Composers and their stage works 


Hedda Gabler

Play. Henrik Ibsen. A new version by Christopher Hampton
M3 (29, 33) F4 (33, 45, 65). A drawing-room.

The Ibsen classic, in a new version by Christopher Hampton, was seen at the Royal National Theatre in 1989 starring Juliet Stevenson as Hedda '... Hampton's was, above all, language made to be spoken not quoted. As such it is the key to the production's success in establishing the sense of the, at times, appallingly comic spectacle of a claustrophobic and fragile world coming apart at the seams.' What's On
ISBN 0 573 01693 3

Hedda Gabler

Play. Henrik Ibsen, adapted by John Osborne | M3 F4.

Hedda's father seems to have been the only person Hedda loved. He left her his duelling pistols and in her hands they play an important part in the life of more than one person. Thea is loving, talented, and doomed, it seems, to be one of Hedda's victims. Yet at the end Thea saves herself through her own unselfish love of another victim of Hedda's cruelty. John Osborne's adaptation of Ibsen's drama was first seen at the Royal Court Theatre in 1972 with Jill Bennett in the role of Hedda.

Hedda Gabler

Henrik Ibsen, Trans K. McLeish : 2m 3f. Classic drama. Single interior set.

Restless and discontented in her marriage, Hedda Gabler is drawn to a former admirer, Lovborg, now a brilliant writer. But he is more taken with Hedda's old schoolfriend. Driven by jealousy, Hedda destroys Lovborg, and his precious manuscript, and finally herself. Original first performed in 1891.

Hedda Gabler

Drama. Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer. 3 men, 4 women. Unit Set.

Hedda, recently married to Jorgen Tesman, is exasperated and contemptuous of her husband's smug middle-class attitudes. She admires, but resents, the brilliant scholar Loevborg who has come to town with her old school friend Thea Elvsted; he is in competition with Jorgen for a professional appointment. She amuses herself by flirting with Judge Brack who invites Jorgen and Loevborg to a stag party, where in a drunken stupor Loevborg loses the manuscript of his important new book. Jorgen finds the document and Hedda, secretly enjoying the power of influencing destiny, destroys it. Loevborg is distraught over the loss and Hedda gives him one of her father's pistols and suggests he does away with himself - beautifully. Thea is devastated by the suicide attempt, but she has recovered the original notes of his book and scholar Tesman offers to help reconstruct the manuscript. Brack, who has discovered where Loevborg got the gun, now has Hedda in his grasp, and Tesman is too busy to be concerned. Hedda makes a grave decision.
ISBN: 0-413-46340-3

The Heidi Chronicles

Wendy Wasserstein : Light Drama 3M 5F Flexible staging

Tracing the coming of age of Heidi Holland from her student days in the 1960s to her successful career as an art historian in the late 1980s, the play is a moving examination of the progress of a generation in a rapidly changing world, a time when the status of women underwent profound and sometimes unsettling changes. Through the course of events, Heidi gradually distances herself from her friends as she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism, and, eventually, back to the materialism which they had sought to reject in the first place.
ISBN: 0 8222 0510 6

The Heidi Chronicles

Play. Wendy Wasserstein. 3 men, 5 women. Unit Set

Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years, through militant feminism and eventually back to the materialism which they had sought to reject in the first place. Heidi's own path to maturity involves an affair with the glib, arrogant Scoop Rosenbaum, a womanising lawyer/publisher who eventually marries for money and position; a deeper but even more troubling relationship with a charming, witty young pediatrician, Peter Patrone, who turns out to be gay, and increasingly disturbing contacts with the other women, now much changed, who were a part of her childhood and college years. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance. As the play ends she is still "alone" but, having adopted an orphaned baby, it is clear that she has begun to find a sense of fulfilment and continuity which may well continue to elude the others of her anxious, self-centred generation.
ISBN: 0-8222-0510-6

Heil, Caesar!

Play. John Bowen
M 17 F5, doubling possible. Extras. An open stage.

Although not a modern-dress version of Shakespeare's play it does show how closely its situation of democracy versus dictatorship is applicable to all times. At the opening Caesar and his entourage are playing cards at an exclusive club, while Antony and others are at the craps table. The Senate House becomes a present-day Committee Room, with a secretary serving coffee and Caesar assassinated by the use of flick-knives; the forum speeches become television appearances-and so on throughout the action.
ISBN 0 573 01705 0

Heir Today - Gone Tomorrow

Play. Chris Petz
M4 (young, middle-age) F4 (young, middle-age). A sitting-room and kitchen.

The story opens on the aftermath of a wild party to celebrate the imminent approach of Billy's twenty-first birthday. He has only hazy memories of the evening and is considerably surprised to find under blankets on the sofa a pretty girl clad only in pants and bra. From the auspicious start complications build rapidly and hectically, involving-among others -a disappearing telegram boy who ends up dressed as a girl!
ISBN 0 573 11164 2

The Heiress

Play. Ruth and Augustus Goetz. Based on the novel Washington Square by Henry James
M3 (young, middle-age) F6 (late 20s-40 ). A sitting-room.

The background of the play is New York in the 1850s and the basic story tells of a shy and plain young girl, Catherine Sloper, who falls desperately in love with a delightful young fortune hunter. Catherine's lack of worldliness prevents her from realising that the young man proposing to her is not entirely drawn to her by her charm. Catherine's father, a successful doctor, sees through the fortune hunter and forbids the marriage, but his daughter proposes an elopement which fails to materialise because the young man knows most of her expected fortune will go elsewhere if he marries her. Catherine retires into a little world of her own. But the fortune hunter turns up once more and again proposes to her. For a moment, Catherine leads him to believe that she will accept him, but when he calls by appointment, she locks the door, blows out all the lights, and allows him to realise that she will not be fooled for the second time.
ISBN 0 573 01176 1 (UK)
ISBN: 0-8222-0511-4 (US)