Composers and their stage works 


The Hound of the Baskervilles

Mystery play. Tim Kelly, from the thriller by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
M5 (young, 40s, 50s) F5 (young, 50s). A sitting-room.

In this modernisation of the classic spine-chiller, Sir Henry is heir to the Baskerville fortune as well as the family curse: death at the fangs of a living horror prowling the moors. Only Sherlock Homes can stop the beast from striking again. Is the supernatural at work'? Audiences will have a terrific time attempting to discover the true killer- and reacting to the surprise twist.
ISBN 0 573 61041 X

The Hound of the Baskervilles

F. Andrew Leslie, adapted from the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle : Thriller 6M 3F Interior set

A taut version of the classic thriller, perhaps the most famous and popular of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. As the action begins, Sir Charles Baskerville has died under mysterious circumstances, and his nephew and heir, the young Sir Henry, has been threatened even before his arrival at Baskerville Hall. Enlisting the aid of Sherlock Holmes he sets out for his ancestral home on the Devon Moor in the company of Dr Watson, a journey which brings him to danger, mystery and a series of events which build steadily in menace and suspense. Hard pressed to protect his charge, and to fathom the strange mishaps which beset him, Dr Watson is much relieved when Holmes himself appears - to trap the diabolic killer who stalks Sir Henry, and to unravel the fascinating mystery which accounts for his evil actions.
ISBN: 0 8222 0536 X

House Guest

Thriller. Francis Durbridge M4 (young, middle-age) F4 (young, middle-age). A living room.

Robert and Stella learn that their son has been kidnapped - not for ransom, but to force them to allow one of the kidnappers to remain in their house. Two other men, supposedly police officers, arrive and reveal that one of the kidnappers has been murdered. Soon, however, it is clear that these two are far from what they seem. A highly exciting thriller, first seen at the Savoy Theatre in 1982 with Gerald Harper and Susan Hampshire.
ISBN 0 573 11178 2

The House Guests

Comedy. Harry Kondoleon | 2 men, 2 women; unit.

Vera and John are lounging in their summer house on a July weekend, playing a game of one-ups-manship, comparing how much they hate one another and loosely planning to kill their weekend house guests, Gale and Manny. The fuddy duddy pair of guests are easy targets for their hosts' scathing hostility, but beneath their middle class aspirations lurk hidden passions: Gale desperately declares love for Vera, but emotions confuse the highly verbal and intellectual Vera who ultimately prefers Gale to play the submissive to her dominating contempt. Manny, in turn, convulses from the memory of the abuse he received as a child after Vera's husband John mocks the womens' supposed lesbianism by seducing him. The loathsome Vera proposes an insane contest of misery in which she tastes each of the others' tears; the bitterest, she says, will win her hand. Manny "wins" and Vera proposes that they swap mates for six months and meet back at her unfinished winter house. Act Two takes place six months later in January, and the four have been affected by more than the punishing weather. Each has been stricken with a debilitating accident or disability: Vera is in a body cast; Manny is partially deaf; John is a multiple amputee from a car accident, and Gale is blind and half-mad. There is nothing to eat, nothing to drink but bottled water, and no facilities in the unfinished, snowbound skeleton of a house. In the Jacobean extremity of their suffering, and having proved that life is nothing but a bitter joke, the two couples repent their evil ways and sceptically pray for love to return and once again grace their lives.

The House of Yes

Play. Wendy MacLeod. 2 men, 3 women. Unit Set.

It's Thanksgiving and Marty's arrival home is greatly anticipated by his mother, Mrs. Pascal, his twin sister, Jackie-O, and his younger brother, Anthony. He arrives during a hurricane, but worse than the storm is the fact that Marty brings Lesly, his fiancee. This ruins everything. Marty's engagement is a threat to the well-being of this family, and a greater threat to Jackie-O who has always wanted her brother for herself. On top of that, Jackie-O has just recently been released from a mental hospital, Anthony dropped out of Princeton, and their mother has a serious problem handling any of this. This is also a family severely affected by the Kennedy family, whose Virginia Compound makes them neighbors with the Pascals. Mr. Pascal left his family on the very day JFK was assassinated. Jackie-O and Marty made a game out of reenacting the moment of the assassination, which became a sort of foreplay to their incestuous relationship. So, Marty just can't marry Lesly! Jackie-O convinces Anthony to try and seduce Lesly and steal her away from Marty. Marty will then have to stay at home, which suits Anthony just fine as he is immediately attracted to Lesly. The only way he finds to seduce her, though, is to convince her that Marty and Jackie-O are lovers. In a series of short scenes, Lesly spies on Marty and Jackie-O doing their Kennedy reenactment; Mrs. Pascal catches Anthony and Lesly in bed; Lesly confronts Marty, who begs her to take him back and away from his family; Mrs. Pascal insists Lesly pack up and leave; JackieO pleads with Marty to stay with her; and Anthony tries to convince Lesly to take him with her instead of Marty. Finally Jackie-O goes over the edge and begins the reenactment game again, only this time with real bullets. Killing Marty with a shot to the head, she brings the play to a bloody, conclusive end.
ISBN: 0-8222-1472-5

House Without Windows

Psychological Thriller. Richard Reich. 3 men, 4 women. Interior

Edgar Mart, a former teacher, hires 18-year-old Elizabeth to help his overworked wife, Ann, and his elderly sister, Estelle. Ann is deeply devoted to her son, Arthur, a gifted pianist who lost his eyesight in an accident. Estelle owns the house they live in and she supports them all since Edgar is unable to obtain a position. She tyrannizes everybody and Edgar and Ann hate her. The tension between the family members reaches a climax when Edgar discovers Estelle has decided to alter her will, which was made in favour of Arthur, and plans to leave her money to a dog and cat hospital. The next morning Estelle is found murdered. All the clues point to Elizabeth, who was innocently mixed up in a prior murder and sentenced to a term in the reformatory, and has been released on probation - a fact known by Edgar, who only hired her to pin the murder on her. His plan is so cleverly conceived, the execution of his crime so perfect, that he almost succeeds ... if it had not been for his blind son. Arthur discovers the mistake his father made, which ultimately proves Elizabeth's innocence.

The Housekeeper

Comedy James Prideaux. : 1 man, 1 woman. Interior.

Foundering a bit after the death of his aged (and domineering) mother, Manley Carstairs, a self-styled literary artist, engages a housekeeper, Annie Dankworth, to look after his large Victorian house (and himself). When Annie first arrives, wearing sneakers and carrying her belongings in a grocery cart, Manley is taken aback, but she seems so eager to please that he relents after which their relationship progresses rapidly from initial reserve to active hatred. Annie is one of the. world's great odd balls, who insults her employer, denigrates his writing, admits she forged her references, accuses Manley of lusting after her and, in general, makes his life a hell. Eventually Manley can take no more but, when he advances on Annie with strangulation in mind, he trips, falls into her arms, they embrace, and the rest is history. Conveyed in a series of fast-paced, juxtaposed scenes some in the present, some in the past the play covers all these unlikely events with lively wit and biting humor, becoming funnier and funnier as it builds toward, its unexpected and thoroughly delightful conclusion.
ISBN: 0-8222-0537-8 $5.95

The House of Bernarda Alba

Tragedy. Federico García Lorca. Translated by Richard L. O'Connell and James Graham-Lujan
F11. Extras. A living-room.

Although fully grown, with the older ones approaching middle-age, the five daughters of Bernarda are kept under strict subjection, prevented from marrying because no suitors appear who are of the right class. Accused by her old servant of blindness towards her children, Bernarda refuses to relent. All the daughters suffer from her repression, and the youngest, Adela, suddenly rebels against it. Her attitude, however, leads to dissension among them and eventually to tragedy.

The House of Bernard Alba (La casa de Bernarda Alba)

Drama. Federico Garcia Lorca, adapted by Emily Mann. 12 women, 1 child (flexible casting). Unit Set

A masterpiece. of the modern theatre, The House of Bernard Alba was written in 1936, just before the start of the Spanish Civil War. The play takes place in a small village in southern Spain following the funeral of Bernarda Alba's second husband. After the mourners depart, the tyrannical matriarch announces to her five daughters that their period of mourning will last eight years. Obsessed with family honour, Bernarda rules the household with an iron fist, but all of her daughters secretly harbour a passion for Pepe et Romano, the handsomest man in the village. The eldest daughter is engaged to him, but the arrangement is a financial one, and it is the youngest daughter, Adela, who becomes his lover. When the truth finally breaks through the atmosphere of suppressed desire, jealousy, anger and fear, the consequences are tragic. Adela takes her own life and Bernarda makes a desperate attempt to maintain control of her shattered household.
ISBN: 0-8222-1653-1

The House of Blue Leaves

Play. John Guare, music and lyrics by John Guare M3 (45) F6 (20s-40s). Extras 2M. A shabby apartment.

Artie, a New York zoo keeper, dreams of becoming a successful songwriter but is thwarted by his insane wife and an unfortunate lack of songwriting talent. Egged on by his mistress Bunny, Artie attempts to remedy his situation on October 4th, 1965 - the day the Pope visits New York -but the arrival of his army-deserter son (who wants to assassinate the Pope), three nuns, a Hollywood producer and a deaf starlet only ensures catastrophic results.
ISBN 0 573 61028 2

The House of Dracula

Comedy-horror. Martin Downing
M7 F5, extra 1 M; or M6 F5, extra 1 M, with doubling. A castle hall.

Hailed as 'A Monster Hit' by the Yorkshire Evening Post, this clever spin-off from The House of Frankenstein! sees the Baron, Baroness and their repulsive retainers, Ygor and Fran Lurker, going to stay at a macabre Transylvanian fortress. Excitement turns to terror, however, when they are greeted by more than a few of their mortal (and immortal) enemies. A wickedly funny, fast-moving horror farce.
ISBN 0 573 01790 5

The House of Frankenstein!

Comedy-horror. Martin Downing
M6 (30s, 40s) F4 (20s-40s). A castle hall.

Baron Von Frankenstein, bored with his attempts to give life to the lifeless, has turned his attention to curing the supposedly incurable. He plays host to various mysterious and menacing denizens of the night (invited or otherwise) who visit the Baron to beg him to rid them of their vices. But his challenge, although a welcome diversion for the headstrong young scientist, proves to be no picnic ... more of a living nightmare!
ISBN 0 573 11356 4

Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth

Adapted by Dawn Keeler
M5 (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s) F5 (20s, 30s, 40s). Grand Central Station.

Set in New York in the early part of the twentieth century the play charts the disastrous career of socialite Lily Bart. Educated to be nothing more than a highly decorative ornament, she is forced by her father's financial ruin into the invidious status of impoverished house guest of rich friends while in pursuit of a wealthy husband. But Lily's ultimate tragedy is her inability to forsake her free spirit and independence to achieve that goal.
ISBN 0 573 69573 3

House of Secrets

Play. Peter McKelvey
M3 (late 20s, early 30s, late 50s) F3 (20, late 20s, early 30s). A sitting-room/kitchen alcove.

Richard and Sarah Higgs' house is thrown into utter turmoil when Julie, one of their lodgers, is attacked and a phone call confirms that a neighbour saw Julie's attacker, and that he was someone from the lodging house. Suspicion rises and falls in turn upon each man in the household until the police are able to arrest the culprit ... but have they actually found the guilty party? A wryly funny, well-observed and agonisingly suspenseful drama.
ISBN 0 573 01783 3

The House on the Cliff

Mystery Comedy. George Batson
M2 (25, middle-age) F4 (23, 35, 50, middle-age). A living-room.

When Ellen, struck by a form of hysterical paralysis, is attended by a new young doctor, Corey Phillips, terrifying incidents occur. A body is found on the beach. Next, the housekeeper is killed. Everyone is suspect until Nurse Pepper (a most unusual detective) unravels the mystery. She discovers that 'Dr Phillips' is a murderous impersonator after Ellen's fortune. Nurse Pepper foils him, and Ellen is shocked out of her paralysis.
ISBN 0 573 01190 7