Composers and their stage works 


Five Evenings

Play Aleksandr Volodin. Translated and adapted by Ariadne Nicolaef. 4 men, 3 women. Unit Set

There is no politics in this comedy. The main characters are no longer youthful. They fell in love on the eve of the war; the war separated them. After the war they lost sight of one another, though not their memories or their longings for each other. When they meet again seventeen years later they are past the age of romance All the characters in Five Evenings are sweet people even when they are youthfully foolish or momentarily misguided. All are learning and teaching. Thus they constantly seem to express themselves in aphorisms and proverbs. At the final curtain when the lovers have dispelled their misunderstanding, Tamara looks forward to a good life and simply says, "Oh, if only we don't have a war!"

Five Finger Exercise

Play. Peter Shaffer
M3 (19, 20, 40s) F2 (14, 40). A weekend cottage.

Walter, a sensitive young German, has been engaged as tutor to Pamela Harrington. He has fled to England from a Nazi father hoping to find a new home and nationality. His stay in the Harrington family begins propitiously, but the Harringtons are a desperately unhappy family. As Clive says, 'This isn't a family. It's a tribe of wild cannibals'. It takes a near tragedy to shock them into an awareness of their cruelty to each other. Period 1950s
ISBN 0 573 01132 X

Five of Us

Play. Len Jenkin. 3 men, 2 women. Unit Set.

The story deals with the parallel lives of New York tenement dwellers, who live next door to each other but whose paths do not cross until one fateful moment, which spells disaster for them all. One apartment is occupied by Mark, a young writer who churns out pornography while planning the "big novel" he will someday write, and his live-in girlfriend, Lee, an anthropology grad who works as a waitress. Their next door neighbor is Herman, a mentally deficient messenger who speaks in a language all his own and amuses himself by calling 800 numbers to make hotel reservations he has no intention of keeping. When Lee is offered a chance to join an anthropological expedition to Sri Lanka, Mark is faced with a crisis - the loss of both her companionship and her income. With the connivance. of his ex-con buddy, Eddie, a street-smart would-be mercenary, Mark decides to prop up his finances by robbing Herman's apartment, in the misguided belief that the poor eccentric has been hoarding money. But, instead, what they find is the bizarre detritus of a stunted life - a life which is abruptly ended when Herman, coming upon them, is startled into a fatal epileptic fit. Fearfitl and guilt-ridden, Mark and Eddie try to cover their tracks - but as the play ends it is also dear that no matter how far or fast they flee they will never escape the spectre of the lonely misfit whose pathetic world they have so thoughtlessly and fatally shattered.
ISBN: 0-8222-0405-3

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

Comedy. Alan Ball : 1 man, 5 women; interior.

During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee, estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. They are Frances, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist; Mindy, the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom; Georgeanne, whose heartbreak over her own failed marriage triggers outrageous behaviour; Meredith, the bride's younger sister whose precocious rebelliousness masks a dark secret; and Trisha, a jaded beauty whose die-hard cynicism about men is called into question when she meets Tripp, a charming bad-boy usher to whom there is more than meets the eye. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women joyously discover a common bond in this wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of the womens' spirit.
ISBN: 0-8222-1367-2

Flat Spin

Derek Royle : Farce 4M 6F Interior set

An uproariously funny farce involving the frantic efforts of a young couple to keep their marriage secret so that she can take a much needed job. The pace is frenetic, deriving from a well built up confusion of identities.

Flare Path

Play. Terence Rattigan : M7 F4. An hotel lounge.

Filmed as The Way To The Stars and set in the 1940s, Rattigan's famous play concerns Patricia's love for a film actor, despite her marriage to Flight-Lieutenant Teddy Graham. Going to the hotel to break with Teddy, followed by Peter, Pat encounters Doris, married to a Polish Count, who is one of two pilots not to return from a bombing raid. Hearing the Count's last letter, Pat realises how much Teddy needs her, and gives Peter his dismissal.
ISBN 0 573 11128 6

Flaubert's Latest

Comedy. Peter Parnell, 5 men, 3 women; exterior.

Felix, a blocked novelist, and his noticeably younger lover, Colin, are estranged but still in love. Felix, you see, is so obsessed by his admiration for the nineteenth century master of French letters, Gustave Flaubert, that he fails to take any interest in either Colin's burgeoning choreography career or their relationship. Their friends Ursula (a nutty summer stock actress, writer and part time spiritualist) and her husband Howard arrive for an outing, but while practising her spiritual channelling Ursula accidentally conjures up Flaubert himself along with his faithful mistress of many years, Louise. They tell their startled twentieth century hosts that they, too, have been fighting on and off about the way Flaubert neglects Louise and instead locks himself away to write for months at a time. Colin immediately sympathises with Louise and he confides in her that he's been hoping to start an affair with a very attractive and flirtatious gardener named Jace. Eventually, because Felix and Flaubert have been spending all their time with each other discussing art and writing, tempers explode and Louise takes a shot at Flaubert, accidentally wounding Felix. Hurt feelings all around, Ursula is called back to the country house and returns Flaubert and Louise to their century. Having come through the worst, and his writer's block gone, Felix makes up with Colin and the two begin their lives anew.
ISBN: 0-8222-1328-1

A Flea In Her Ear

Farce. Georges Feydeau, translated by John Mortimer
M9 F5. A drawing-room, the Coq d'Or.

Raymonde suspects her husband, Victor, of infidelity and she turns to her best friend, Lucienne, to help her gain proof. They concoct a ploy-based on a perfumed letter-to trap him at the Hotel Coq der. In true Feydeau fashion the plan misfires; the plot is complicated by confused identities, revolving beds, a great many doors and the fact that the foolish hotel porter, Poche, is the exact double of Victor. Period early 1900s.
ISBN 0 573 01148 6

A Flea In Her Ear

Farce:. Georges Feydeau. Adapted by Frank Galati. An up-to-date and explosively funny version of Feydeau's classic farce, which retains the antic, pell-mell humour of the original while making the people and the action of the play pertinent to our own times. 10 men, 5 women. 2 Interiors.

Although the adapter has moved the action of the play into the twentieth century (which serves to heighten the sexual allusions which make the play so hilarious) the action follows the pattern of the famous original: a complex series of mistaken identities, clandestine assignations and misplaced but explosive jealousies - all happening at breakneck speed. In this case things begin to go awry when Victor Deboshe, a middle-class insurance salesman, becomes impotent; leading his wife, Yvonne, to assume that he has taken a mistress. To test his fidelity she has her friend Lucille write an anonymous letter to Victor, claiming to be infatuated with him and proposing a rendezvous at the notorious' Hotel Pussy a Go-Go. Thinking a mistake has been made, Victor persuades his friend Maurice (a famous womaniser) to keep the appointment for him, after which the complications begin to multiply uproariously. Eventually, as must be, things are somehow untangled and set right, but not before the action has expanded to include a violently jealous husband (a hot-blooded Spaniard), a suicidal leap from a window, a nephew with an unfortunate (but hilarious) speech defect, a furious Indian fakir and a lascivious butler, all tumbled together into a riotous medley of slamming doors, revolving beds and wildly amiss gun shots - all of which will leave audiences happily breathless from laughter.
ISBN: 0-8222-0407-X

Flesh and Blood

Play. Philip Osment
M2 (20s, 30s) F2 (20s, 30s). All age 30 years. A farm interior and exterior.

Rose, Charles and William are reluctant partners in a remote farm. Charles wants his siblings to buy him out so he can settle down with Shirley, a local girl of dubious morals. Rose and William refuse. Shirley, pregnant, emigrates. Thirty years later the same trio are still marooned on the farm where time has done nothing to repair their jealousies and resentments. Shirley returns, forcing the family feuds to the surface and precipitating disaster. Period 1950s-1980s.

Flesh and Blood

Drama. William Hanley. 3 men, 3 women. Interior.

As described by the Washington, D.C. Evening Star, "Here was the family of an aging steelworker, living in a New York tenement about to be torn down, getting ready to mark the departure of his brother and the arrival of a new year ... The steelworker, a happy-go-lucky type all his life, was not quick to anger. He was troubled by his brother's departure after all these years; the family was falling apart. He questioned himself, too, and his part in the death of a young steelworker. Were old memories good enough? He had lost one son in a war, another had lost both hands in battle and the shock had curtailed his mind. Was he good enough any more for the job he loved? The brother was leaving to die, but unwilling to leave without taking something with him that was his. So after a few drinks he revealed, to the youngest daughter (Kim Darby) that he was really her father and that it had happened when he and her mother thought her husband dead in a shipwreck ...The girl, shocked by the revelation, runs out into the night and it is her allnight absence which author Hanley employs to develop his mosaic of the accommodations that people make in order to survive as a unit."
ISBN: 0-8222-0408-8


Mikhail Bulgakov, Adapted by Ron Hutchinson
16m 4f, 1 girl, extras. Historical satire. Flexible staging.

Set in 1920 during the Russian civil war, Bulgakov's satire creates a grotesque, tragicomic world in which men and women are entirely at the mercy of chance. This version presented at the National has been freely created by Ron Hutchinson, who relishes the playwright's blackly comic vision. The National's production was directed by Howard Davies with Alan Howard as the increasingly mad General and Kenneth Cranham as his charismatic Major.

The Flight Into Egypt

Julian Gamer : 4m 3f. Drama. Two interior sets.

A fourteen-year-old Jewish girl flees the pogrom enveloping her rural home town in Poland in 1939. She seeks refuge in Cracow, and is taken in by a caretaker who risks his life by keeping her concealed for four years.
ISBN 1854593463

Florence Nightingale

Play. John Bowen
32 characters, can be played by M9 F6. An open stage.

The story of Florence Nightingale's life is told in the form of a rehearsal of a play to be performed at a later date. It passes from her youth, through the famous period of the Lady with the Lamp, to the close when she is presented with the Order of Merit. Under the director the cast arrive in rehearsal clothes and throughout they make use of what costumes, props and furniture are available.
ISBN 0 573 01131 1

The Flowering Peach

Play Clifford Odets. 7 men, 4 women, 4 animals which may be played by men or women. Interior/Exteriors.

This is the story of mankind living out its destiny under the benevolent eye of God. There were giants on the earth in those days of the Deluge. In spirit Noah was the greatest. He is not to put on a pedestal but is characterised as the worried head of a family of ordinary individuals - a peevish, though loving, hero who feels himself close to God. Noah persuades his sceptical family that God has given all of them a mission. They bicker, yet do the job obediently, and God helps them solve the most prodigious problems. They scamper into the ark when the rains fall - all this, told with sympathetic humour in the form of a folk fable should be enough to delight and move any theatregoer. In the second act the voyager concludes triumphantly with the grounding of the ark, the flowering of the peach and the departure of the family in their several ways to replenish and reseed the earth. It is a triumphant conclusion, but only after a long series of quarrels and sorrows that symbolise the eternal questioning of God's children.
ISBN: 0-8222-0411-8

A Fly in the Ointment

Comedy. Derek Benfield
M3 (19, 50s) F3 (30s, 40s). A living-room.

Why should Ron Corley MP, the Minister for the Environment, be searching the seaside bungalow of his ex-mistress Donna? And why does his virtuous wife, Louise, turn up at the same place on the same day? And what was a romantic doctor with a bunch of flowers doing in Sussex when his practice is in London? Add to these questions the presence of a frustrated policewoman and a devious pizza delivery boy ...
ISBN 0 573 01761 1

Flyin' West

Drama. Pearl Cleage. 2 men, 4 women. Unit set

Facing problems ranging from the inevitability of long, cold winters, to the possibility of domestic violence, to the continuing spectre of racial conflict, the women of Flyin' West include Miss Leah, the old woman whose memories of slavery and its aftermath comprise a living oral history; Sophie Washington, whose determination to protect her land and those she loves puts to rest forever the requirement that western archetypes be white and male; Fannie Mae Dove, the gentle sister, trying to civilise the frontier with fine china and roses, who finds herself falling in love with their soft-spoken neighbour, Will Parish; and Minnie Dove Charles, the headstrong baby sister whose mulatto husband, Frank, introduces a danger into the household that tests their sisterhood in unexpected ways.
ISBN: 0-8222-1465-2

Flying Feathers

Comedy. Derek Benfield
M3 (40, middle-age, 60) F6 (young, 30, 50). A drawing-room.

When Chief Constable Henry Potterton and his wife Sarah arrive at the country house of their late lamented brother Bernard, they are astonished to find several scantily-clad ladies wandering about, not knowing that Bernard's housekeeper has turned the place into a 'house of sin'. There are many hilarious comings and goings and when Bernard turns up, proving to be Henry's identical twin, the household is thrown into further confusion and chaos.
ISBN 0 573 01657 7

The Flying Gerardos

Comedy. Kenyon Nicholson and Charles K Robinson. 7 men, 6 women. Interior.

For 40 years the Gerardos have been booked as the "Daring Family of Aerial Artists." Mama still manages her troupe. On a visit in the West, she is asked to return because Donna has become suddenly unsociable with the rest of the troupe. The cause is anaemic William, a student, who has opened a new world to Donna. Trips to highbrow lectures make Donna dissatisfied with her companions, and her threat to leave if they interfere with her education stuns even Mama. To Mama's horror, William reveals his love for Donna, and pleads to go with the troupe. The boys decide to initiate William on the trapeze hoping to destroy his ambitions. William is knocked unconscious, but reviving, he climbs on the trapeze again, determined to conquer his weakness. Donna believes he has lost his "wonderful mind" as a result of the fall, and declares she will nurse him back to sanity, and then they can marry and go away to college. William is obdurate and Mama, to keep Donna near her, falls in line with him, making him a clown, much to his Aunt Thucy's horror, Donna's dismay and William's bewilderment.
ISBN. 0-8222-0414-2