Composers and their stage works 


The Dresser.

Play. Ronald Harwood
M4 (30, 40, 60, old) F3 (young, middle-age, 50s). Composite set.

Sir, the last of the great, but dying, breed of English actor-managers, is in a very bad way tonight. As his dresser tries valiantly to prepare him to go on stage as King Lear, Sir is having great difficulty remembering who and where he is, let alone Lear's lines. With a Herculean effort on the part of Norman, the dresser, Sir does finally make it on stage, and through the performance. Period 1942. During its long West End run the play starred Tom Courtenay and Freddie Jones.

Dreyfus In Rehearsal

Comedy/Drama. Jean-Claude Grumberg. Adapted by Garson Kanin. 8 men, 2 women. Interior

The play is set in a Jewish ghetto in Vilna, Poland, in 1931. A group of amateur actors are rehearsing a new play written by their ambitious young director, about Alfred Dreyfus, the French-Jewish military officer whose persecution was opposed by the eloquent Emile Zola. The performers in this play-within-a-play are all good, kindly people but they have difficulty in accepting the relevance of the "Dreyfus Affair" to their own situation and, furthermore, are preoccupied with the concerns of their personal lives - which leads to a series of very funny and often ironic exchanges with their highly-strung director. However, their placid conviction that anti-Semitism could not exist in the Poland of their time is abruptly shattered when drunken hoodlums break into their rehearsal and attack them - after which the project is abandoned. The shaken cast members flee, one to the Soviet Union, others to England and Germany, but all now deeply disturbed and apprehensive - and nervously facing a future clouded by the menacing spectre of Nazi Germany.
ISBN; 0-8222-0334-0

Driving Miss Daisy

Alfred Uhry : Light From. 2M 1 F Flexible staging

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a long running hit in New York and the West End.
When Daisy Wertham, an ageing crotchety Southern lady, smashes up yet another car, her businessman son informs here she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. He hires Hoke, a thoughtful soft-spoken black man who in time, and against all odds, becomes her best friend. Through a series of short, revealing scenes spanning 25 years and filled with warm humour and insight, their relationship, despite their mutual differences and initial distain for each other, grows closer and closer until their realisation that they have more in common than they ever believed possible.
ISBN: 0 8222 0335 9

Drowning Sorrows

Drama. Douglas Post. 3 men, 2 women. Interior

Duncan Crawford, a bartender on the island of St. John, is considering abandoning his bar for greater adventure when an heiress from Manhattan, Emily Miles, wanders into his establishment. She begins to tell him the story of her life: how she was left at the alter at the tender age of nineteen by a fiancé who mysteriously disappeared, how she has spent the past twenty years searching for this man, and how she now believes that she has found him in the person of Duncan. Duncan denies this, but Emily is certain. To complicate matters, Emily's husband, Raymond, an investment banker, offers Duncan $10,000 to pretend he is the man Emily is looking for in the hopes she will finally come to some sort of closure over the event. The story continues to twist and turn right up to the ambiguous conclusion: Duncan might be playing along with Raymond or he may actually be the man Emily claims he is.
ISBN: 0-8222-1629-9

The Druid Circle

Play John van Druten. 5 men, 6 women. 2 Interior.

The story shows how an embittered professor comes near to wrecking the lives of a young man and young woman whose love for each other has been accidentally revealed to him through a letter written by the boy to the girl. The professor uses this to humiliate the young people, unconsciously venting upon them his own perverse cruelty for the disappointment suffered in his own life.


(in Dutch Plays) : Arne Sierens. Trans N. Malfait
1m 1f. Drama. Simple set.

A short play about a woman who employs a new drumming teacher for her son, only to find out they have a shared past. A large cast of unseen characters is revealed to us through the shared memories of Paola and Ray.
ISBN 1854592890

Drums in the Night. Drama. Bertolt Brecht

Translations: John Willett
Gerhard Nellhaus
Richard Beckley
Frank Jones

M9 F6. Interior and exterior settings.

The soldier Andreas returns from a prison camp to find his fiancée Anna just engaged to the prosperous Murk. Against sounds and reports of the Spartacists storming the newspaper offices, Andreas quarrels in a bar with Anna's parents and the now drunken Murk. Lost in the street, he follows the rioting; Anna follows him. In desperation Andreas leads the (partly drunken) company to the newspaper offices. In the early morning he and Anna meet in the streets. He refuses to return to the fighting and the two go home together.

Drums Under the Window

Staged Reading. Paul Shyre from the third of six autobiographical volumes by Sean O'Casey : 5 men, 2 women. Simplified Unit Set

Following the technique which he utilized so brilliantly in I Knock at the Door, Paul Shyre has again adapted the rich and imaginative writings of Sean O'Casey into theatre of great variety and dramatic impact. In the present instance, Mr. Shyre has conceived his work in a modified play form, with narration and stage action cleverly interbalanced. The effect achieved is unique. Great prose and striking theatre combined into an experience of humour, pathos and moving power.
ISBN: 0-8222-0336-7

The Drunkard or Down with Demon Drink!

Melodrama. Brian J. Burton
M7 (20s, middle-age, 60s, elderly) F8 (11, young, middle-age, 60). Extras. Interior and exterior settings.

Edward, the penniless heir of his kind-hearted father, is a virtuous man. One day the villain Squire Cribbs lures Edward to drink in an inn, and the effect is instantaneous; he becomes a drunkard and his poverty increases. It is his foster brother William who finds out what Cribb is up to, discovers Edward in the slums of London and finds the true will hidden by the villain. Period Victorian

Dry Rot

John Chapman : Farce 6M 4F Interior Set

One of the most successful farces that has appeared in London. It deals with a crazy, but very likeable gang of bookies who, in order to be near the racecourse, are staying at a country hotel run by a retired colonel and his wife and daughter. Secret rooms, sliding panels, mistaken identity and a nice little bit of romance are some of the main ingredients of this very racy and slick farce, which never lets up for a moment and provides some of the best possible entertainment around.
ISBN: 0 85676 053 6

The Duchess Of Malfi :

John Webster
12m 4f, extras. Jacobean tragedy. Multipurpose set.

The widowed Duchess of Malfi secretly marries her steward Antonio, against the wishes of her two brothers, who view her desire to wed again as a disgusting example of female lust. She manages to keep the identity of her husband secret, and bears three children by him. The revengeful brothers hire a malcontent, Bosola, to imprison her, subject her to mental torture, and finally murder her along with her children. 'This dark and glorious masterpiece' (Observer) was first performed around 1613 and most recently revived by Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company.
ISBN 1854592157

Duck Hunting

Play. Aleksandr Vampilov. Translated by Alma H. Law. 6 men, 4 women, 1 boy. Unit Set

Constructed out of flashbacks, the play moves backward and forward in time as it probes into the plight of one Zilov, an engineer who has achieved a certain position in the Soviet bureaucracy but has lost his will to live. He has come to detest his boring job and the petty superior he must defer to; his marriage is falling apart; he feels betrayed by his friends, he disdains the young student who offers him the passion and sense of wonder he once derived from his wife; and he seems concerned only with his annual hunting trip which, he hopes, will restore a purpose and identity to his life. But events continue to frustrate him: his wife aborts the child who might have saved their relationship; the new apartment they have wrested from the grudging bureaucracy seems more a tomb than a home and ultimately, suicide appears to be Zilov's only alternative. But, in the end, emboldened by vodka and defying the persistent bad weather, Zilov does go hunting - for the will to live is stronger than the desire to give up, and hope remains, even in the grey sameness of an existence gone stale.
ISBN: 0-8222-0338-3

Dyel of Angels

Comedy Jean Giraudoux. Translated and adapted by Christopher Fry. 8 men, 5 women, extras. Exterior and Interiors.

To express its somewhat moderate viewpoint, the play takes us to Aix in the middle of the last century and introduces two ladies of contrasting temperaments. One is so concerned with sexual virtue that she snubs women of less exacting standards, causing their suspicion. To avenge herself for having her affairs made public, the bad angel drugs her enemy and makes her believe she has slept with a local rake while unconscious, thus tumbling her moral world about her. Although the "good angel" retains her purity she loses her "joy of the world."
ISBN: 0-8222-0339-1

Duet for One.

Play. Tom Kempinski
M 1 (60s) F1 (33). A consulting room.

Stephanie, an eminent violinist struck down by multiple sclerosis, consults Dr Feldmann to help her adjust to her new life. Under Dr Feldmann's quiet, probing questions layers of protective pretence are stripped from her, revealing dangerous depths of resentment and despair. She becomes aggressive towards the psychiatrist and finally decides to give up the treatment, but his last word is to ask her if 'the same time' will be convenient for her next appointment.
ISBN 0 573 11091 3

Dusa. Fish, Stas & Vi

Play. Pam Gems. 4 women. Interior

The scene is an unpretentious London flat, where four young women, on their own for various reasons, have thrown in together. Dusa, who returns as the play begins, laments the loss of her children, who have been abducted by her estranged husband; Fish, an upper-class intellectual and "women's libber," finds, herself rejected by the one man she can truly love; Stas, a nurse and part-time hustler, regards men - and life - with a cynicism so bitter as to be suspect; while Vi, a zany "flower child," withdraws into Zen, pills and starvation diets. In a series of revealing, inventive scenes, sometimes hilarious, sometimes deeply affecting, the four endeavor to help each other in pulling their lives together and in finding the sense of purpose and individuality which can so easily elude women in contemporary society. The end result, like life itself, is mixed - a degree of success for three of the friends, and tragedy for the fourth.
ISBN: 0-8222-0342-1