Composers and their stage works 


Childe Byron

Play Romulus Linney. 4 men, 4 women. Unit Set

As the play begins, Ada, the Countess of Lovelace, who was Byron's only legitimate daughter, is writing her will. She is 36 (the same age at which her father died) and dying of cancer. While she had been estranged from her father during his lifetime, and had reviled his memory, now, as her own end is drawing near, she is seized with a desire to know more about her profligate father. Stimulated by the drugs she is taking for her illness she summons him to life and, in sharp, sarcastic exchanges, probes into the truth behind the myth. Aided by a chorus of six other actors who impersonate a variety of characters, the life and art of Byron are unfolded; his tempestuous youth; his incestuous relationship with his sister; his homosexual escapades; the scandal surrounding his brief marriage and his castigation by the society of his day. In the end the private man, the public figure and the protean poet are reconciled, and the rare dimension of this remarkable figure, who became the symbol of the Romanticism of his time, is made movingly real.
ISBN: 0-8222-0201-8


Play. A.R. Gurney. 2 men, 3 women. Exterior.

The action takes place in the summer home of a wealthy "WASP" family on a resort island off the New England coast. In residence are a middle-aged but still attractive widow, her divorced daughter; and her prep school teacher son and his wife. Their pleasant regimen is interrupted by two jarring events: the mother's announcement that she plans to marry an old family friend (which means that the house will then pass to her children); and the unexpected arrival of her younger son and his family. The younger son, "Pokey," has always been out of step with the rest of the family, and while he remains a shadowy offstage figure throughout, it is quickly evident not only that (for reasons of his own) he objects to his mother's remarriage and to the plans which his siblings have hatched for the house, but also that he can, and will, stop them. As the others lash back at Pokey much that has been repressed in them rises to the surface, . and they are forced to painful (yet often funny) examinations of their own rather sterile lives. In the end, however, their resistance crumbles, and they are resigned again to things as they are and, most likely, will continue to be until the ways of the world truly change.
ISBN: 0-8222-0202-6

Children of a Lesser God

Play Mark Medoff. 3 men, 4 women. M3 (20s, 30s-40s) F4 (late teens, mid-20s, 30-40s). Various simple interior and exterior settings. Unit Set

After three years in the Peace Corps, James, a young speech therapist, joins the faculty of a school for the deaf, where he is to teach lip-reading. He meets Sarah, a school dropout, totally deaf from birth, and estranged - both from the world of hearing and from those who would compromise to enter that world. Fluent in sign language, James tries, with little success, to help Sarah, but gradually the two fall in love, and marry. At first their relationship is a happy and glowing one, as the gulf of silence between them seems to be bridged by, their desire to understand each other's needs and feelings, but discord soon develops as Sarah becomes militant for the rights of the deaf, and rejects any hint that she is being patronized and pitied. In the end the chasm between the worlds of sound and silence seems almost too great to cross ... but love and compassion hold the hope of reconciliation, and deeper, fuller understanding of differences which, in the final essence, can unite as well as divide.
ISBN: 0-8222-0203-4

Children Of the Sun

Maxim Gorky. Trans S. Mulrine
8m, 6f Four-act drama. 1 interior/ 1 exterior set.

A somewhat Chekhovian family drama, first staged in Russia in 1905. In a prophetic echo of the coming Revolution, the play looks at the lives of the privileged intelligentsia and of the workers and advocates an alliance between the two.
ISBN 185459429X

Children of the Wind

Play. Jerry Devine. 1 man, 2 women, 1 boy. Interior.

The time is the 1930s the scene a theatrical rooming house in New York City, where Daniel Brophy, a stock company actor of long experience, awaits both his wife and his young son and also his "big chance" in a forthcoming Broadway play. Determined to give his family a permanent home and a decent life, Brophy has promised to give up drinking and to make good, at last, on all his many past promises. Leavened by the humor of the warm-hearted landlady, May, all goes well at first, but as the crisis of opening night approaches Brophy's resolve begins to falter. In the end he buckles under the strain - but perhaps only momentarily, as the final, emotionally searing scene so eloquently and hopefully suggests.
ISBN: 0-8222-0204-2

Children's Day

Play. Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall
M3 (30s, 40s) F4 (19, youngish, 30s). A kitchen.

A hectic children's birthday party provides a noisy background to a series of domestic crises. Robin has left Emma and Emma has become friendly with her solicitor, Tom; both Tom and Robin arrive for the celebrations. The mishaps of the party spill over into the kitchen situation, the behaviour of the young visitors affecting the adults. By the end of the party however, things look a little brighter for Robin and Emma.
ISBN 0 573 01561 9

The Children's Hour

Lillian Hellman : Drama 2M 14F 2 Interior sets

Martha Dobie and Karen Wright are both highly respected women, and together they successfully run a boarding school for girls. Despite their efforts over the years, their reputations are instantly torn to shreds when a troublesome and malicious pupil starts an entirely unfounded rumour, which precipitates tragedy for the women. It is finally discovered that the gossip was pure invention, but by that time irreparable damage has been done, and once treasured friends have failed the test of loyalty. An examination of faith in truth, The Children's Hour explores the tendency of many people, when presented with cruel gossip, to believe in the worst.
ISBN: 0 8222 0205 0

A Child's Christmas in Wales.

Christmas musical. Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell. Based on the poem by Dylan Thomas
M 15 F7. Extras. Various simple settings.

This enchanting play with music uses a variety of carols and well-known Welsh songs to conjure up the pure magic of Christmas for the enjoyment of an audience of all ages. The main course of events takes place on Christmas Eve itself, when the Thomas family are host to their relatives. Apart from a potentially major hiccup, when the turkey catches fire, the traditional Yuletide celebrations are enjoyed by all.


Simon Block
3m 1f. Black comedy. Single interior set.

Mark and Stevie, a young couple settling into their new home are visited by two door-to-door salesmen whose nightmare sales pitch threatens the very foundation of their life together. 'Like David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, to which this is something of a suburban cousin, Block's thoroughly enjoyable play is obsessed with the deal and the jargon-filled language that clinches it ... His observations and the strung-out tension as Mark and Stevie struggle to sort out their differences in the jaws of a brilliantly sprung trap is thrillingly unbearable' Independent
ISBN 1854593730


Play. Robert David MacDonald
M11 F5. Simple settings.

Subtitled Figures in a Classical Landscape with Ruins, this takes us into the world of the Ballet Russe. On holiday in Venice, the impresario, Chinchilla, is longing for both love and money amid the backstage drama of dancers, choreographers, designers and hangers-on. Autocratic, splendid and world-weary, he is the creator and destroyer of what happens on his stage and to his company. The play is divided into scenes marked 'Present' (taking place on a single afternoon in June 1914) 'Past' and 'Future'.

Chinese Coffee

Drama. Ira Lewis : 2 men. Interior

It is one in the morning on a freezing New York night when struggling novelist Harry Levine comes pounding furiously on the door of his best friend, photographer Jake Manheim. Harry has all of a dollar and a half in his pocket and Jake owes him a substantial amount of money. Jake has even less money on hand than Harry but what is worse he has not, he declares, read the manuscript of Harry's latest novel, a work on which Harry's last hope is pitched. Or has he? Relentlessly, obsessively, the desperate Harry probes the sardonic, world-weary Jake until the truth is finally, revealed. Not only has Jake read the book and found it to be a thinly disguised account of their lives, loves and failures, but believes it to be a work of truly commercial promise, and perhaps of genuine artistic merit. Fiercely jealous, believing himself to have been potentially the writer Harry has indeed become, the failed photographer attempts to destroy his friend's one chance to rise. The final moments of the play explode as Harry gains the courage to continue living and affirms his right to succeed.
ISBN: 0-8222-1426-1