Comedy. Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross
M2 (20s) F4 (youngish, middle-age). A flat.

Bernard thought he could easily cope with his three air hostess fiancees. It was all a question of timetables and a reliable, down-to-earth maid who never forgot to change the photographs in the bedroom. Only when the 'Super' Boeing takes over is he landed with a triple problem. His old school friend, Robert, arrives unexpectedly from Paris and joins the set in a hilarious whirl of confusion and matchmaking.
ISBN 0 573 11024 7

Bold Girls

Play. Rona Munro
F4 (young, middle-age). A kitchen, a night club, a hilltop.

The dramas of everyday life in Belfast are but off-stage events in this stirring play about the lives of three women whose men have been killed or imprisoned for their political activities, but where bread must still be bought between explosions. In spite of its chilling theme there are many humorous and heart-warming moments - a play about people, not politics, which offers excellent acting opportunities. Rona Munro received the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award for 1991 for Bold Girls.
ISBN 0 573 13006 X

La Bolshie Vita

Comedy. Ken Whitmore
M7 (30, 50) F3 (22, 45). Various interior and exterior settings.

Osip, a fervent young Party member, is confused with Ivan, a Jewish dissident poet. Ivan is en route for Siberia and imprisonment, while Osip is travelling there to inspire the residents of Poshlost to heroic efforts. Anton, the local Party Secretary, has just returned from a trip to the West with his suitcase loaded with forbidden luxuries, and together with the other local party officials, is thrown into a panic at the prospect of the arrival of a keen Communist. Yet in the ensuing hilarious confusion the dissident Ivan achieves quite remarkable results ...
ISBN 0 573 01648 8


Play. Charlotte Hastings
M3 (young, 35, 40) F8 (20-50, elderly). Two interiors.

A flood in the Fen country has trapped two prison officials and their prisoner, Sarat Carp, who is on her way to the gallows for the murder of her brother. In spite of the evidence, Sister Mary Bonaventure is certain of Sarat's innocence. She uncovers a hitherto unknown connection between Sarat's friend Dr Jeffries and a woman for whose death Sarat's brother had been responsible. Just before the police launch arrives, a confession is forced from the real murderer. Period 1950s
ISBN 0 573 01046 3


Comedic Mystery-Thriller. Monk Ferris
M5 (20s, 30s, elderly) F8 (18, 20s, 30s, middle-age). Can also be M4 F9, or M6 F7. A parlour/ library.

On Friday the 13th, thirteen people gather for the reading of the late Josiah Travers's will. The will consists of a rebus which offers the lucrative estate to anyone who can solve the puzzle. To make things tougher, the lights keep going out and people keep being murdered. This is not only a very funny farce, it is also a superbly crafted mystery.
ISBN 0 573 61985 9

Bonjour, La, Bonjour

Drama. Michael Tremblay. 2 men, 6 women. Interior

Serge has returned from overseas and his trip allows everyone to get lost in the fantasy of vacation, ignoring the trouble brewing inside of Serge. Serge has really returned to consummate a love affair with one of his sisters, while his other two sisters, also infatuated with him, want his attention. This family-sexual relationship is heightened when we find that Armand, Serge's father, has in the past, practiced incest himself. Though the question of hereditary traits is not answered, Serge finds an understanding soul in his father. Father and son find themselves compatriots in this family of desperate women and wicked men.
ISBN: 0-88922-252-5

The Book of Murder

Mystery/Drama. Ron Cowen. 2 men, 4 women. Divided Interior

Henry T Aythecliff, a much married and once successful writer, now heavily in debt, summons his three ex-wives to his mansion, his plan being to extort a sizable amount of money from each of them. He has a secret meeting with each in turn, and when he is discovered murdered the dues indicate that each of his wives (including his present one) could have done the deed - and had a strong motive to do so. Patiently and resourcefully the young detective assigned to do the case sifts through the ingeniously devised evidence - until, in a surprise ending, the truth is finally revealed and the guilty party is apprehended.
ISBN: 0-8222-0133-X


Play. Robert D. Hock. 16 men, many bit parts for men and women. Unit Set

Borak is a drama of brisk action and soaring dialogue, which captures the excitement and meaning of a crucial battle in the Civil War. It projects the "feel" of actual conflict, and probes deeply into the fears and motivations of men at war. The play functions on two levels. On the surface is a Civil War story in which the hard, bitter duty of an officer must override his love for his son. But the play is also a religious parable of God and the sacrifice of his Son.
ISBN: 0-8222-0134-8

Borders of Paradise

Play. Sharman Macdonald
M5 (young) F2 (young). A beach.

Ellen and Rose have arrived from Scotland and set up their tent on a Devonshire cliff top. Down on the beach Rob, David, Charlie, Cot and John are enjoying a surfing break. A touching and humorous piece with seven excellent roles for young actors. 'No-one writes about the mysteries of young adulthood with more truth ... combines warm and funny naturalism with an appropriate touch of the mystic.' The Times

Born in the Gardens

Play. Peter Nichols
M2 (45, 50) F2 (35, 70s). A living-room.

Maud, a decidedly eccentric woman, lives in a dilapidated mock-Tudor Victorian house with her son Mo. The other children, Hedley, an ineffectual Labour MP, and Queenie, an expatriate in America, arrive and try to persuade Maud to go to a modem 'duplex' in London, and Mo to join Queenie in California, but both prefer to remain as they are. Not all of us, Mo says, 'want freedom. Captivity has its points as well.'
ISBN 0 573 11045 X