Composers and their stage works 


The Honest Whore

Thomas Dekker : 11-20m, 3-8f, extras, doubling. Classic drama. Multipurpose set.

Mark Rylance, Artistic Director of The Globe, and Jack Shepherd have adapted Dekker's two-part, seven-hour play into a three-hour 'darkly satisfying piece ... achieving both pace and narrative clarity ... The Honest Whore is a real find ... it is a surprisingly modern work about sexual betrayal and emotional violence, relieved by moments of cruel comedy.' Daily Telegraph. First performed in 1604, revived at Shakespeare's Globe 1998.


Drama. Joanna Murray-Smith. 1 man, 3 women. Unit set

After thirty-two years, a marriage shatters into pieces. Acclaimed journalist Gus leaves Honor, a poet, wife and mother, for Claudia, a bright young journalist not much older than his and Honor's twenty-Four-year-old daughter, Sophie. In the wake of new passion stands Honor, who must come to grips with the career she has willingly sacrificed for her husband and child, the evolution of a marriage, her abandonment and eventual resurrection. Gus must face the consequences of betraying his own long-held principles about duty and justice, of leaving a secure love for the raptures of passion. Claudia confronts the darkness of her own impulses and learns that to love truly and wisely,is to understand moral responsibility. In a series of intense confrontations, the wife, husband, lover and daughter negotiate the forces of passion, lust, history, responsibility and honour. This story, Greek in its examination of the fundamental human experience, is also utterly contemporary. A familiar story is told in a distinctly original way, using theatrical language that is darkly comic, highly poetic and uncompromisingly savage.
ISBN: 0-8222-1683-3


Comedy Ted Tally. 2 men, 2 women. Unit set

Two young men, both nineteen and visiting Cape Cod for an adventuresome weekend, spot two attractive girls, slightly older than themselves, and set about trying to pick them up. The eagerness of the boys is contrasted with the disinterest of the girls - although the prettier of the latter (knowing very well what is in the air) is more intrigued than her friend would like. Events then move on to a very funny beach picnic, with much beer-drinking and suggestive talk, after which one of the boys does indeed "score" with the more attractive girl. But, in doing so, he sheds his "macho" image, and the relative naïveté of the boys is effectively and humorously contrasted with the unsuspected worldliness of the girls. In the end the boys' bravado is shattered completely, but it is dear that a new and valuable awareness of the ways of the world (and "older" women) has replaced it.
ISBN: 0-8222-0530-0

The Horse Latitudes

Play: Stephen Black : 1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy, 1 girl. Interior

Sitting in the makeshift and sadly shrunken waiting room of the Cincinnati railroad station, Neva Jo tries to divert her restless children with stories of her youth, when the railroads were in their glory and her traveling salesman father often took her with him on his far-flung and exciting trips. They are waiting for one of the now infrequent trains, and Neva Jo laments the deterioration. A young soldier comes by and but senses that Neva Jo and her brood are not really going on the arriving train which only height ens her alienation. As the train arrives, and mother and children pick up their belongings to depart ... but not to board the train, but to go back to the numbing routine of a life from which, for a brief time, they have found some measure of escape.

The Hostage

Play. Brendan Behan
M8 (18, middle-age, elderly) F5 (18, 35, black youth). A lodging-house.

The play is about a young Cockney soldier who is taken as a hostage for an IRA man who is due to be hanged in Belfast. His captors are obsessed with memories of 1916 and dreams of Irish freedom. His companions in the disreputable lodging house where he is held prisoner are a cross-section of Dublin derelicts. As well as being a profound comment on Anglo-Irish relations and the Irish themselves, it is also full of comedy.

Hot 'n' Throbbing

Drama. Paula Vogel. 1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy, 1 girl, various voices. Unit set

Charlene is in her thirties, the mother of two randy teenagers, just trying to support her family after divorcing her abusive husband, Clyde. She does this by writing screenplays for adult films. Not your typical job perhaps, but it brings in the needed cash. When the kids find out how their mother makes a living, youd think there'd be a problem, but there isrit. Charlene is just a mom, worried about the kids staying out too late and having wild friends. Her son Cal and daughter Lesley Ann are normal teens, both growing up faster than any parent would want (especially Lesley Ann). Life is a cycle and it goes on and on, but then her husband Clyde shows up, breaking the restraining order. What was once there for Charlene and Clyde will always be there, but what tore them apart is stronger than what brought them together. And now Clyde has a gun, and what was left of this family - what worked about this family - is torn apart, with tragic results.
ISBN: 0-8222-1669-8


Caryl Churchill, Music by Orlando Gough : 6m 9f. Two part jazz-opera. Multi-purpose set.

In Eight Rooms, the first part of this piece, fourteen people - tourists, couples, business people - spend an ordinary night in a hotel. But they all occupy the same space at the same time ... 'A densely layered modern opera ... The characters communicate in jagged, incomplete phrases, overlap and form unwitting duets and trios with people they never encounter, as they struggle with insomnia or with dreams or wake up in an adulterous bed panicking about children at home' Independent
In the second part, a dance piece, we see two nights happening at the same time as two people find different ways to disappear. 'Elusive, poetic, striking and substantial' The Times.

The Hotel in Amsterdam

Play. John Osborne | M5 F4. An hotel room.

Gus, Laurie and Amy with their respective husbands and wives are all planning a weekend away in Amsterdam to escape the influence of the producer, 'the biggest, most poisonous, voracious, Machiavellian dinosaur in movies'. Although they agreed to keep their arrangement secret, word does get out. Finally a telephone call announces that the producer is dead- suicide. In the period which culminates in this climax we have also learnt a good deal about the three couples themselves.

The Hot l Baltimore

Play. Lanford Wilson

The scene is the lobby of a rundown hotel, so seedy that it has lost the "e" from its marquee. As the action unfolds, the residents, ranging from young to old, from the defiant to the resigned, meet and talk and interact with each other during the course of one day. The drama is of passing events in their lives, of everyday encounters and of the human comedy, with conversations often overlapping into a contrapuntal musical flow. In the resulting mosaic each character emerges clearly and perceptively defined, and the sum total of what they are — or wish they were — becomes a poignant, powerful call to America to recover lost values and to restore itself in its own and the world's eyes.

Hotel Paradiso

Farce. Georges Feydeau and Maurice Desvallieres. English adaptation by Peter Glenville
M9 F8. Extras. Two interiors.

Boniface arrives at the Hotel Paradiso to meet Marcelle; Maxime has been enticed there by an enterprising and amorous maidservant; Cot goes there to investigate the strange noises which he is convinced emanate from the drains. In order to avoid extremely compromising confrontations, everyone spends the entire night dashing up and down the stairs and in and out of beds in a crescendo of hilarious chaos which is made even worse by a sudden police raid on the unsavoury hotel. Period 1910

The Hothouse

Play. Harold Pinter
M6 Fl. Composite set: 2 offices, a stairway, a sitting-room, a soundproof room.

It is Christmas Day and a mysterious death and an unexpected birth are troubling Roote, the director of a Government 'rest home'. Who the patients are and what they might be suffering from, we never discover, but as the unstable, megalomaniacal and terminally insecure Roote begins to investigate, we find that the other members of staff are, in various ways, as mad and as dangerous as the people they are supposed to be helping.

The Hothouse

Play Harold Pinter. 6 men, 1 woman. Interior

The scene is a government institution, possibly mental or medical and presumably penal, where the inmates are kept behind locked gates and are referred to by number rather than name. In charge is Roote, a pompous ex-colonel who is surely as psychologically disturbed as his charges, and who is abetted by two main lackeys: the quietly sinister Gibbs and a seedy alcoholic appropriately named Lush. There is also the sexy Miss Cutts, whose favours appear to be shared by the various staff members. Among the matters at issue are the disturbing fact that one of the patients has given birth to a baby, though no one has filed an official report about having had sex with her, and also the need for Roote to pull himself together to address the understaff Christmas party. In the final essence these bureaucratic crises hardly matter, however, as the play ends as ominously as it began, with a burst of lethal violence which leaves only one survivor to search for answers and, perhaps, to accept responsibility for the chaos which has ensued.
ISBN: 0-8222-0535-1