Composers and their stage works 



Groping for Words

Comedy. Sue Townsend | M2 (young, 50) F2 (young, middle-age). Various simple settings.

Joyce begins an Adult Literacy class. Her pupils are Thelma, a nanny, and George who is living in a hostel. Their classes, held in a nursery classroom, are interrupted b Kevin the caretaker, who is illiterate himself. Act II sees the class three months later. George is making good progress and now living in the Wendy House while Thelma is concerned over her inability to read 'Janet and John'. Things come to a head on Joyce's birthday and culminate in Kevin's heartrending plea: 'Teach me to read'.

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

Drama. Moisés Kaufman. 9 men (flexible casting). Unit Set

Gross Indecency uses trial transcripts, personal correspondence, interviews and other source materials to tell the story of the downfall of the great man of letters whose artistic genius has long been overshadowed by the scandal surrounding his imprisonment.

In early 1895, the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Wilde's young lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, lit a card at Wilde's club bearing the phrase "posing sodomite." Wilde sued the Marquess for criminal libel. The defence denounced Wilde's art and literature as immoral, leading the prosecuting attorney to declare, "It would appear that what is on trial is not Lord Queensberry but Mr. Wilde's art." In the end Queensberry was acquitted, and evidence that had been gathered against Wilde compelled the Crown to prosecute him for "gross indecency with male persons". With Wilde's arrest, his hit plays running in London's West End were forced to close and Wilde was reduced to penury. A second trial ended in a hung jury with Wilde's impassioned defence of "the love that dare not speak its name," prompting a third trial. In the third and decisive trial, Wilde was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment and hard labour. He was separated forever from his wife and children and wrote very little for the rest of his life. In addition to Wilde, Douglas and Queensberry, characters ranging from Queen Victoria to London's rent boys, to a present day academic are assembled to explore how history is made and how it can be so timely revisited in the theatre.
ISBN: 0-8222-1649-3

The Guid Sisters (in The Guid Sisters)

Michel Tremblay, Trans B. Findlay & M. Bowman
15f Black comedy. Single interior set.

Germaine Lauzon has won a million Green Shield stamps. She invites her female friends and relations to a party to paste the stamps into the books. The temptation to pilfer the stamps is irresistible and an enormous fight breaks out. 'A sharp, merciless black comedy' Guardian.
ISBN 1854591185

Play. Albert Innaurato. 5 men, 4 women. Unit Set

As the play begins Al (in reality the author himself) has had another opening - and another crushing set of bad notices. Discouraged and wishing he were elsewhere, Al tinkers with a bizarre time machine concocted by his roommate, Kafka (a gorilla), and suddenly his wish is granted as he finds himself, dazed and dislocated, in the parlour of Gustav Mahler, one of his idols. The place is Vienna, the time 1900, and Mahler too is struggling to establish himself in the face of critical animosity and public indifference. Once the shock of Al's outlandish arrival has been absorbed, he and "Gus" find that they are kindred spirits, and soon Al becomes a member of the household, along with Mahler's smitten housekeeper, Natalie, his young sister, Justine; and eventually the beautiful, freespirited Alma, who is destined to become Mahler's wife (much to Natalie's annoyance). Filled with subtly revealing and frequently hilarious scenes, the play is both a wry comment on the artist's lot and also a fascinating exploration of the creative mind and spirit. Along the way there is even a brief visit with Sigmund Freud (who is trying to help Mahler untangle his romantic confusion) and the latter's gardener (whom Al recognises as his own grandfather as a youth) before Al is returned to the present as abruptly as he left it - perhaps not a happier, but certainly a wiser young man.
ISBN: 0-8222-0489-4

The Gut Girls. Play. Sarah Daniels
M6 F11, may be played by M2 F6. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Premiered at London's Albany Empire in 1988 and set in Deptford at the turn of the century this play traces the lives of the girls who work in the gutting sheds of the Cattle Market and how their lives are changed when the sheds are closed down. Although the girls are unwilling participants in a club founded by Lady Helena to find alternative employment the results are not without tragic consequences.

The Gypsy's Revenge. Comedy melodrama. Michael Lambe
M3 F6. I child. A wood, a cottage, a hall.

Edward seduces and murders Xenia the werewolf who bites him. He then seduces Victoria. When Victoria is about to go into labour with child, he casts her out, and she gives birth to a werewolf. Xenia's father tries to exact retribution for the murder of his daughter and after much thunder and lightning, hooting and howling, this uproarious 'Victorian' melodrama closes with Edward getting his just deserts. This is a play written m the best tradition of look-behind-you melodrama.
ISBN 0 573 11151 0