Composers and their stage works 


Dangerous Corner

Drama. J. B. Priestley
M3 (25-40) F4 (20, 47). A drawing-room.

Robert Caplan and his wife are entertaining her brother and sister-in-law. Because Robert insists on uncovering the truth about his brother Martin's 'suicide', many unpalatable revelations ensue which cause Robert to shoot himself. At this point, the opening scene is repeated, but this time they bypass the dangerous corner at which the truth is demanded, thus averting the disaster. Written in 1932 this forms one of the three 'time plays'.
ISBN 0 573 01088 9

Dangerous Obsession

Play. N. J. Crisp
M2 (30, 40) F 1(20). A conservatory

John Barrett appears at the home of Sally and Mark Driscoll. It emerges that Barrett is 'dangerously obsessed' with pinning the blame for his wife's accident on someone. Barrett strips away the conflicting facets of the Driscolls' lives. As suddenly as he entered Barrett slips away leaving behind shattered faith, broken trust and a marriage that will never heal. This play had a very successful run in the West End staring Dinsdale Landen, Carol Drinkwater and Jeremy Bulloch.
ISBN 0 573 01682 8

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Comedy/Drama. John Patrick Shanley : 1 man, 1 woman. Open Stage.

The setting is a run-down bar in the Bronx, where two of society's rejects, Danny and Roberta, strike up a halting conversation over their beer. He is a brooding, self-loathing young man who resorts more to violence than reason; she is a divorced, guilt-ridden young woman whose troubled teenage son is now being cared for by her parents. Danny, whose fellow truck drivers call him "the animal," seems incapable of tender emotion, while Roberta, who is still haunted by the memory of an ugly sexual incident involving her father, is distrustful of men in general. And yet, as their initial reserve begins to melt, and they decide to spend the night together, the possibility of a genuine and meaningful relationship begins to emerge - the first for both of them. In the end there are no facile, easy answers, but thanks to the playwright's skill and compassion both characters are able to probe within themselves to find an exorcism and forgiveness which, while painfully achieved, offers the hope of a future touched, at last, with more than the bitterness and loneliness which had been their lot before their fateful meeting.
ISBN: 0-8222-0269-7

Daphne in Cottage D

Play: Stephen Levi : 1 man, 1 woman. Interior.

As John Chapman describes "The basis of the comedy is simple. The scene is a modest cottage in a New England seaside resort, where Miss Dennis is living alone, and lonesome. She manoeuvers an acquaintance with Daniels, another loner, in the hotel dining room and asks him up for a drink. He does manage to get a drink or two but most of what he gets is talk delightfully disjointed talk by the artful Miss Dennis. Sex doesn't seem to be the objective of either party; when he kisses her at her invitation he kisses too enthusiastically, and, in a sudden fury, she rips his shirt front and orders him out. But he comes back of course. And she does make an occasional play for sympathy, stubbing her toe or hurting her ankle or banging her head on a ladder, and it's a lucky thing he is a doctor. Once she went to an oculist and he said the only thing wrong with her is that she is psychologically unaware of where she is going... What is eating Miss Dennis, the well-off widow of an Oscar winning movie star? Why isn't her 7-year-old son with her? And why has Dr. Daniels, who seems to be a perfectly decent sort, been estranged from his wife for so long? The answer to these questions give a final twist to Daphne In Cottage D. I recommend it..."
ISBN: 0-8222-0270-0

The Dark At the Top of the Stairs

William Inge : Drama 3 men, 2 women, 3 boys, 2 girls. Interior set

William Inge's look at small town life in the 1920s is set in the house of Rubin Flood and his family. A travelling salesman, he lives with his wife Cora, their teenage daughter Reenie and young boy Sonny. As the play progresses, the trials and tribulations of each emerge in a mosaic portrait of a family whose secret hopes and fears are bubbling just below the surface. Soon others are taken into the story as well, from Cora's sister Lease and her husband Morris to Reenie's friends Flirt, Enmity and Sammy, with far-ranging effects on the entire community. At the end it has become apparent that while there is dark at the top of everyone's stairs, through love and understanding it can be overcome and a better world can be made.
ISBN: 0 8222 0271 9

Dark Hammock

Melodrama. Mary Orr and Reginald Denham. 6 men, 4 women. Interior.

In a remote part of Florida Coral Platt, a sinister woman has married a man considerably older than she. For reasons sufficient to her, she wants him out of the way and plans an ingenious though slow murder by poison. She has succeeded in making it seem that Marvin is dying through natural causes. However, she is forced unexpectedly to play hostess to two women who have come to Florida. The women stay longer than they planned because they have begun to suspect what Coral is up to. In a series of exciting scenes they discover just what is going on and prevent Marvin's death.

The Dark Is Light Enough.

Play. Christopher Fry
M 13 F3. A room and a great staircase, stables.

This verse play dramatises an imaginary incident during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-9. The elderly, kind Countess Rosmarin Ostenburg's daughter's former husband is a lazy Hungarian officer who alone seems impervious to the Countess's charm. As the play closes the Austrians are hammering at the door. He turns to escape but seeing the Countess dying turns to stand by her body as the knocking of the Austrians grows louder.

The Dark Is Light Enough is set in an Austrian country house in the winter of 1848-49 during a futile uprising of the Hungarians against Austrian rule. The play is concerned with the impact this rebellion has on the inhabitants of the house. Foremost of them is the countess - an eminent lady of wit, independence, compassion and honesty. At the bottom of the heap is a highly intelligent scoundrel with no character at all. Apart from several other well-drawn people, representing either amusing worldliness or earnest convictions, the play concentrates on the ordeal of the countess' conscience: Although she is above petty acrimonies, although she overflows with forgiveness, she is grievously hurt by the callousness of the scoundrel's unprincipled behaviour." Through a last final act of self-sacrifice, in which she gives up her own life to save another, the countess redeems the scoundrel, and some of her own strength and nobility become his.
ISBN: 0-8222-0272-7

Dark Lucy

Play. Philip King and Parnell Bradbury
M3 (38, 50, 60) F4 (30, 47, 65). A vicarage living-room, a cottage living-room.

When Carol, the highly-strung ex-actress wife of the Vicar, complains hysterically that she has been assaulted by 'Dark Lucy' - an unpleasant old village woman who lives in a dirty broken-down cottage - the doctor is inclined to put it down to hallucinations and she is believed by nobody. But when another young girl disappears Carol decides to investigate what goes on in the the old cottage. What she discovers exceeds her wildest nightmares.
ISBN 0 573 01110 9

Dark Ride

Play. Len Jenkin. 6 men, 4 women. Unit Set

The story is comprised of a series of vignettes involving characters who, at first, appear to bear no relation to each other. A mysterious figure gives a scholar an ancient manuscript to translate; a thief steals an enormous jewel; a woman assures us that life is all coincidence; a dream-like waitress serves her customers all manner of thoughts and suggestions, but no food. The images created are bizarrely funny and provocative and, in time, coalesce into a pattern of driving concerns and obsessions which come into focus when the various characters finally meet at an ocultists convention in Mexico City. Phantasmagoric and convoluted, the play is a journey which, in the final essence, transcends the physical world to explore the seat of true reality - the inner recesses of the mind.
ISBN: 0-8222-0273-5

The Dark River

Play. Rodney Ackland
M5 F3 1 boy. A room in an old house.

It is 1937; there are warning signs of World War Two. Catherine Lisle, recently divorced and with her hopes of a dancing career dashed, moves into the house of her old schoolteacher. Like nearly everyone else in the house, Catherine is attempting to evade the present by living entirely in the past, and is hopelessly torn between her infantile ex-husband Chris and her lover Alan, who is passionately aware of the dangerous political situation surrounding them.

The Dark Room

(in Cinzano) : Ludmila Petrushevskaya. Trans S. Mulrine
4 short two-handers. Drama. Minimal set.

Naturalistic in tone, each of these short pieces depicts a complex relationship encompassing a mother and her son, two men and two women. Each lasts 10-20 minutes, and can be played separately.


The Execution (2m)
The Meeting (I m 1f)
A Glass of Water (2f)
Isolation Box (2f).
ISBN 1854591061

Dark Sun

Play. Lisette Lecat Ross. 4 men, 1 woman. Interior.

A bus transporting a group of international Red Cross workers through the township of Soweto, on a factfinding tour, is bombed and many of its passengers killed. In the ensuing chaos one survivor, Lydia De Jager, a white woman in her forties, escapes and is sheltered by Simon Kgoathe (a Sowetan in his late forties, early fifties). This single compassionate act may doom him - a fact he quickly realizes. Any hope of utilizing his meager options are thwarted firstly, by Lydiâs fear and her fecklessness; then by his discovery that she is a South African, by events outside and, finally by the intrusion of a young black man, Sipho, who may or may not be a government informer and who is also urgently in need of Simoris help. As Simon tries desperately to survive in the increasingly dehumanized environment of a country without hope and a township seething with rage, he strives also to hold onto his humanity. Isolated in what is, for Lydia, both a fragile haven and a frightening cage, these two people, so vastly different in character and experience, struggle through mistrust and prejudice towards a tenuous understanding. As the night progresses, Simon's main hope of survival becomes his secret underground "cubby-hole." But, from Sipho's entrance, events spin out of control and the play is propelled towards a powerful and moving conclusion.
ISBN: 0-8222-0274-3

Dark Victory

Drama. George Brewer, Jr. and Bertram Bloch. 7 men, 7 women (extras). 2 Interiors.

Judith, sceptical, wealthy, loves horses and parties; her existence is bounded by her social world. She learns that she must undergo a delicate brain operation. Dr. Steele, on the point of retiring, is an idealist, who has found in human service a solution to the problems of life. He is a new type to Judith. She is drawn to him and he to her. Having recovered, she demands the truth, and he tells her she has only a few months to live. They have fallen deeply in love, but when Steele proposes she refuses in the belief that he has asked her out of pity. He leaves for Vermont, while Judith returns to the high life. She discovers, however, that alcohol and casual affairs no longer satisfy her and, after a few months, she humbly goes to the doctor to spend the rest of her short existence with him.
ISBN: 0-8222-0275-1 1

The Darling Buds of May
Comedy. H. E. Bates
M5 (15, 24, 40s, middle age, 60) F6 (17, 19, 37, 45). 1 boy, 4 girls. A kitchen/living-room and yard.

Pop Larkin, who makes a fortune from scrap-iron deals but has never paid income tax, lives in rural idyllic bliss with generous-hearted Ma and their six children. When a young, earnest tax official, Mr Charlton, turns up one hot May afternoon in 1957 to investigate he is bewitched immediately by eldest daughter Mariette and it isn't long before he succumbs to the boisterous Larkin family charm and largesse. Period 1950s
ISBN 0 573 01751 4

Darling, I'm Home!

Play. Jack Popplewell
M4 (30, 40) F4 (young, 20, 40). A drawing-room.

With Celia Johns growing more and more frustrated by staying at home, and her husband Rupert proving more and more inefficient as a businessman, it seems a good idea that they should change places: and indeed Celia soon starts Rupert's firm on a profit-making course, while Rupert runs the house with equal efficiency. Matters are brought to a head by the arrival of daughter Karen to take up residence - with two babies, but for the moment, no husband.
ISBN 0 573 01591 0

Darling Mr London.

Farce. Anthony Marfott and Bob Grant
M3 (20-40) F6 (20, 30, 50). A living-room.

Mild Edward works at the Continental Telephone Exchange and has been in the habit of chatting up his cotelephonists, all female, in various Continental exchanges. These affairs-by-proxy have caused no complications until the occasion of a Miss Europhone Contest brings the girls to London. Four of the most glamorous turn up at his home anxious to meet the flirtatious 'Mr London' in the flesh. The complications that ensue result in an evening he will never forget!
ISBN 0 573 11113 8