Composers and their stage works 


A Dash of Bitters

Melodrama. Reginald Denham and Conrad Sutton Smith, adapted from The Perfectionist by Margaret St. Clair. 2 men, 2 women. Interior

Muriel Whitlock, a middle-aged English spinster, is a perfectionist. Small wonder that Virginia Whitlock, an attractive young girl, hopes to get away. Virginia is a sculptress and she has just finished a statute which she is convinced will win her a scholarship to an art school in Rome. Muriel is not pleased, when she realizes that Virginia's mind is made up, she agrees, and even offers to help finance the trip. All seems well, but when they leave for church one day Muriel slips back and smashes Virginia's statue. But Muriel's act was witnessed by Ricky Vidal, a young Latin-American, who has slipped into the house, unknown to Muriel. Ricky presents himself to Muriel as her long-lost nephew and she suspects of ulterior motives; but she is also intrigued by his charm. He flatters her, gets money from her, encourages her in her artistic endeavors, which consists of drawing the same life over and over. Ricky diverts her to other models, among them some goldfish which he gives her as a gift; but the fish keep moving around and Muriel can't get them to stay still until she puts them in the refrigerator, freezing them into position. Now Ricky realizes he is dealing with an unbalanced mind, and from this point on its a tug-of-war between his lack of principles and Muriel's single mindedness.

Daughter of the Left Hand

Play. Norman Holland
M3 (20, 40, middle-age) F7 (20s-middle-age). A drawing-room.

Into his tightly-knit, outwardly conventional and respectable family Rex introduces young, forthright Nicola, his daughter by a former mistress. Her arrival causes considerable consternation and her reception is anything but friendly. Understandably resentful of her treatment Nicola - either indirectly by her mere presence or, later, directly by her own action-brings disaster to the entire family and her final surprise does nothing to mend matters. Period 1903
ISBN 0 573 01537 6

Daughters of Venice.

Play. Don Taylor
M9 (20s-40s) F22 (teenage-40s). Extras. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Written for Chiswick Youth Theatre, this play of rich comedy and powerful drama has a large cast, with a preponderance of good female roles. The daughters are the young girls taken in as orphans and cared for by the Sisters of the Pieta. The convent is famous for its girls' orchestra under the direction of Vivaldi and the play follows the fortunes of three of the girls about to enter the harsh commercial world. Period 1720
ISBN 0 573 01741 7

David Copperfield.

Play. Matthew Francis, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens
M19 F10. Extras. Minimum cast of 13. Various interior and exterior settings.

Following the adventures of its eponymous hero from birth through three decades, this acclaimed stage adaptation presents a plethora of brilliant characters from the original novel: the Peggottys; 'umble Heep; eccentric Aunt Betsey and Steerforth, young David's champion. Two actors play David Copperfield: one the young David, the other David's older self, each interacting throughout. This clever device moves the play effortlessly from scene to scene, ensuring a vigorous momentum for the narrative. Period 1820s-1840s
ISBN 0 573 01775 1

David Copperfield

Ian Mullins, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens
Light Drama Flexible casting and set

Performed to critical acclaim in theatres around the country, this powerful adaptation is now restructured and revised with an even stronger text. Scrupulously faithful to Dickens' original, its remarkable achievement is that the audience leave. the theatre with the impression it really has witnessed a dramatisation of the entire book in a little over two and one half hours playing time. All the characters are vividly portrayed, the magnificent Micawber, the scheming 'umble' Uriah Hero, the proud and loveable Mr Peggotty and his tender-hearted sister, the wicked Me Murdstone, the irascible Aunt Betsey, the 'willing' Mr Barkis, the 'lone lorn' Mrs Gummidge and a cast of thirty richly awarding parts, with easy flexible doubling for all ages including children. The flowing narrative of the story, told by David both as a boy and grown up, allows a myriad of options to the director in the staging.
ISBN: 0 85676 125 7

The Day After the Fair.

Play. Frank Harvey, from a short story by Thomas Hardy
M2 (young, 50s) F4 (young, 35, 60). A living-room and hall.

Anna, a servant, meets an attractive stranger from London, Charles, a budding barrister, at the country town fair. Illiterate Anna persuades her mistress to carry on a correspondence with him on her behalf. In writing her servant's love letters, and reading out his replies, the mistress falls in love with Charles and he with her. Charles, innocent of the deception, proposes to Anna. Only when it is too late does he discover the real writer of the letters. On this shaky foundation the couple start their marriage, leaving the mistress desolate. Period late nineteenth century
ISBN 0 573 01554 6

Day In the Sun

Comedy:. Edward R. Sammis and Ernest Heyn. 8 men, 7 women. Interior

Charlie, an easy-going, impractical young man, is out of a job; his good-heartedness and deep-seated belief that telling the truth always pays, seen to have brought him nothing but debts and unhappiness! Suddenly Charlie is lifted into the limelight of national celebrity after he reading about a poor Italian who is on trial for his life. Charlie remembers having seen the Italian in the library on the night of the murder, and it looks as though his passion for truth and sincerity has at last brought him fame and success. He is besieged by the press, and innocently enjoys every minute of it. Certain members of his family, however, are anxious to have their day in the sun, decide that they will go into court and discredit Charlie. He sticks to his story and to his belief in the ultimate power of truth, and in the end not only saves the prisoner's life, but actually discovers the real culprit.

The Days and Nights of Beebee Fenstermaker

Drama. William Snyder. 3 men, 5 women. Interior.

Snyder's heroine is a young, ambitious, romantic girl just out of college and established in her first tiny apartment in some nameless city. She is writing a novel, but when her savings give out she is forced to get a job, hopefully one which 'wont drain her too much' and which will leave her time for her 'creative work'. She, of course, ends up by working full time and writing in the evenings, but it is generally made clear to her that she really hasn't much literary ability, so she switches to painting, for which she isn't terribly endowed either. Eventually, her hopes and aspirations burned away, she comes to an acceptance of her condition, which includes the inability to create a permanent relationship with a man because of her overwhelming need for absolute union. His departure leads her, first to a swift decline, represented by beer cans strewn around the untended apartment and an almost total isolation from the world, and then to a kind of resurrection - the beginning of a fragile, undemanding relationship with a stranger. Snyder has also written a counterbalancing element into his drama: on a platform behind the main stage Beebees mother and aunts talk about their own lives, the scenes being interspersed with those in which her drama unfolds.
ISBN: 0-8222-0280-8

The Day I Stood Still

Kevin Eyot
4-5m 1f. Comedy/drama. Multipurpose set.

In the 60s, Horace, Jerry and Judy were teenagers. Thirty years later, Jerry is dead, Judy is in love and the gay but hesitant Horace is unable to get on with his life until he receives a surprise visitor. 'Touches poignantly on a universal theme: the way we cling to some golden moment in the past as a protection against the uncertain present' Michael Billington, Guardian. First staged at the National Theatre in 1998. By the author of My Night with Reg.
ISBN 185459334X

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

Play. Peter Nichols
M2 (30s) F3 (30s, 60s), I child (10, non-speaking). A living-room.

Joe Egg is the name given by Bri and Sheila to their spastic child. To make their lives bearable they have evolved an elaborate series of fantasy games about Joe. Yet ten years of devotion to a human vegetable have created terrible strains on their marriage and when Bri sees an opportunity of allowing Joe to die, he takes it. The attempt fails; Joe's living death will continue. Although the theme is deeply serious the tone is one of biting, ironic comedy, giving the work enormous theatrical effectiveness and compassion.
ISBN 0 573 01084 6

The Days of the Commune.

Play. Bertolt Brecht - Translations: Clive Barker and Arno Reinfrank, music by Harms Eisler, Jean Benedetti, Ray Herman
M42 F12, 2 children. Extras. Interior and exterior settings.

The story of the Paris Commune is told through fictional Men in the Street grouped round a Montmartre cafe, and a number of historical personages. The Men in the Street resist Thier's attempt to disarm the National Guard and watch its Central Committee seize power at the Hôtel de Ville. The Men in the Street put up a barricade, on which they fight and die. Set in Paris between January-April 1871.

The Day of the Demon Bowler

Georgina Reid : Comedy Flexible casting and set

On their way to a choral gathering, the Revd. Tom Bowling and his choir boys are involved in a serious motor accident, and are transported by angels up to heaven to await further instructions. While the hospital battles to save their lives, they battle on a cricket pitch - a team of heavenly angels versus a rabble of unruly school boys- it s a matter or life or afterlife! "this lively tale incorporating music, dance and slapstick humour is an ideal play for schools and youth groups to perfium.
ISBN: 0 85676 020 X

Day of Reckoning.

Play. Pam Valentine
Ml (50s) F7 (20s-50s, 83). A village hall.

A committee meets on a winter's night to arrange the summer village fête. As protocol gives way to bickering and gossip, the personalities of those present emerge - busybody Ethel; Pauline, the vicar's long-suffering wife; careworn Gloria; horsy Marjorie who is very attentive to the shy new teacher, Angela; elderly Mavis and Sally, the brisk Army wife. Six months on, the cathartic events of the fête are related with humour and pathos, and the upbeat ending affirms the enduring value of village life.
ISBN 0 573 01806 5

The Day Room

Don DeLillo : Drama 6M 3F Flexible staging

The play opens in a brightly lit hospital room occupied by two men. One, the amiable Budge, does Tai Chi exercises while trying, without much success, to strike up a conversation with his taciturn roommate, Wyatt. Then, slowly but inexorably, their world begins to spin away from reality as they are visited by a series of fellow patients and hospital staffers, all of whom, it turns out, may not be what they seem. Oddly normal, but also oddly frightening, it is soon apparent that they have strayed in from the psychiatric ward of the adjacent Arno Klein Wing, and are all quite mad. In the second act, which in set in the day room of the psychiatric ward, the same performers reappear, but with different identities. Some of them, claiming to be actors, transform the room into a tacky motel suite in which a play-within-the-play is to take place; others become tourists searching for the renowned Arno Klein Theatre Company; and one man, strait-jacketed and tied in a chair, "becomes" a television set. At last Arno Klein himself appears and proves to be the man (Budge) who started the play. So, in the end, we have come full circle, with appearance and reality, madness and normality, still tantalisingly undefined and with the growing conviction that all the world may indeed be no more than a stage - and all its inhabitants merely players.
ISBN: 0 8222 0278 6

Day Standing On Its Head

Drama. Philip Kan Gotanda. 5 men, 4 women (flexible casting). Unit Set.

Harry Kitamura, a successful law professor, begins to find his life unraveling when he starts researching a paper about his involvement in a campus strike in the early 1970s. Odd characters with violent and overt sexual impulses begin to invade his night dreams eventually spilling over into his waking life. Soon he is unable to distinguish between the two worlds, sending him on an uncontrollable ride of obsession and ultimate revelation. The 1960s, the Red Guard, Eric Clapton and a Japanese Peggy Lee impersonator all make their presences known in this tale of a heart lost and a heart found.
ISBN: 0-8222-1398-2

The Day They Kidnapped the Pope

Joao Bethencourt : Comedy 5M 2F Interior set

At the end of his triumphal tour of New York, Pope Albert is kidnapped by Sam, a Brooklyn taxi driver. The play opens as Sam arrives home with his hostage and we witness each member of the family's surprised reaction to their guest, who strangely seems quite unperturbed. Sam has demanded a ransom - for twenty- four hours there will be no killing in the world - and the Pope's kidnapping has become an international concern. 'he play is beautifully constructed, the characters arc larger than life and totally credible and the dialogue is constantly funny. The whole play has a marvellously heartwarming universality without a word of preaching, a total lack of pretentiousness. It has more to say about humanity and life than any message play.' Plays of 1983/4. 

The Day They Shot John Lennon

Play James McLure. 7 men, 2 women. Open Stage.

The action of the play takes place in the street in front of the Manhattan apartment house where John Lennon was shot to death. Deeply moved and shocked by this awful event, many New Yorkers spontaneously assembled there to pay tribute to their slain idol. It is from the interwoven stories of a cross section of these people that the author builds his play. Included are a young advertising executive and a "women's libber" who had both been at Woodstock; a group of high school students preoccupied with romantic disputes and entanglements; a pair of Vietnam vets with larceny in mind; an elderly Jewish man from a neighbouring building who mistakenly thinks that the murder victim was Jack Lemmon and a hip young black would-be comic who, it turns out, is the son of the old Jewish gentleman's doorman. Through the interaction of these people, sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, sometimes menacing, the author points up the larger significance of the event which has brought them together - the shock wave which was felt across the nation by this further evidence of the violence and ugliness lurking in our communal soul.
ISBN: 0-8222-0279-4

Days of Wine and Roses

Play: JP Miller. 10-15 men, 5-10 women and 1 girl. Unit Set

In the fast-moving milieu of Madison Avenue, social drinking is almost an occupational necessity, and one that fast-rising young Joe Clay adopts with too ready ease. Unfortunately the girl he meets and marries shares his proclivity, and while they continue to tell themselves that they drink because they choose to, it is soon apparent that their habit has become a serious problem. But their failure to acknowledge this plunges them headlong into the shattering events of the play - a career in shambles, a marriage destroyed, the esteem of friends and family lost, and a child who has become the innocent victim of their obsession. In the poignant ending of the play a spectre of hope arises but, more important, so does a galvanising awareness of the depth of their torment, and of the lesson which their compulsive self-destruction must have for others.
ISBN: 0-8222-0281-6


Drama. Jo Carson. 4 women. Unit set

Pat is the caretaker of both her mother, stricken with Alzheimer's disease, and her grandmother, lonely and in need of help. The play involves a series of day trips which Pat takes with her mother, Irene, to help her grandmother, Rose. These trips evoke memories of the earlier day trips made when Pat was a little girl and Irene was still capable. Through a series of scenes which blend memories, dreams and realism, Daytrips piercingly illuminates the troubling and complicated effects of old-age and disease on already troubled and complicated relationships. The real journey of the play is Pat's struggle with duty and obligation as she confronts illness, madness and the ghosts of the past - and the present.
ISBN: 0-8222-0282-4