Composers and their stage works 



Play. Emlyn Williams
M3 (30, 49) F4 (20, 35, 50). A living-room, a veranda.

Spoiled and cosseted over the years by her devoted mother, Cuckoo's future is thrown into crisis by the death of Mam. But it's not just Cuckoo's future which then becomes doubtful - what of sister Lydia's plans to marry wealthy Jerome, and those of her aunt Madam, and the physically disabled Uncle Powell? First produced at Guildford with Rosemary Leach in the title role, this absorbing and touching play reveals the hidden depths in the woman who has always been treated as a child. '... there is plenty of cosy humour to give (it) charm ... very actable...' Daily Telegraph. Period 1935
ISBN 0 573 01649 6

Cuckoos On the Hearth

Mystery-Comedy: Parker W Fennelly. 7 men, 5 women. Interior.

The Carlisles live in a lonely house in Maine. Mr. Carlisle must go to Washington to discuss a formula he has perfected. He would not think of leaving his pretty wife except that, at that moment, a fat and disagreeable novelist had arrived and offered himself as temporary protection. Off goes Carlisle. On come three mysterious strangers: one with a beard who acts like nothing human; one a gangster; and one a pretended minister. What do you suppose they are up to? And which of them, if any is an escaped strangler? Well, you can write your own story after that. Mr. Fennelly has written two - one according to a pattern furnished by the novelist, and one in accordance with the records of the house where the story occurs. Both are acted out. Both are thrilling and entertaining.
ISBN: 0-8222-0258-1

Cue For Passion

Drama. Elmer Rice. 4 men, 3 women. Interior

Frankly borrowing elements of the Hamlet theme, the author has spun a thoughtful and constantly-mounting story of suspense and volcanic emotions, brilliantly sustained through the play's two acts ... . Mr. Rice's people emerge in full dimension, bright and enlightened even in violence. ...The Hamlet legend has here been transposed to present-day California and the home of a wealthy widow, recently remarried. Before her husband's death her son, a college senior suddenly had left home for no apparent reason and spent the time wandering in the Far East. Just as abruptly he returns. News of his father's death in an accident had just reached him, and he is determined to probe the incidents surrounding the death and his mother's subsequent marriage to the only witness to the fatal 'accident.' The boy's wild and irrational behavior upsets his mother's household, brings despair to his former sweetheart and his best friend. Piecemeal his convictions are transmitted to the people nearest him, but it is not until the end of the evening that its full import strikes home, leaving in its wake desolation.

The Curious Savage

John Patrick : Comedy 5.M 6F Interior set

Mrs. Savage has been left ten million dollars by her husband, and wants to make the best use of it, in spite of the efforts of her grown-up step-children to get their hands on it. These latter, knowing that the widow's wealth is now in negotiable securities and, seeing they cannot get hold of it, commit her to a "sanatorium" hoping to "bring her to her senses." But Mrs. Savage is determined to establish a fund to help others realise their hopes and dreams. In the sanatorium she meets various social misfits, men and women who just cannot adjust themselves to life, people who need the help Mrs. Savage can provide. In getting to know them, she realises that she will find happiness with them, and plans to spend the rest of her life as one of them. But when the doctor tells her there is no reason why she should remain, she hesitates to go out into a hard world where people seem ready to do anything for money. The self-seeking step-children are driven to distraction by their vain efforts to browbeat Mrs. Savage, but she preserves her equanimity and leads them a merry chase. At last her friends conspire to get rid of her step-children, and through their simple belief in the justice of her cause, they enable Mrs. Savage to carry out her plans. The last scene, a farewell party, is a delightful fantasy where each "guest" in the sanatorium realises, at last, some hopeless dream for something he was never able to realise. The dominant mood is high comedy, and the audience is left with a feeling that the neglected virtues of kindness and affection have not been entirely lost in a world that seems motivated at times only by greed and dishonesty.
ISBN: 0 8222 0260 3

Curl Up and Dye

(in South Africa Plays) : Susan Pam-Grant
5f. Drama. Simple set.

Five women discuss their lives in a run-down hairdressing salon in a 'grey area' of Johannesburg, 1989. 'A bitter, biting and funny play ... I cannot recommend it warmly enough' John Peter, Sunday Times
ISBN 1854591487

Curse of the Starving Class

Play. Sam Shepard. 7 men, 2 women. Interior.

A farmhouse somewhere in the Amercan West is the setting for Shepard's exploration of a family trying to survive on the raw edge of society. Weston the father is a drunk, the mother Ell, slovenly, the daughter Emma precocious beyond her years, and the son Wesley is a deranged idealist who wants something better but has no idea how to attain it. The action is filled with changes and counter-changes as the family decides to sell the house to raise money; Ella talks of running off to Europe or Mexico but ends up asleep on the kitchen table; Weston sobers up and tries to take control; Emma is blown up in the family car; and Wesley is brutalised and bloodied by the evil forces tormenting them. In the end, the play and its charter.. become a metaphor for the underside of American life - the benighted innocents forever pursuing a diminished dream, and the illusion of fulfilment which remains ever beyond their reach.
ISBN: 0 8222 0261 1

The Curse of the Werewolf.

Play. Ken Hill. Songs by Ian Armit and Ken Hill
M9 F3, 1 child, with doubling. Composite setting.

Dr Bancroft has brought his wife, daughter Kitty and butler d'Arcy to visit a medical school chum, Steiner, at Walpurgisdorf Castle. Strange things happen when the moon is full - men change into werewolves. Then it transpires that Steiner is carrying out experiments on the various inmates of the castle turning them into werewolves. His plan to mate Kitty and Martin to produce a natural werewolf is foiled by the return from the forest of the other male members of the party.
ISBN 0 573 11062 X

Curtain Up on Murder.

Thriller. Bettine Manktelow
M3 (35, 40, elderly) F5 (18, 20, 28, 40, 50s). A stage.

An amateur drama company is rehearsing in the theatre at the end of the pier. Storms rage overhead and the doors are locked - they are trapped! Then a mysterious, ghostly presence passes across the stage, and when the Assistant Stage Manager falls to certain death through a trapdoor, the remaining actors are thrown into disarray. Their panic increases when one of the actresses is poisoned and it becomes evident that a murderer is in their midst ...
ISBN 0 573 01769 7


Comedy/Drama: Stephen Bill. 3 men (30, 48, 63), 5 women (43, 50s, 70, 86). A living-room.

Ida's family is throwing her a birthday tea for her 86th birthday. Their efforts to be cheerful and make the event a success verge on the desperate. Ida is racked with pain and feels she has lived too long. Susan, the prodigal daughter who has been away for 25 years, arrives to find that her mother has only brief periods of lucidity and appears not to remember her. After the party is over and the family have dispersed, it is Katherine, Ida's eldest daughter, who is left to look after her. Katherine is tortured by the promise she made to her mother not to let her suffer, and after several bungled attempts, is finally able to "help" her mother die. When the family find out what she has done, a can of worms is opened as they struggle with their consciences and individual inadequacies. All the old family prejudices and rivalries are forced out into the open in a sometimes hilarious, painful and moving picture of a family in turmoil.
ISBN: 0-8222-1564-0


Play. Christopher Fry
M24 F7. Extras, doubling possible. Various simple settings.

The stage is William Marshal's mind, as though he were remembering King Henry's life. Though it follows chronologically it is not a chronicle play; its form is one of memory and contemplation. It adds up to no more than a sketch of Henry - whose character covers a vast field of human nature, as the thirty-five years of his reign contains a concentration of the human condition. Period 12th century

Cut and Run.

Comedy. Peter Horsler
M4 F5. A doctor's surgery.

The young, altruistic Dr Glow is perturbed when his National Health Clinic is hired out to Dr Boxclever, a private consultant who extorts outrageous fees from his patients by prescribing unnecessary treatments and useless medicines. Boxclever persuades Dr Glow to impersonate an eminent specialist and so begins a slide into malpractice. The denouement, though, is not as straightforward as it would appear for, by another twist of the plot, all ends happily. This is an hilarious comedy painting large the dangers in private health care.
ISBN 0 573 01768 9

Cyrano de Bergerac.

Comedy. Edmond Rostand. Translated by Christopher Fry
Large cast. Various interior and exterior settings.

Rostand's hero has become a figure of theatrical legend: Cyrano, with the nose of a clown and the soul of a poet, is by turns comic and sad, as reckless in love as in war, and never at a loss for words. Audiences immediately took him to their hearts, and since its triumphant opening night the play has never lost its appeal. Christopher Fry's acclaimed translation into 'chiming couplets' represents the homage of one verse dramatist to another. Period: 1640-1655

Cyrano de Bergerac

Heroic Comedy : Edmond Rostand, translated by Brian Hooker. A well-known translation of the famous classic. 10 men, 5 women (several bit parts for men and women). 2 Interiors/3 Exteriors.

ISBN: 0-533-21360-1