Composers and their stage works 


In A Little World Of Our Own

(in Tearing the Loom) Gary Mitchell
4m 1f. Drama. Single interior set.

Set in North Belfast, the play shows how the Troubles affect whole families, and bring the violence of the streets right into the heart of the home. Premiered in Dublin by the Abbey in 1997 and in London at the Donmar Warehouse in 1998, this 'utterly compelling piece of theatre' (Irish Times) is 'that rarest of experiences: a viscerally and emotionally charged juggernaut which slams into the body leaving the head and heart reeling in its wake' Tribune
ISBN 1854594036

In a Northern Landscape

Play. Timothy Mason. 7 men, 2 women. Unit Set

The play takes place in a Minnesota farming community in the 1920s, where Samuel Bredahl, a young college student, lives with his puritanical, Bible quoting mother, his dryly academic father, who is a professor of philosophy at the local college, and his sensitive, restless sister, Emma. The setting shows a burned-out farmhouse, once the Bredahl home, and now a chilling reminder of the cataclysmic events which, as told in flashbacks, underscore the action of the play. Bored and isolated, Samuel and Emma are drawn ever more closely together and apart from their stern parents and Samuel's boorish fellow students. When Emma's cherished rabbits are torn apart by the wild dogs which roam the countryside she turns to her brother for consolation, and it is her public declaration of the love which follows that leads to the crucial events which foreshadow the play - in which the outraged townspeople incinerate the Bredahl home, driving Samuel into the jaws of the wild dogs, and leaving his family to ponder their roles in these tragic happenings and the lifelong retribution which they must face as a consequence.
ISBN. 0-8222-0558-0

In Any Language

Comedy : Edmund Beloin and Henry Garson. 7 women. Interior

A fading movie star goes to Rome to seek a new career. She is making some progress with the current directorial genius Carmenelli, when her estranged husband arrives and falls in love with his wife again. He believes they are divorced, but in truth the final decree never went through. They quarrel again, and now the director decides he will marry the star! Through all this runs an amusing satire on Italian movie making, and a particularly funny rehearsal scene in which the Italian actors are coached by their volatile director in a vain effort to get a good performance out of the Hollywood star. The star succeeds not only in preventing her husband from marrying an attractive girl, but brings about a happy reconciliation between herself and her husband. Though the tone of the play is delightfully satirical and the action brisk, there is a genuine understanding of the deeper implications underlying the amusing comedy situations.
ISBN: 0-8222-0559-9

In for the Kill

Thriller. Derek Benfield
M3 (25, 40s) F2 (19, 30s). A living-room.

Paula has arranged to receive a young admirer, Mark, one evening when her husband, James, is away, but before he arrives an old friend of James's turns up and seems to suggest a plot to kill him. Mark appears, as does James, unexpectedly. Mark then dies in an apparent car accident which soon proves to be deliberate murder. The suspicions, accusations and unexpected revelations among the four characters culminate at last in a surprising and dramatic climax.
ISBN 0 573 11180 4

In Praise of Love

Play. Terence Rattigan
M3 (young, 40s, 50s) F1 (50s). A living-room, hall and kitchen.

Lydia has an incurable disease, a fact she conceals from her husband Sebastian, a man apparently totally bound up in himself. They are visited by Mark, who discovers that in reality Sebastian has known about Lydia's illness but thinks she does not know of it herself, and puts on a false front to protect her. Mark contrives that Lydia should discover the truth, knowledge which she decides to keep to herself.
ISBN 0 573 11170 7

In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel

Play. Tennessee Williams
M3 (young, middle-age) F2 (middle-age, Hawaiian)(of the 2 women, one is a non-speaking role). An hotel bar.

An artist, Mark, is worn to a nervous ruin by a breakthrough in his painting technique and is abandoned and destroyed by his witch of a wife. The intensity of the work, the unremitting challenges and demands it makes of him leave so little of him after the working hours that simple comfortable being is impossible for him ...
As Clive Barnes outlines "Superficially the play is about the painter - famous, rich and lost - and his wife, who find themselves in a Tokyo hotel. The wife, wildly promiscuous, tries to seduce the Japanese barman in the hotel bar. The artist is in his room, naked on a canvas with a spray-gun, trying to develop a new technique, almost confident that he has invented color. Almost confident, but not quite, for he lacks confidence the way an anemic man lacks blood. The artist, in the final stages of some spiritual or physical dissolution, at last joins his wife in the bar. But she has sent to Manhattan for his picture dealer and friend. She then goes out, presumably to find a man. A few days later the dealer arrives in Tokyo. The wife, determined to be free, tries to persuade the friend to take the artist back to New York, under sedation if necessary. But the artist foils her plans by dying. Suddenly, with the bleakness of loss, she finds that she too has nowhere to go."
ISBN: 0-8222-0562-9


In the Jungle of the Cities (In the Cities' Jungle).

Play. Bertolt Brecht

Gerhard Nellhaus
Ronald Hayman
Anselm Hollo
Eric Bentley

M 12 F5. Extras. Interior and exterior settings.
Shlink, a Chinese timber dealer, and his underworld friends turn his lover and sister into prostitutes. Garga, Shlink's business competitor, demolishes Shlink's business at the cost of himself going to gaol. There he denounces Shlink for enticement of the two girls, and arranges that he should be lynched at the time of his own release. They escape the lynchers together. Shlink dies as the mob arrives; Garga sets fire to the timber business and leaves for New York. Set in Chicago, August 1912 - November 1915

In the Summer House

Play:. Jane Bowles. 5 men, 10 women. Interior/Exterior

Bowles paints the portraits of two mothers, one who is selfish and ruthless, despising her dreamy daughter; and the other who is gentle, and dominated by her strong-minded daughter. The play builds, detail upon detail, as the characters are exposed in extraordinary comical terms. Bowles digs beneath the surface of these women and writes in terms of their inner essence. This is a difficult work to describe in detail. But no one who will take the trouble to read it will fail to be impressed by its unusual perception and dramatic impact.

Inadmissible Evidence

Play. John Osborne
M3 (young, 30s, middle-age) F5 (young, middle-age). A solicitor's office.

This is a partly impressionistic portrait of Bill Maitland, a seedy middle-aged solicitor, head of a small firm. Everything around him is crumbling away: his business, his marriage, his love affairs. In an opening sequence he dreams of his own trial, with his colleagues as judge and clerk of the court. The scenes that follow represent both actual events - his relationships with colleagues, staff and clients and the deepening turmoil in his own mind.