Composers and their stage works 


The Fosdyke Saga

Play. Adapted by Alan Plater from the saga by Bill Tidy, music by Bill Wrigley
Variable cast but at least M 10 F6. Extras. Simple staging. (Music on hire)

Anyone familiar with the cartoon characters of Bill Tidy's 'Fosdyke Saga' from the Daily Mirror will know these lovable characters. The time is 1902 and the Fosdyke tripe business is failing so they decide to move to greener pastures in Manchester - the land of meat pies and perhaps fortune'? We follow their progress through to the First World War.
ISBN 0 573 11135 9

4.48 Psychosis

Sarah Kane

The death of Sarah Kane in 1999 robbed theatre of one of its brightest talents, whose plays have changed the shape of British drama. Like all Sarah Kane's work, 4.48 Psychosis, the play she had just completed at the time of her death, is a penetrating, uncompromising vision of contemporary life.

Found a Peanut

Play. Donald Margulies. 6 men, 2 women. Exterior

The setting is the backyard of a Brooklyn tenement on the last day of summer vacation, where a group of children aged five to fourteen (portrayed by adult actors) are at play. Finding a dying bird they decide to have a ritual burial, which leads to the discovery of a bag of money, probably buried by a reclusive miser who had recently died in the adjacent building. This discovery, in turn, results in squabbles and bitterness among the children, as the microcosm of their games gradually yields an awareness of greed, betrayal and violence - elements of fife heretofore unknown to them but, regrettably, so much a part of the grownup world which they are approaching. In a sense the play, with deft irony and lively humour, marks the coming of age of the children, as the carefree innocence of youth is sobered by the emergence of emotions which, while not yet fully comprehended,. will have a profound effect on their lives in the years to come.
ISBN: 0-8222-0417-7

Four Baboons Adoring the Sun

Play with Music. John Guare. Music by Stephen Edwards. 2 men, 1 woman, 5 boys, 4 girls. Exterior

Eros, the god of love, narrates the action of the play in haunting passages akin to the Greek choruses of ancient tragedies. We meet Penny and Philip, newlyweds who have abandoned unhappy marriages to work together on Philip's archeological dig in Sicily. They bring along their nine children, hoping to instill in them a love of antiquity and a zest for the same impassioned living they've re-discovered in middle age. What they aren't willing to discuss with the children, however, is that their marriage originally began as an illicit affair, symbolically identifying with an half-buried statue of four baboons basking contentedly in the sun. Immediately, the children announce that they knew of the affair from the start, and worse, their eldest children, Wayne and Halcy, have fallen in love and are demanding permission to have sex. Forbidden to continue the relationship, the children escape during an earthquake that separates the two families. Penny and Philip find them just as they are making love on a hilltop. Fleeing his parents, Wayne climbs a cliff and accidentally falls to his death. Philip, his spirit broken, returns to the States fdr the funeral, but Penny stays behind. The play ends with Penny basking in the Sicilian sun, meditating with the deeper understanding of what the four baboons statue has come to symbolize to her: There they sit, blinded by the very sun they worship, yet drawn again and again, regardless of pain, to its life-giving warmth.
ISBN: 0-8222-1305-2

Four Dogs and a Bone

Comedy. John Patrick Shanley. 2 men, 2 women. Unit set

Brenda, a seemingly guileless young actress, takes a meeting with Bradley, a troubled, middle-aged producer, to discuss the film on which they are working. Brenda wants to be a star, she even chants for it! But Collette, the other actress in the film, is in her way, so Brenda must convince Bradley that the film is in serious trouble unless he makes certain changes, one of which is taking out Collette's part. Bradley, knowing full wdl,that the film is seriously over budget, intimates that he will affect Brendâs suggestions if she can convince her step brother, a giant movie star, to make a cameo appearance in the film, guaranteeing more capitalization and the cachet of success. Meanwhile, Collette has her own agenda: she knows she's not as young as she once was. She tries to convince Victor, the writer, to alter the film so she can be the heroine, or else, this, his first film, is destined to be lost in art houses or, worse, go directly to video. Victor, a naive young writer from off-off Broadway, doesn't know how to handle any of this, and his mother just died. He needs to mourn and to drink himself into a stupor before he changes his screenplay. Later, in the make-up traile, Brenda and Collette find out they've been trying to stab the other in the back which leads to the kind of cat fight only actresses do and culminates in a mock-bonding. All hell breaks loose in the final scene when Bradley and Victor confront one another over the state of the film and are interrupted by Brenda and Collette, and all the lies and backbiting are exposed as these four dogs go after their bone.
ISBN: 0-8222-1400-8

The Fourth Wall

Comedy. A. R. Gurney. 2 men, 2 women. Interior

Peggy has redecorated the living room and her husband, Roger, can't stand it. Peggy's usual, exquisite taste was overcome by a mysterious lapse which caused her to re-do the room as if it were a stage set. Everything faces one wall, the "fourth wall," which she's left bare, and which is really the audience. Unable to cope any further, and needing someone to talk to, Roger asks their old, dear friend, Julia, to fly up from New York. Julia agrees that something strange is going on, especially since everyone who enters the room begins to behave as if they were acting in a play, or even a musical when occasionally someone feels the urge to sing a Cole Porter song. Julia, affected by the room, suggests Roger call "976NUTS" and have Peggy put away, which would allow the two of them to have the affair they've never before thought about. Roger can't do that and explains that he's got one hope left: Floyd, a local theatre professor. Roger asks Floyd to come over in hopes that he can "Doctor" Peggy's play and bring it to a close, thus allowing he and Peggy to resume their happily married life. But that doestA work either as Floyd sees what's going on and is, in complete agreement with Peggy. Peggy, following in St. Joans footsteps at Floyd's urging, decides she must do what she must do and sets out to break the fourth wall in order to connect with her feelings. Roger rushes after her, leaving Julia and Floyd with a final Porter tune.
ISBN: 0-8222-1349-4

Foxhole in the Parlor

Play. Elsa Shelley. 4 men, 3 women. Interior

The play deals with the problem of a soldier, a fine, sensitive musician, who went through hell a number of times and returned a different and a frightening human being. But, and that is the point perfectly normal.