Composers and their stage works 


Comedy/Thriller. James Yaffe. 3 men, 2 women. Interior.

Henry Lowenthal, after a long tenure as professor of philosophy at a small western college, is looking forward to being appointed to an endowed chair so he and his wife can enjoy their golden years with honor and dignity. But their plans are given a rude jolt when his successor, a vindictive and ruthlessly ambitious young woman; informs him that she is not recommending him for the chair - an act of such calculated cruelty that the usually gentle professor seizes a bust of Socrates and strikes his tormentor a fatal blow. Thereafter, as Henry and his wife plot a foolproof way to dispose of the body, complications arise in the form of a rather sinister young student who is about to flunk out of school (unless his grade is changed) and who happened to witness the professor's violent action. Add in a suspicious police lieutenant and you have all the ingredients for a series of suspenseful, unexpected and frequently, funny developments, leading to a denouement which will catch everyone by surprise.
ISBN: 0-8222-0217-4

The Climate of Eden

Play. Moss Hart. Based on Edgar Mittelholzer's novel, Shadows Move Among Them. 8 men, 5 women. Unit Set

A family of missionaries live in the jungles of British Guiana, where they have worked out an unconventional philosophy of life based on a practical compromise with civilization. Religion and morality are tempered with humour and tolerance. To this happy household comes Gregory Hawke, a young man who suffers from various complexes and neuroses. He joins the family, hoping that their simple way of life will cure him. He falls in love with one of the daughters and ultimately takes her with him after his recovery. His relations with the younger daughter, while helpful in enabling her to grow from childhood into adulthood, are more complex and revealing. The bald plot gives one no idea of the rich complexity of the situations nor of the charm and excitement of many of the scenes. The basis of the philosophy of the play is that genuine love and affection go far toward solving some of the problems of modern civilization.

The Clink

Stephen Jeffreys
5m 4f, doubling, or 12m 4f. Comedy. Minimal set.

Elizabeth I is tottering at death's door. Conspirators are everywhere. Lucius Bodkin, an Elizabethan stand-up comedian, becomes unwillingly involved in the political skulduggery and jiggery-pokery surrounding the ailing Queen. The result is a riotously funny satirical farce offering some sharp parallels with our own times. First staged by Paines Plough in 1990.
ISBN 1854590731

Clocks and Whistles

Play. Samuel Adamson
M3 (25, late 40s-early 50s) F2 (26, late 30s). Various simple settings.

Henry watches. He watches Anne-who is helped or hindered by the older man in her life, the enigmatic Alec - as she tries to make it as an actor. And he watches Trevor, who hangs out in seedy clubs and his flat in Paddington, as he tries to make it as a poet. As the lives of the three interlock, they drift into a world of sexual and emotional confusion.

Close of Play

Play. Simon Gray
M4 (boy, middle-age, elderly) F4 (middle-age, elderly). A living-room.

The part of Jasper is a challenge to the actor- a leading character (played originally by Michael Redgrave) who sits immobile and silent virtually throughout the play. He is the head of the bitter, strife-ridden family who surround him and play out their quarrels, recriminations, despair and weak resolutions, using him as a sort of confessor in long, revelatory speeches.
It is characteristic of Simon Gray to place a witty, intellectual hero centre stage, and then systematically, and ruthlessly reveal the barrenness of his soul and spirit. In Close of Play (the title is a cricket term) the central figure is Jasper Spencer, a celebrated literary figure and family patriarch, who sits mutely on stage while his children and their spouses, one by one, reveal their innermost concerns and problems to him. One son, a BBC television newscaster with a drinking problem, suspects that his wife is unfaithful and may leave him. Another son, a doctor facing a malpractice suit, feigns devotion to his often-betrayed wife who is pregnant with their fifth child while the widow of a third brother, who hates everyone in sight, tries to develop a meaningful relationship with her troubled son, who is suspected of homosexuality and theft. While the stories they tell are absorbing, lively, and filled with humour, they are also, on a deeper level, uncommonly revealing - giving eloquent testimony of the profound unhappiness which underlies this ostensibly content and even placid household.
ISBN: 0-8222-0219-0 (US) ISBN 0 573 11048 4 (UK)

Close Ties

Play. Elizabeth Diggs. 3 men, 5 women. Interior.

The scene is a country home in the Berkshire Mountains of New England, where three generations of the Whitaker/Frye family have gathered for the summer. Josephine Whitaker, the matriarch of the family, still bustles about energetically tending her. garden and issuing orders to the others, even though she has long since given the house to her middle-aged daughter, Bess Frye, and her husband, Watson, who is now a senior partner in the law firm founded by his late father-in-law. Also present are the Frye children, three daughters and a teenaged son, and Ira Bienstock, the unlikely lover of one of the Frye daughters, who arrives uninvited but quickly ingratiates himself with Josephine and the others. While concerned with family ties, and the tensions, misunderstandings and good-natured bickering which arise from such closeness the ultimate focus of the play is on Josephine, who is edging into senility and, in the family's view, must no longer be allowed to live alone. It is the resolution of this problem, which so many must face in today's world, which provides the very believable - and deeply moving - conclusion of this most human and genuinely affecting play.
ISBN: 0-8222-0220-4

Close the Coalhouse Door

Musical Documentary. Alan Plater
M8 F2. Extras. Composite set.

'A hymn of unqualified praise to the miners -a group of men who forged a revolutionary weapon without having revolutionary intent.' A golden wedding patty of an old pitman and his wife forms a springboard into reminiscence and reflection about the past. Originally written for the Newcastle Playhouse this play is one of the outstanding documentary musicals to emerge from the regional theatre in recent years.

Close to the Wind

Play. Richard Everett
M3 (young, middle-age, elderly) F3 (young, middle-age, elderly). A living-room.

Gerry believes his 23-year-old marriage is all right but wife Kate feels differently! Returning home after a disastrous visit to the theatre, ruined by Gerry's lively mother, Mary, Gerry and Kate attempt to salvage the evening at a local restaurant, but even that ends in a profiterole-throwing fight. Daughter Louise and her boyfriend Julian are key players in this light comedy of marital mishap and mid-life crisis, as are Mary and her beau, Roy.
ISBN 0 573 11082 4


Patrick Mather 2 men, 2 women. Unit set

Four lives intertwine over the course of four and a half years in this densely plotted, stinging look at modern love and betrayal. Dan, an obituary writer, meets Alice, a stripper, after an accident in the street. Eighteen months later, they are a couple and Dan has written a novel inspired by Alice. While posing for his book jacket cover, Dan meets Anna, a photographer. He pursues her but she rejects his advances despite their mutual attraction. Larry, a dermatologist, "meets" Dan in an internet chat room. Dan, obsessing over Anna, pretends to be her and has cybersex with Larry. They arrange to meet the next day at an aquarium. Larry arrives and so too, coincidentally, does the real Anna. This sets up a series of pass-thelover scenes in which this quartet struggle to find intimacy but cant seem to get closer.
ISBN: 0-8222-1722-8

Clothes for a Summer Hotel

Ghost Play. Tennessee Williams
M9-13 F7-14, doubling possible. An asylum.

The play opens in an asylum where Zelda Fitzgerald is being treated for mental disorder. Her husband, Scott, visits her, and this leads to a series of flashbacks in which details of their lives, in particular those concerning Zelda's attempts to achieve self-expression, are enacted.

Cloud Nine.

Play. Caryl Churchill
M4 F3. A veranda, a but interior.

Written for Joint Stock, this theatre company's workshop for the play was 'sexual politics', thus giving Caryl Churchill the idea for her parallel between colonial and sexual oppression. Act I takes place in Victorian Africa, whilst Act II is set in modern London. Much interplay is made of gender and colour: for example, Clive, the white settler, has a black servant, Joshua, who is played by a white because he wants to be what the whites want him to be. Hilarious and thought-provoking.
ISBN 0 573 01668 2


Play. Michael Frayn
M4 (30s, middle-age) F1 (30s). An open stage.

The place is Cuba where two English journalists, Owen and Mara, find themselves on a fact-finding mission, researching a story for rival colour supplements. The play is a travel sketchbook of sharp and entertaining caricatures; the title is a metaphor for the characters who appear from nowhere, coalesce, form themselves into weird and extravagant shapes, drift and disappear.
ISBN 0 573 11083 2


Comedy Benn W Levy. 4 men, 3 women. 2 Simple Sets.

Two couples' domestic complications are thrashed out and. acted out mostly on shipboard. "The two wives," in the words of Atkinson in the Tunes, "adore each other until they discover that they both had had the same lover before they were married ... Mr. Levy then introduces the lover and the mistress, turns everything upside down once or twice, and concludes by making the wives friends again and the husbands enemies.