Composers and their stage works 


The Bride and the Bachelor.

Farcical Comedy. Ronald Millar
M3 (32, middle-age, 50s) F5 (16, 24, 40s, 50). A lounge hall.

On the eve of her wedding, Serena Kilpatrick is having cold feet. Among her wedding presents is a magic bowl which can bring aid to a distressed bride. The aid turns out to be Sir William Benedick Barlow, lately dead, but earthbound until he can soothe a troubled bride. He discovers that Serena, abandoned as a baby, is really his own daughter, while her mother arrives from Heaven to settle matters.
ISBN 0 573 01054 4

The Bride's Bouquet

Mystery Comedy. Kurtz Gordon. 6 men, 5 women. Interior.

Paul Battman and Laura Caldwell had planned a big wedding in June. But Paul turns 23 in May, and must be married before his birthday at Battman's Castle on Snug Island in order to inherit $250,000 left to him by his grandfather, Silas. If Paul fails to comply, the inheritance will go to his cousin, Kenneth, whom he has never met. So on the eve of his birthday, Paul, Laura, Paul's mother, Helen, Lauras Aunt Grace, Clara, the bridesmaid, and Roger, the best man, meet Jonathan Lancaster, a young attorney representing Silas' estate, and travel to the island. They are greeted with cold hostility by Martha Morgan, the housekeeper who lives alone in the castle. While they are waiting for Horace Wiggins, the justice of the peace, Jonathan presents Laura with a bouquet left for the bride-to-be in Silas's will. A poem presented with the bouquet suggests that a gift is hidden close at hand. It is anything but a pleasant treasure hunt, however. The bouquet is snatched from Clara by an unseen hand; Mr. Wiggins, is discovered in a chest, drugged and groggy, and Silas Battman's raucous laugh booms from the rafters. Is it cousin Kenneth, or can Silas still be alive? All those present regard each other with growing suspicion. As the unknown man is ultimately identified the clock strikes midnight. The ceremony has not been performed and presumably Paul loses his inheritance. But a final twist brings a surprise ending that will thrill and delight everyone.
ISBN: 0-8222-0153-4

The Brides of March

John Chapman : Farce 6M 8F Interior set

A young member of the Foreign Office living in Finchley is bequeathed five beautiful women by a sheik whose life he once saved. They are 'delivered' when his wife happens to be away, but when she returns, the sparks begin to fly. A hilarious and inventive farce from the author of Dry Rot and Diplomatic Baggage.

Tony Scudamore, who did his wartime service with the British Army in North Africa, has settled into a peacetime career with the Foreign Office. Tony displays almost a bit too much British reserve for his American wife, Sally, as does his older brother, Ken, on leave from his tea plantation in the tropics, and when Jack Krasner, a friend from the States, arrives unexpectedly she jumps at his invitation for an evening on the town in London. Tony and Ken are not won over so easily, particularly as the senior Scudamores (he's also in the Foreign Office) have suggested a family dinner for the evening. So the upshot is that Sally and her old beau go one way, while Tony and Ken go another. Nobody stops to think much about a certain letter which arrived that morning informing Tony that he has been remembered in the will of an Arab sheikh whose life he saved during the war. By the end of the evening the fog is too thick for Sally to get home, but Tony and Ken make it, and so does Haroun El Bahn (the sheikh's emissary) bearing Tony's legacy - five nubile, Arab maidens. Tony's first reaction is to send his "harem" back, but it seems that to refuse a dying sheikh's bequest is a mortal offence. Tony's father also brings up the touchy point that the British government is now negotiating oil leases with the dead sheikh's successor - and any dispute could lead to unhappy complications. This is the situation which Sally walks into the next morning, and the misunderstandings which follow are hilarious. ISBN: 0 85676 049 8

Brideshead Revisited.

Play. Evelyn Waugh, adapted for the stage by Roger Parsley
M14 (late teens, 20s, middle-age) F8 (late teens, middle-age, elderly). M4 F3 with doubling. Characters age over 20 years. Various simple settings.

This portrait of the interweaving relationships and fortunes of a desperately charming, if eccentric, aristocratic family and their influences upon Charles Ryder has been faithfully adapted for the stage, preserving all the sharp wit and candid social commentary of Waugh's narrative. Period 1943, and in flashback to the 1920s.
ISBN 0 573 01730 1

Brief Lives. John Aubrey. Adapted for the stage by Patrick Garland
M 1 (71), M and F voices only. A Jacobean chamber. . Typescript on hire from Samuel French Ltd

John Aubrey (1626-97) has come to be recognised as England's first serious biographer. Patrick Garland's adaptation of Aubrey's writings represents a day in the latter part of Aubrey's life. 'It is as if one is paying a visit to the house of an old man, who makes up for the absence of friends by bringing to life reminiscences of people, remembering them and telling stories about them.'

The Bright and Bold Design

Peter Whelan : Drama 4M 6F Flexible staging

In the North Staffordshire Potteries in the 1930's, Jessie Frost works for a small traditional firm, hand-painting designs in the time-honoured fashion ... until the arrival of Jim Rhys as the firm's new art director. A man possessed with both high ambition and strong views of the future, Jim's views on design create tension with the factory owner, and his political beliefs gradually lead him into conflict within the small community. But in Jessie Frost, Jim recognises a special talent, one which he promptly sets out to nurture - though not necessarily with her blessings. "the result is a play of great warmth, charm, passion and grace, an exploration of the the nature of the as of politics, and the politics of art.
ISBN: 0 85676 144 3

Brighten the Corner

Farce. John Cecil Holm. 4 men,. 5 women (2 of the 5 women are bit parts). Interior.

An absent-minded bachelor spends his life inventing things and going to school, but he never finds time to learn everything he wants to know. He is interested also in his young nephew and the nephew's wife, and he drops in on the couple on his way South. Having money, he wants to make the young people comfortable, but is especially concerned in giving them an incentive to raise a family, and he is anxious to provide bonuses for children who will come later on. When he arrives he mistakenly identifies a charming bride, a neighbour of the young people, as his nephew's wife. For sufficient reasons, the truth is concealed. In order not to disappoint Uncle, all the young people involved must play out the comedy until almost the very end. What with this bride and that dashing in and out, and Uncle meantime happily involved in his schemes for helping his own young people, we are involved in a series of misadventures. But Uncle finally gets everything straightened out, and generously gives presents not only to his nephew and his wife but to everyone else.
ISBN: 0-8222-0155-0

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Play. Neil Simon : M3 (teenage, 40) F4 (teenage, 30s, 40x). Various interior and exterior settings.

This portrait of the writer as a Brooklyn teenager in 1937, living with his family in crowded, lower middle-class circumstances, was first presented in London at the National Theatre in 1986. Eugene (the young Neil Simon) is the narrator and central character. The play's scenes consist of a few days in the life of a struggling Jewish household, of whom two have heart disease, one has asthma and two at least temporarily lose jobs needed to keep the straitened family afloat. It is a deeply appealing play that deftly mixes drama with comedy.
ISBN 0 573 61941 7

Brilliant Tracks

Cindy Lou Johnson : Drama 1M IF Interior set

The setting is a remote cabin in the wilds of Alaska, and while a blizzard rages outside Henry lies sleeping under a heap of blankets. Suddenly he is awakened by the insistent knocking of an unexpected visitor - who turns out to be Rosannah, a distraught young woman who has fled all the way from Arizona to escape her impending marriage, and who bursts into the cabin still fully dressed for her wedding. Exhausted, she throws herself on Henry's mercy, but after sleeping for two solid days her vigour - and combativeness - return. Both characters, it develops, have been wounded and embittered by life, and both are refugees from so-called civilisation. Thrown together in the confines of the snowbound cabin they alternately repel and attract each other as, in theatrically vivid exchanges, they explore the pain of the past and, in time, consider the possibilities of the present. In the end their very isolation proves to be the catalyst which allows them to break through the web of old griefs and bitter feelings which beset them both, and to reach out for the solace and sanctuary which only hard-won understanding, self-awareness and compassion for the plight of others can bestow.
ISBN: 0 8222 0156 9

Brimstone and Treacle

Play. Dennis Potter
M2 (young, middle-age) F2 (young, middle-age). A living-room.

A clever and highly controversial play about the intrusion of a slick, satanic young man into the lives of a humdrum couple whose only deviation from the appalling norm to which they steadfastly adhere is that they have an attractive only daughter, reduced to a vegetable after a car accident. 'Dennis Potter is a mass of contradictions as a writer and in Brimstone and Treacle ... we see all his paradoxical drives coming fruitfully together.' Guardian
ISBN 0 573 01626 7


Play. Racine. A new version by Robert David Macdonald
M3 F3. Extras. A room.

In his great neo-classical plays, Jean Racine reached the peak of sophistication in French tragedy. Britannicus addresses power and politics with the action centring essentially on the politics seething within the young Emperor Nero's Court. Yet the play is as much about his mother, Aggripina, losing her hold on power as Nero turns against her. Although Racine does not draw a direct parallel with Louis XIV's Court, he regards those in power with an all-seeing, but not forgiving eye. Period: Ancient Rome

Broadway Bound

Play. Neil Simon
M4 (20s, 50, 75) F2 (50s). 2M 1 F, voices only. Split set representing a house.

Forming the third part of the famous Neil Simon autobiographical trilogy, this charming play about youthful ambition and parental regret is set in late 1940s Brooklyn. While their parents go through various conflicts which will ultimately end in divorce, Eugene and his brother Stanley struggle to become professional comedy writers. When a sketch based on their family life gets a radio broadcast it upsets the family but Eugene and Stan are now Broadway bound.
ISBN 0 573 69053 7

Broken Glass

Drama. Arthur Miller. 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

Brooklyn, New York. The end of November, 1938. Sylvia Gellberg has suddenly, mysteriously, become paralyzed from the waist down. As the play opens, her husband, Phillip, and her doctor, Dr. Hyman, meet to discuss the prognosis and test results. The doctor assures Phillip that physically, there is nothing wrong with his wife and that she is sane, but advises the only way to discover the cause of her paralysis is to probe into her psyche. At this point, the author begins to peel away all the layers of the characters' lives in this stunning, deeply effective exploration of what it means to be American and Jewish in 1938. In his attempts to uncover the truth about Sylvias paralysis, Dr. Hyman, via conversations with Phillip, Sylvia, and her sister, Harriet, discovers that the Gellberg's marriage was built on resentment, and that over the years has become loveless. While Sylvias affliction leaves her terrified, it exposes Phillip's deepest emotions. He hates himself and he loathes being Jewish. His self-hatred has always made him cold, and at times even cruel, yet, Sylvids condition has magnified his feelings leaving him out of control with her, with Dr. Hyman, and even with his employers. Dr. Hyman's obsessive determination to cure Sylvia leads him to discover that her paralysis occurred quickly after a newspaper report on Krystallnacht and an accompanying photograph of two old men forced to clean the streets of Germany with toothbrushes. She feels something must be done to stop the Nazis while most Americans believe the Germans wont allow them to get out of hand. But what can she do when she can't even change her own life? The atrocities in Germany, her husband's denial of his Jewishness and her own realization that she threw her life away have overcome her. Suddenly, she no longer simply feels helpless, she has truly become helpless. Finally, with everyone's feelings laid bare, the play comes to its heart-wrenching, electrifying, conclusion, as Phillip has a heart attack and begs Sylvia's forgiveness as he dies.
ISBN: 0-8222-1413-X

Brothers of the Brush

Play. Jimmy Murphy : M4 (30, 40, 60) A basement room.

Jimmy Murphy's 'subtle unsentimental lament for the working class' (Irish Times) tells how housepainters, patching over the cracks of an old house, misuse each other for their own advantage. In a world blighted by economic recession, with workers losing faith in old ideologies, this award winning play demonstrates just how fragile allegiances are when personal interests are at stake. 'There is a new and remarkably realistic voice on the scene with the arrival of Jimmy Murphy...'Sunday Independent

Brothers Of Thunder

(in Scotland Plays) : Ann Marie Di Mambro : 3m. Drama. Single interior set.

John, an HIV positive man takes refuge with a Roman Catholic priest. A fragile relationship begins to develop between them until a figure from John's past arrives upon the scene. The conflict between them encompasses questions of forgiveness, reconciliation and the role of the church in the modern world. A taut yet poignant play.
ISBN 1854593833

Brown Pelican

Play George Sklar. 7 men, 5 women. Unit Set

Having organised "Project Noah" to protect endangered species, Jeff Tanager (curator of the local zoo) is appalled when several rare birds are mysteriously murdered in their cages - and doubly shocked when he is accused of the crime. As he fights to defend himself and his family against increasingly scurrilous attacks, Jeff receives support from a disembodied "Voice". As the action moves on to a bizarre courtroom scene the "Voice" gives Jeff the absolute power to control the forces of nature. In the resulting chaos, machines stop, animals talk, the heads of state confer desperately on ways for a man to regain domination of his environment. But, as the exciting denouement makes chillingly clear, it may already be too late - unless mankind reverses its present ecological destructiveness and seeks out its true and proper place within the overall balance of nature.
ISBN: 0-8222-0159-3

Brush With a Body

Play. Maurice McLoughlin
M5 (22, 30s, 50s) F6 (17-20s, 50s, 60s). A morning-room.

In Sybil Walling's absence her children call in the chimney-sweep, whose brushes dislodge not only soot but a body. When Sybil returns she tells them that, just before he died twenty years ago, their father had killed a Soho gangster and had hidden the body in the chimney. The police descend in pursuit of an amorous patient of Sybil's son Henry, which leads to hilarious misunderstandings and surprises.
ISBN 0 573 01058 5

Brutality of Fact

Comedy/Drama. Keith Reddin. 2 men, 5 women, 1 girl (flexible casting). Unit Set

Val, a matriarch, comes to live with her daughter, Jackie. Jackie, recently divorced and having lost custody of her daughter, takes her mother in willingly, but also enlists her in a crusade to convert everyone to be a Jehovah's Witness. The two women comb the neighbourhoods with religious magazines, shoring up Jackies faith, and killing Val's optimism, not to mention her feet! Val's other daughter, Maggie, surfaces after a long absence to be told that her mother thinks she's dead - since Maggie vanished years ago, Jackie just thought it easier to lie. Maggie's trying to kick her drinking habit, and hearing this news doesn't help. Re-acquainted with her slightly surprised mother, Maggie tries to be the ear Val that needs when she can't stand living with either Jackie's fanatical ways or her newfound zealot boyfriend, Chris. Val runs away, but Maggie can't take her in. The hilarious yet dark situations continue as Jackie develops questions about her faith, and her new husband, Maggie finds sobriety and grandmother Val hangs out to help her other granddaughter, Marlene, through it all.
ISBN: 0-8222-1503-9