Composers and their stage works 



Satire. Doug Lucie | 4m 4f One interior set, one exterior set.

The action is all set on an estate deep in the English countryside, the home of Ruth Hartstone, whose sister, Grace, is said to have died in miraculous circumstances. But Ruth, who has lost what faith she once possessed, is on her uppers and has reluctantly decided to sell the place to an American religious outfit with plans to turn it into a Christian leisure and satellite broadcasting complex with an eye on the new markets in Eastern Europe. Lucie's script captures the smug sanctimony and robotic cheerfulness of the Reverend Neal Hoffman and his followers who have turned religion into big business and regard their Mercedes stretch limo as just another sign of God's favour. Premiered at Hampstead Theatre with Anna Massey as Ruth. 'A first-rate comedy ... A thundering good play' Guardian.
ISBN 1854592459

The Grace of Mary Traverse

Play. Timberlake Wertenbaker. 5 men, 3 women, plus several bit parts. Unit Set.

Mary Traverse, the pretty, carefully schooled daughter of a wealthy London merchant, chafes at her pampered existence and hungers for knowledge and experience of the outside world. Leaving her father's protection she is, at first, shocked by the unbridled, dissolute life which she encounters in the teeming streets of 18th century London, but under the corrupt tutelage of an embittered servant, Mrs. Temptwell, Mary is soon drawn into this new and fearsome world, first losing her virginity and then, in time, becoming a prostitute herself. Along the way she invades such staunchly male preserves as gambling dens, taverns and cockfights, and encounters a wide array of bizarre characters, culminating in a sexual episode with her own father - who, because Mary is by now so changed, does not recognize his own daughter. Fast paced and comprised of series of heightened scenes, the play alternates earthy humour with moments of great poignancy but, in the end, yields both a sense of optimism and a parallel for our own time as Mary comes to realise that only through wisdom and self-knowledge can she, as a woman, transcend the unhappiness and despair which worldly experience has brought her, and progress (or traverse) toward the true freedom and sense of purpose which she so desperately seeks.
ISBN: 0-8222-0468-1

Grace Note

Play. Samuel Adamson | M3 (20s, 34) F3 (30s, 67). A living/dining-room.

When Grace decides to leave her sheltered accommodation and return to her old home, her children start to worry. Only Ellie, her daughter-in-law, seems to understand her need to dwell on the past and her passion for the Australian soprano Joan Sutherland. The family gather round to protect their inheritance, but behind the mask of genteel senility is cunning: Grace has plans of her own.

Gramercy Ghost

Comedy. John Cecil Holm. 6 men, 6 women. Interior

Most people have inherited property, but we never heard of anyone inheriting a ghost. Nancy Willard did. This attractive girl, who works for a publisher, is engaged to Parker Burnett. When Amelia Bullock, Nancy's landlady and owner of a delightful old house, dies at the age of 103, Nancy learns that she has been left something named Nathaniel Coombes. Nathaniel is a young and handsome Revolutionary soldier who had been ambushed and killed in 1776 and is now doomed to an earth-bound existence as a ghost in the neighbourhood of Nancys apartment. He cannot get into heaven because he has failed to deliver a message to George Washington. It was all the fault of a pretty barmaid who caused him to forget his duty. Nancy, incidentally, is the only living being who can see Nathaniel. When Charley Stewart, an attractive young newspaperman, comes to Nancy's apartment seeking data on the late Miss Bullock, Nancy finds her life even more complicated, since there are now three young men (if we include Nathaniel) interested in her. It is Charley, of course, who learns how to exorcise the ghost and win Nancy away from Parker. But it is Nathaniel who ultimately enables Nancy to choose the right husband, and on his accomplishing this he gains admittance to heaven at long last.
ISBN: 0-8222-0470-3

Grand Magic

Play. Eduardo de Filippo. Translated by Carlo Ardito
M 11 (30-60) F8 (17, 20, 30, middle-age). A large hotel garden and two simple interiors.

In this masterly black comedy the illusionist Otto gives his best performance ever. When Mama offers herself as victim in his disappearing act and takes the opportunity of running off with her lover, Otto convinces her husband, Calogero, that if he truly believes in his wife's fidelity she will reappear when he opens a certain Japanese box; if he does not truly believe and opens the box, she will be lost forever. Calogero suffers four years of indecision and his denial of reality is so complete that when Marta returns of her own accord he does not recognise her. He is condemned to the solitude of his illusory world.

Grand Prize

Comedy. Ronald Alexander. 6 men, 3 women. Interior

The story tells about a private secretary, Lu Cotton, employed by and constantly trying to discourage the amorous advances of her attractive, charming millionaire boss, Mr. Robert Meredith. Lu's life becomes humorously complicated when Mr. Meredith forces her to appear on a TV show and she wins the grand prize: the right to be her boss' boss for 24 hours. Meredith arrives at her one room walk-up apartment and suggests that he start working for her as soon as possible. Outraged by this invasion of her privacy, yet attracted to him, she turns the tables and forces her boss to become her domestic. She makes him rinse her laundry, wash her dishes, and shouts orders at him as though she were a five-star general. Meredith vows vengeance and the basic poor girl, rich man conflict is established, then further involved and heightened with laughter by the advent of Lu's bright, beautiful girlfriend, Kate Wilson, who loves men, and the entrance of Lu's ad-man fiancé who hates Brooks Brothers clothes. From this point in the first act the play takes off on a hilarious spoof of everything and everybody, including: television, romance, psychoanalysis, the advertising business and amateur songwriters. After three acts of merriment it concludes happily for all concerned.
ISBN: 0-8222-0472-X

A Grand Romance

Play David Wiltse. 4 men, 4 women. Divided Interior.

The place is the Nebraska home of Susan and Robert Atwater. Robert has left his wife and gone off to California with a younger woman, and Susan has taken in her aged, increasingly cantankerous mother, Harriet, who has recently suffered a stroke. As the play begins, Susan is nervously awaiting Robert's unexpected return, hoping that he will, at last, be able to return the love (and desire) which she still feels for him. But while it turns out that Robert is willing to come back to her, it is quickly evident that he is motivated by a sense of guilt and responsibility, rather than passion, and that his heart still belongs to his lover in California. Paralleling this present day action are "dream sequences" which reveal the story of Harriet and her family. her stern, unyielding father, who treated her and her gentle, loving mother like servants; her first doomed romance with a young doctor deemed unsuitable by her father; being packed off to normal school to be trained as a teacher; her mother's agonizing death; a loveless marriage of convenience; and, at last, a moment of true, redeeming passion with the man she had continued to desire all through her life. As the play ends the lessons of the present and the past come together and, somehow, clarify the future, as mother and daughter find a depth of mutual respect and understanding they have not known before and Susan, aware now that she must not settle for less than the "grand romance" she has always hoped for, releases Robert to return to the woman he really loves.
ISBN: 0-8222-0473-8

The Grand Tour

Play. Elmer Rice.

Nell Valentine is a no longer young, school teacher who, for the first time in her sheltered life, falls desperately in love during the course of a summer tour through Europe. Nell has planned this trip as a climax to long years of hope and preparation. But Ray Brinton, who has fallen in love with her and hopes to marry her, must tell her that not only he is already married but he is a fugitive from justice having stolen money from his own bank. Nell is ready to marry him in spite of everything until Ray's wife appears on the scene and shows she is still deeply attached to him. Only then does Nell see that the romance must end. Nell insists Ray return to his family and offers all she has to help him keep out of jail. Then she quietly steps out of the picture, leaving Ray and his wife together, and goes on to finish her trip, alone. The last scene is the classroom at Nell's school. She presents an illustrated travelogue to her students describing her trip. Beneath the superficialities of her comments, emerges the undertones of her experience. This has not embittered her, and in her closing words she emerges as a more mature and understanding woman than when she set forth. 6 men, 3 women. Interior/Exterior

The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinback, adapted by Frank Galati : Drama 18M 4F Flexible staging

Steinbeck's story of the Joad family and their tragic flight from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California in search of the promised land is powerfully realised in Frank Galati's stage adaptation. Thrown off their land and lured by promises of unlimited work and prosperity, the Joads pack their worldly possessions onto a ramshackle truck and head west, only to find their hopes and dreams shattered in the face of oppression and persecution.
ISBN: 0 85676 152 4

Grass Widows

Play. Mary Orr. 2 men, 4 women. Interior.

The scene is a comfortable apartment on lower Fifth Avenue, in New York City, which is shared by two divorcees. They are awaiting the arrival of a third "bachelor lady" to join them in dividing their living expenses. Their new roommate turns out to be a recent divorcee from Texas, formerly married to a rich oil man, and a bit unsettled by another divorcee who lives across the hall - a Ph.D. who also happens to be not quite white in skin color. But the four soon hit it off well, and their confidences to each other reveal the sometimes sad, sometimes funny occurrences which have brought them to the present situation. Tension mounts with the unexpected visit of the son of one divorcee and the ex-husband of another but, ultimately, the action of the play comes to bear on the central problem which confronts them all: the need to learn from past mistakes, and to replace the loneliness and frustration of their present existence with something stronger and more solid than what they had before.
ISBN: 0-8222-0477-0

A Grave Misunderstanding

Play. Lloyd Gold : 7 men, 2 women. Interior.

The time is Mardi Gras; the place, a New Orleans funeral parlour. As the action begins, in a wildly farcical scene a bereaved family, accompanied by a young priest, is reviled and driven away by the irate funeral director - a man who, while dealing with death, can only regard it with ridicule and disdain. As it happens the funeral director, a widower, has a young daughter who, born with a damaged heart, is doomed to an early death and his apparent brusqueness is the only, and best, way he knows how to prepare her for her fate. Moved by her plight the novice priest attempts to offer spiritual guidance to the frail girl and a gentle, romantic attachment grows between them, despite the father's objections. Eventually the girl, accompanied by the priest and her father's best friend, an alcoholic doctor, realises her dream of going out into the world - and to Mardi Gras. It is, for her, a crowning happiness. But it is also a final one - a journey away from death and yet to death and to a release which all who cared for her may now share.
ISBN: 0-8222-0478-9