Composers and their stage works 


The Earl and the Pussycat.

Comedy. Harold Brooke and Kay Bannerman
M5 (16, young, middle-age, 60) F2 (young West Indian, middle-age). A drawing-room.

Junior Minister David Thornton finds that his daughter's wedding photographs include another set of photos showing David in a compromising situation with a prostitute. Threatened with blackmail, David offers his resignation, but his father-in-law comes up with a scheme which brings the lady herself to the house, indignant at what she considers an insult to her profession. A revised plan proves satisfactory to everyone, not least father-in-law.
ISBN 0 573 11119 7

Earth and Sky

Doug Post : Thriller 6M 3F Flexible staging

A poetic thriller about a would-be poet and part-time librarian named Sara McKeon whose lover of ten weeks, David Ames, is found dead one hot August morning. It appears that David, owner of an expensive art-deco restaurant, may have been involved in several illicit activities including kidnapping, rape and murder. Unable to believe that her lover was a killer, Sara begins her own investigation of the come and is led deeper and deeper through the urban labyrinth into the contemporary underworld. As the detective story moves forward in time, scenes from the love affair are interspersed back to the moment when Sara and David first met. Finally the plots converge and Sara finds herself face to face with the person who murdered her beloved.
ISBN: 0 8222 0348 0

East Is East :

Ayub Khan-Din
7m 3f Comedy/drama. Interior set.

Children of a Pakistani father who is clinging to his Asian traditions and an English mother with a laissez-faire attitude, the Khans each try to find their own way of growing up in 1970s Salford. The play, first seen in London at the Royal Court in 1996, is both funny and involving, tender and political. 'Full of intelligence, irresistible laughter and serious promise' Sunday Times.
ISBN 1854593137

East Lynne or Never Called Me Mother!

Melodrama with music. Brian J. Burton, based on the novel by Mrs Henry Wood
M4 (20s, 30s, middle-age) F5 (young, 40s). 1 child (optional). A sitting-room.

Lady Isabel is cunningly seduced by the villain into believing that the clandestine meetings of her husband and another woman are for romance rather than business. In despair, she abandons home and children, only to come back in later years disguised as a governess to her own children and to die in her husband's arms in heartbroken penitence and forgiveness. Period Victorian


Drama. Will Scheffer. 3 men, 1 woman. Unit set.

It is Good Friday. Matthew and Wilma have just set up home in Prattsville, Kansas: Wilma had been burning churches in Oklahoma forcing the couple to flee across the prairie states as felons. Matthew is hopeful he can make things right for them in Kansas with a new home and a steady job. Enter Herman, a violin-playing plumber with enormous feet and angel-like qualities, who fixes the young couple's sink, only to discover a beautiful Easter egg clogging the pipes. Wilma, who believes the Blessed Virgin is leading her to a wonderful occasion that will happen on Easter Day, takes the egg as a sign that she is pregnant. Wilma thanks Herman by washing his feet with her hair. Meanwhile, the town handyman, Zaddock Pratt, has been having religious visions of his own. He also picks up cable TV in his brain, thanks to a steel plate, and sporadically shouts out incoming news, weather reports and sitcom theme songs. Upon meeting Matthew, Zaddock recognizes him as one the of the individuals responsible for a church burning in their area. Matthew takes Zaddock hostage and reveals the story of his and Wilma's first baby who died in childbirth, ironically named Herman, and of Wilmds quest for redemption. When Matthew returns to the cabin - with Zaddock - Wilma attempts to introduce him to Herman the plumber, but Matthew can't see him. Matthew confronts Wilma with her delusion and "shoots" Herman, forcing Wilma to relive the event that was the cause of their estrangement and of her intense pain: It is a catharsis long overdue, and now Easter Day is here and Wilma and Matthew must face an uncertain future and begin to rebuild their lives.
ISBN: 0-8222-1667-1


Drama. August Strindberg, translated by Michael Meyer. 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

Passion play in three acts taking place on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Eve. Elis Heyst, a schoolteacher, carries a heavy burden: his father is in prison for embezzling trust funds, his young sister Eleonora is in a mental hospital, and he and his family are awaiting a creditor to take house and furniture. Eleonora, an angelic, Christ-like mystic, escapes from the hospital and returns home. By her faith in the redemptive power of suffering she helps the family to bear its shame. On Good Friday the Heysts fear that they are on the brink of ruin, but Easter Eve brings them hope: the creditor forgives the father's debts; and there are signs that the winter ice has begun to thaw, heralding the coming of spring.

Eastern Standard

Comedy. Richard Greenberg. 3 men, 3 women. Interior & Exterior.

The play begins in a trendy Manhattan restaurant, where Stephen, a young architect, and his best friend, Drew, a Soho artist, are lunching. At an adjacent table are Phoebe, a Wall Street investment banker, and her brother, Peter, a discouraged television producer who, as he confides to his sister, has AIDS. Stephen is attracted to Phoebe, and Drew (who is gay) is intrigued by Peter and, after several raucous (and very funny) episodes involving a bottle-throwing bag lady at still another table, and a long-suffering waitress, the two couples strike up an acquaintance, which quickly ripens into friendship. In Act Two, a month later, they, along with Ellen, the waitress from the restaurant and a would-be actress, and May, the bag lady, assemble at Stephen's beach house, determined to make some sense out of their lives and to overcome the alienation and sense of purposelessness which they all share. Inevitably, this leads to a series of very funny yet affecting incidents in which various relationships, non-relationships, mistaken motives, and often shaky alliances are cleverly set forth and examined. In the end, sobered but still game, the two couples, one heterosexual, one homosexual, who formed as they play began, have managed to remain together, well aware that their best hopes may never be realized, but bravely raising a toast to the "accidental happiness" which, with luck, may yet come their way.
ISBN: 0-8222-0347-2

Easy Terms.

Comedy. Frank Vickery
M2 (early 20s, early 30s) F2 (young, mid 50s) 1 girl (non-speaking). Various simple interior and exterior settings.

A year ago Vi Davies suffered a stroke and her son Howard gave up his college course to nurse her. Vi is now capable of looking after herself but cannot let go of her son. Howard finds this situation extremely difficult, not least because he has a secret - he is gay, and has been seeing Bernard Fowler, Vi's insurance agent, for some time. A caravan holiday does nothing to relieve the tension ...
ISBN 0 573 01757 3

The Eccentricities of a Nightingale

Play. Tennessee Williams : M5 (young, middle-age, 60s) F5 (young, middle-age, 60s). A small square with fountain, three interiors.

The action takes place in Glorious Hill, Mississippi, shortly before the First World War. Alma Winemiller, a sensitive and lonely young woman, has become increasingly restive and disturbed by the fear that she will remain a spinster. Hemmed in by her stern minister father, and her deranged mother, she makes a final, and almost desperate attempt to win the man of her choice - a young doctor whose social-climbing mother frowns on his attachment to Alma. The play centres on the complex relationship between these two; her touching attempts to sway his emotions; and his uncertainty as to where his heart should lead him. In the end there is to be only one truly beautiful moment between them - for neither can break the ties of family and position which draw them apart and which, inevitably, defeats Alma's hopes for a new and fuller life.
ISBN: 0-8222-0349-9

Ecstasy :

Mike Leigh : 3m 3f. Black comedy. Single interior set.

Jean works in a garage and consoles herself with drink and perfunctory sex. Jean's insistent neighbour, Dawn, and Dawn's Irish labourer husband, Mick, and Mick's spineless mucker, Len, all join her in a funny, drunken, sad celebration of their mutual affection and bleak lives. 'Unmistakably Leighish - authentic, excruciating and true' Time Out.
ISBN 1854593218

The Edge of Darkness.

Play. Brian Clemens
M3 (30s-50s) F3 (20s, 50s). Extra 1 M. A living-room.

After her disappearance several years ago, Emma finds that her memory is damaged; there is much she does not recognise or understand. Why does she appear familiar with certain Russian phrases; why has she such a horror of a harmless silver bell, of a portrait on the wall, of knives? Is she, in fact, Emma Cranwell? Behind these questions looms a menacing mystery which finally erupts into violence and horror. Period 1900
ISBN 0 573 11118 9

The Editing Process.

Play. Meredith Oakes
M5 (20s, 30s, 60) F3 (20s, 50). Various offices.

In publishing, little companies are often gobbled up by big ones. This scenario faces the staff of Footnotes in History, who find their old-fashioned magazine amalgamated into a large publishing consortium. What will happen to pedantic William, who has edited the magazine all his life? How does his long-suffering secretary feel about being rationalised'? And does the new company satirically represented by designer 'image consultants' - really want William's magazine to continue?


Play. David Mamet
M20 F8 (may be played by M6 F4). Simple interior and exterior settings.

This is a brutal, probing, and controversial story of a man set morally adrift in a corrupt and violent world. Leaving a wife and marriage in which he finds no fulfilment, Edmond sets out to find sex, adventure and companionship but ultimately finds the meaning of his existence in a world where there seems to be no concern for others, only selfishness and self interest. What Edmond experiences is a nightmare odyssey through the underworld of New York City.
ISBN 0 573 60848 2

Edward II :

Christopher Marlowe
20m 2f, extras, doubling possible. Classic tragedy. Flexible staging.

Marlowe's political tragedy presents the dangers of thoughtless desire and calculated ambition. Edward's infatuation with the low-born Frenchman, Gaveston enrages his court and family. His nephew, Mortimer, raises an army to capture and kill Gaveston. Edward takes on another favourite, so Mortimer crosses to France, where Edward's wife and son are living, to gather support for an invasion. Edward is eventually defeated and held captive until Mortimer gives secret orders for his assassination. After his father's defeat, Edward III rules under the protection of Mortimer, but when he learns of Mortimer's part in his father's murder, he has Mortimer executed and his mother imprisoned. First performed in 1592.
ISBN 1854594109

Edward, My Son

Drama. Robert Morley and Noel Langley. 10 men, 4 women. 6 Interior.

The story tells of an ambitious and unscrupulous man who is shown at various periods during his spectacular career. His life is motivated, to a great extent, by devotion to his only son, who turns out to be a failure in the end. A brilliant series of dramatic character portraits and an episodic play of broad sweep and compelling power.

Edwin Booth

Drama. Milton Geiger. 6 men, 3 women. Unit Set

This work is filled with episode and circumstance as it tells of a great Shakespearean actor whose own life was as profound a tragedy as any of the dramas he played. As a narrative, Edwin Booth shows a ranting, hard-drinking, insane and imposing actor, Junius Brutus Booth, the elder, being cared for on his tours by his small son, Edwin. Father tells son he will never become and actor, for he is too slight of stature and too lacking in a grand manner. Nevertheless, the lad is determined to follow the stage. As an actor he feels he has two handicaps, the great reputation of his late father and his own notion of how Shakespeare should be played. Perhaps because he isn't big enough to yell convincingly, he thinks acting should be quiet and almost casually natural. The stage is so arranged with the dressing table, fragments of Shakespeare's settings and a rocking-chair which symbolises a home anywhere, that changes of place and time can be instantaneous. And so it is possible for us to follow Booth through the remainder of his life and to his death at 16 Gramercy Park.

Educating Rita.

Comedy. Willy Russell
M I (middle-age) F1 (26). A first-floor room in a university.

Frank is a tutor of English whose disillusioned outlook on life drives him to the bottle. Rita is a hairdresser hungry to find some meaning to life. With Frank as her tutor Rita embarks on an Open University course and her education process begins. The effects are both amusing and serious as her fresh, intuitive approach becomes clouded and stifled as she grapples with the problem of a formal education, while Frank also learns something - to believe in himself again.
ISBN 0 573 11115 4

Edwina Black

Play. William Dinner and William Morum
M2 (40s) F2 (30s, elderly). A lounge.

The day before Edwina Black's funeral, Inspector Martin calls to interview her husband Gregory, her companion Elizabeth and her housekeeper, Ellen Gregory has long endured the domination of his wealthy wife, but is in love with Elizabeth. It is revealed Edwina died from arsenic. Gregory and Elizabeth quarrel bitterly. However Ellen confesses that Edwina poisoned herself: with vindictive spite she devised a suicide which would serve to incriminate Gregory and Elizabeth and so destroy them.
ISBN 0 573 60853 9