Composers and their stage works 


Bosoms and Neglect

John Guerre. Comedy 1 M 2F 3 Simple interior sets

Scooper, a successful but emotionally insecure man edging reluctantly into his forties, has a problem relating to women. When he discovers that his aged, blind mother, Henry, has been hiding the fact that she is suffering from cancer he persuades her with some difficulty to undergo surgery. Faced with the honour of his mother's secret, he soon turns his attentions towards Deirdre, a beautiful but extremely neurotic girl and a compulsive liar, who he has noticed in the waiting room of their shared psychiatrist. Their conversation, which is alternately funny, caustic, outlandish and filled with chary observations on modem life, leads them to discover a shared interest in literature as well as their mutual dependency on their "shrink" - whom neither can apparently live without. Their fears lead to an altercation in which Scooper injures Deirdre's foot and she stabs him in the spleen, resulting in both being hospitalised alongside Scooper's mother, whose conclusions about her own let in life become a lesson for all.
ISBN: 0 8222 0137 2

A Boston Story

Ronald Gow, based on the novel by Henry James: Comedy 3M 3F Interior set

Roger has an extraordinary theory that it should be possible to teach a young woman to fall in love with him. Having failed with Isabel, he decides to try the experiment with Nora, his ward. He enlists the help of his cousin, Herbert and also Isabel, but unfortunately, the arrival of George, a handsome scoundrel and a distant cousin of Nora, upsets matters. Nora is sent away to Europe and when she returns as a beautiful young woman, we are kept in hilarious doubt until the final curtain as to who will win her in the end.

Bottom's Dream

Play. Alan Poole
M8 F6. Children: M or F5. Various simple settings on an open stage.

Who dreamt the Midsummer Night's Dream? What were the reactions of the Artisans' relatives to their play-acting activities? The author considers the play from the point of Bottom - and the women as members of the audience. Bottom and his wife are discovered settling down for the night-as twelve o'clock strikes, Bottom dreams a 'most rare vision'. All the Artisan scenes are preserved intact - but here the women also have their say.
ISBN 0 573 12026 9


John Godber : Comedy 4M (multiple role-playing) Bare stage

Bursting with imagination and wit and presented by just four actors, Bouncers is an outrageous and hilarious parody of the disco scene. The four brutish bouncers of the title portray over twenty different characters as we are invited for a night out on the town. We see them as giggly girls and lads on the make preparing for the big night out as we follow their progress to the disco floor. There, we also meet an entire cross-section of disco-goers, including Hooray Henrys, pogoing punks and drunken slobs! The evening's events arc set against the tatty glitzy glamour, flashing lights and pulsating beat of the nightclub scene.


Play. John Godber. 4 men. Open Stage.

Staged with extreme simplicity, the play takes place in a provincial discotheque - the Saturday night haunt of England's disaffected youth. Using the device of four tuxedoed male bouncers (who also "become" a variety of other characters) the action of the play moves from a group of predatory working-class youths, charmless and barely of drinking age, who spend their week's pocket money on cheap beer and greasy "fast food"; to their giggling female counterparts, who end up drunk and disheveled in their desperate search for a good time; and on to boisterous encounters in the men's room, and even an hilarious segment involving an imagined scene from a "blue" video. Performing at a non-stop pace, the four actors move from one irreverent bit of action - and impersonation - to another with virtuosic ease and, in the end, conjure up a telling portrait of a generation doomed to a humdrum present and a diminished future, whose "moral decay" is, perhaps, the inevitable by-product of society which has moved from the glory days of a powerful empire, to a foundering socialist state no longer able to accommodate fully the aspirations of its people.
ISBN: 0-8222-0138-0

Bouncers (Remix).

An all new, revised and expanded version of Godber's classic play.

Boundary Waters.

Play. Barbara Field,
4 men, 2 women; exterior.

A Nobel Laureate in physics, Declan, invites his close friends and fellow scientists to the woods of Boundary Waters National Park to get away from their blackboards and observe the snowy owl. While waiting for a fleeting glimpse of the great bird, Spindlequick cooks elabourate meals no one would expect in the wild, and informs Natalie that she has been named the coveted Feynmann Lecturer for the year. Though pleased, the idea of delivering a speech means travelling close to where her estranged son lives, forcing Natalie to decline the offer, triggering an all-night discourse, full of revelations, with her husband, David. The ongoing discussion is constantly interrupted, first by the appearance of Cometti, a former student of Declan's, and his new girlfriend, Sylvia then by everyone's own misadventures. Cometti, invited by mistake and not exactly welcome, wants to reveal to Declan his almost finished solution to 'cosmic strings' and maybe learn of the missing link he needs for his equation. But the rules of camping state that no work can be discussed, throwing Cometti into a angry panic his girlfriend must try to calm. Declan, taken with Sylvia, convinces her he would be a perfect candidate for her to teach the secrets of cosmic travel, so around the campfire, she takes him to other places, while Cometti decides whether a gun he brought with him to fend off wild animals might really be meant for other purposes. Through the night, the partners mix and mismatch with results akin to A Midsummer's Night Dream, waking the next morning to find they have rediscovered themselves and their scientific calling with the help of the redemptive powers of nature itself.

Box and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung

Two inter-related plays. Edward Albee. 2 men, 2 women, offstage female voice. Unit set

The New Yorker, comments "The play opens with a recorded voice reciting a long and tiresome threnody on the human predicament and the degree to which art can serve as a solace as well as a spur ... During the recital, the stage is empty except for a wooden framework of a large cube; the recital over, the cube is seen to contain a portion of a ship's deck, some deck chairs, and four people. One is Mao, who spends the rest of the evening wandering about the stage and the adjacent boxes and aisles, quoting his own deadly political cliches. Another is a raddled-looking old lady, who recites in a whining Middle Western singsong Will Carleton's celebrated ballad "Over the Hill to the Poorhouse.' In one of the deck chairs sits a minister, book in hand and blanket tucked cozily about his legs; never uttering a word, he listens with sympathy to a middle-aged lady's non-stop monologue about her dead husband, her ungrateful daughter, and her narrow escape from drowning. Mao and the raddled-looking old lady have nothing to do with the minister or the middle-aged lady, nor have they anything to do with each other. They may or may not exist in the same place and the same time. Nothing that anyone says has the slightest effect on anyone else. Time passes. Words accumulate. Eventually, Mao stops quoting himself, the old lady finishes the last stanza of the ballad, and the middleaged lady brings her monologue to a dose. The play is over, and we have had a delightful evening ... Mr. Albee allowed us to share with him the joy of creation.
ISBN: 0-8222-0139-9

The Boy With Green Hair

Comedy Fantasy: F Andrew Leslie, based on the motion picture drawn from an original story by Betsy Beaton. 9 men, I woman, 7 boys, 3 girls. Unit Set

Peter, 12, is an orphan - although he clings to the hope that someday his mother and father will come back from the War and find him. Peter has been shunted from foster home to foster home, and now lives with Gramp, not his real grandfather, but a kindly old ex-vaudevillian. Gramp and Peter hit it off well, and Peter begins to enjoy a normal happy life. But when the children at school find out Peter won't believe that his parents are not be coming back, they taunt him. Peter is filled with rage, but Gramp makes Peter realise that there is always hope for the future. Life should be like a green plant, holding its own and putting out new shoots despite all odds. It is the sense of green - the colour of life - which overwhelms Peter's consciousness ... and then turns his hair green. What this does to the town is a lesson in human relations. The green hair must go and with it goes Peter's revived belief in people's goodness. Things are ultimately set right again with scenes of fantasy and warmth which make the play both a beguiling and touching experience.
ISBN: 0-8222-0144-5

The Boys in the Band

Play. Mart Crowley
M9 (20s-30s, 1 Black). An apartment.

Michael, a homosexual, has invited a number of friends to his birthday party. A 'straight' friend of his, Alan, rings up and wants to see him. Though anxious about the outcome, Michael agrees to his joining them. Alan's presence acts as a catalyst to the emotions - never far from the surface - of those at the party. The result is a mixture of bitter humour and physical violence. Alan goes, leaving behind him the debris of the party.
ISBN 0 573 64004 1

Boys' Life

Comedy Howard Korder. 4 men, 5 women. Unit Set.

Told in a series of fast-paced, sharply etched scenes, the play traces the misadventures of three former college friends now seeking to make their way in the big city - and with various women of their acquaintance. There is the cynical Jack, who is already married and a father, but is not above pursuing daytime adulteries while baby-sitting in the park; the innocent, vulnerable Phil, who grows weary of not being taken seriously and concludes that being unhappy is the way things are supposed to be; and the handsome, amoral Don, who risks a solid relationship with his girlfriend by sleeping with another, simply to see if he "could get away with it." Moving along briskly, with its mood of satirical humour brilliantly sustained, the play dissects and anatomises the male narcissism - and protracted adolescence - which characterises its protagonists and, in the end, makes it hilariously clear that it is actually the women who possess the qualities of "manhood" and maturity which their deluded lovers so desperately lay claim to.
ISBN: 0-8222-0140-2

The Boys Next Door

Comedy. Tom Griffin. 7 men, 2 women. Interior.

The place is a communal residence in a New England city, where four mentally handicapped men live under the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly "burned out" young social worker named, Jack. Norman, who works in a doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries, takes great pride in the huge bundle of keys which dangles from his waist; Lucien P Smith has the mind of a five year-old, but imagines that he is able to read and comprehend the weighty books which he lugs about; Arnold, the ringleader of the group, is a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer, who suffers from deep-seated insecurities and a persecution complex; while Barry, a brilliant schizophrenic who is devastated by the unfeeling rejection of his brutal father, fantasises that he is a golf pro. Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where "little things" sometimes become momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy when, with touching effectiveness, we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of us, want only to love and laugh and find some meaning and purpose in the brief time which they, like their more fortunate brothers, are allotted on this earth.
ISBN: 0-8222-0143-7