Composers and their stage works 


The Late Christopher Bean Comedy

An adaptation of Réné Fauchois's Prenez Garde à la Peinture by Emlyn Williams
M5 (20, young-elderly) F4 (young, 20s, 50). A living-room.

The Haggetts extended asylum to a tubercular stranger, Christopher Bean, fifteen years ago. The many paintings he left were used to patch up leaks in the roof, etc. Only one portrait has been treasured -that of Gwenny, their servant. Suddenly strangers call, announcing the paintings are worth a fortune. These innocent folk become eaten up with comical cupidity and do their best to get hold of Gwenny's portrait. But Gwenny is Bean's widow, owner of the portrait, and seventeen other pieces she rescued from the fire!
ISBN 0 573 01227 X

The Late Edwina Black. Please see Edwina Black.

The Late Middle Classes

Simon Gray

England in the 1950s. Celia, desperate for distraction, fills her time with tennis and gin; Charles, a pathologist is buried in his work among the living and the dead; and their gifted son, Holly, is having his first lessons on the piano and in life. The Late Middle Classes is a darkly funny study of the conflict between emotional needs and family restraints. Its premiere production was directed by Harold Pinter with a cast including Harriet Walter, James Fleet, Nicholas Woodeson and Angela Pleasence.
ISBN 1 85459 433 8

The Late Mrs Early

Comedy. Norman Robbins
M4 (14, 40, 60) F4 (17, 40s). A living-room.

Terry Early's announcement that he and Susan intend to marry rouses the fury of his overbearing mother Alice. Alice's sudden demise, following her handling of a faulty electric kettle, promises a peaceful solution. But Alice as a vengeful ghost is even more formidable than as a live wife and mother. Much drama ensues in which both families are involved before Alice's ashes can be persuaded to lie quiet in her urn.
ISBN 0 573 01586 4


Play. Corinne Jacket. 3 women. Unit Set

The scene is a beach house on the Rhode Island shore, where Molly, recently widowed, is enjoying a Labor , Day reunion with her two daughters. While Laurie, the married daughter, bakes a cake, Molly and Kate, the older but still' single daughter, picnic on the beach, reminiscing about the years they shared with the late . Malachai, and pondering the changes his death has brought to their lives. Kate wants her mother to sell the house and move near her in the city; while Molly picks at her daughter, who had shown such youthful promise, for accepting a routine secretarial job. Laura, living in a St. Louis suburb with her husband and young children, seems to be the most secure and settled of the three, but, as the disputes and revelations multiply, it is made clear that she too remains in thrall to the memory of her father. In the end all three come to recognize their shared challenge: to redefine the past in terms of the new and separate responsibilities which each must now face; and to achieve an individuality beyond the dependence instilled in them, for better or worse, by the powerful male figure now gone from their lives.
ISBN: 0-8222-0642-0

Later Life

Drama/Comedy A. R. Gurney. 2 men, 2 women. Exterior

Austin has spent his entire life convinced that something terrible is bound to happen to him. One night, at a party, overlooking Boston harbour, he has the pleasure of rekindling a romance begun almost 30 years ago with Ruth. Now a multiple divorcee, Ruth's personal life is in such turmoil that mutual friends look to Austin as Ruth's last shot at normality. At the same time, these friends are hoping the wildly unpredictable Ruth will help loosen Austin from the grip of years of depression and lifelessness. Comically, and sometimes painfully, these two people rediscover each other and themselves while a bevy of free-spirited other guests rally behind them and remind them of the infinite possibilities that life holds, should one only choose to pursue them.
ISBN: 0-8222-1373-7

Laugh? I Nearly Went To Miami!

Comedy. Miles Tredinnick : M4 (30, 40) F3 (20, 30, 60). A sitting room.

A zany, fast-moving comedy of confusion. When Tom, an Elvis fanatic, and Alice his fiancee are unable, due to fog, to fly to Miami for an Elvis Convention, they arrive back at Tom's flat to find they have inadvertently picked up the wrong suitcase at the airport and are now in possession of hall 'a million dollars. Confusions arise when Auntie arrives with a bag containing $20,000 as does Frankie, a thug working for the owner of the suitcase dollars, and it takes Inspector Hendy to sort everything out.
ISBN 0 573 01633 X

Laughing Wild

Comedy. Christopher Durang
M1 F1. A supermarket.

In the first section ("Laughing Wild") the Woman enters and embarks on an increasingly frenetic (and funny) recital of the perils and frustrations of daily life in urban America - waiting in line, rude taxi drivers, inane talk shows, and the selfish people who block the aisles in supermarkets. In particular she is incensed by a man who prevented her from buying a can of tuna fish by standing. in her way-and whom she attacked in a fit of pique. In the second monologue ("Seeking Wild") the Man appears, and while the subjects on which he expounds (nuclear waste; the rigidity of the Catholic Church, particularly in sexual matters; the threat of AIDS) may be broader in context, he also dwells on an incident in a supermarket, when a strange woman hit him over the head in the tuna fish aisle. In the final portion of the play ("Dreaming Wild") the two protagonists meet at last, and re-enact the supermarket incident via six varying interpretations; tell us more fully of their overlapping dreams; and then launch into an explosively funny parody of a talk show. In the end the two find an accommodation of sorts as they come together at the Harmonic Convergence in Central Park - both still hoping to instil a sense of optimism and purpose in their lives, but both still sceptical that they will succeed in doing so.
ISBN; 0-8222-1528-4

Laughter in the Dark

Comedy. Victor Lucas
M6 (20s, 50s) F5 (20s, 50, 70s). Extras. A manorial hall.

Strange but very funny happenings are occurring at the faded manor of Creeching Cheyney in Hampshire where a nicely assorted group of people are assembled on Christmas Eve to hear the reading of a will which makes it a condition that they live in the place a year before they get their legacies. There are also some unforeseen guests including a skeleton rattling chains and a ghost or two!
ISBN 0 573 11218 5


Vera Caspary and George Sklar, based on the novel by Vera Caspary.
Suspense 5M 3F Interior set

When Detective Mark McPherson first falls under the spell of Laura, he believes he has fallen in love with a ghost. He has come to her former flat to investigate the circumstances of her murder. From her portrait, her letters and her personal effects he builds up an image of a tantalisingly attractive and real woman. When she actually turns up in the middle of a violent thunderstorm, it becomes obvious that it was not she who was murdered, and a web of complications begins to weave its way into McPherson's life. Well-handled mystery and suspense assured this play's success both on Broadway and in the subsequent film version.
ISBN: 0 8222 0646 3

Laura Dennis

Drama. Horton Foote. 5 men, 8 women. Unit Set

Laura Dennis lives with Lena Abernathy in Harrison, Texas. Her mother left Harrison years ago, after her father killed his cousin then died when Laura was very young. Writing to her mother, who now lives in far away South Dakota, Laura is convinced that once her mother realises how grown up and ready for the world Laura is, she will want Laura to visit, or better yet, come live with her. Laura's uncle comes to visit once in a while; supplying the much needed money for Laura's upbringing and trying to care the best he can though he really doesn't want to be a big part of her life. Laura loves her home in Harrison and the woman who cares for her, but is restless. A high school senior, she is discovering herself, her burgeoning sexuality and wondering about life ahead; all these things are confusing and exciting. A polite, sweet girl, Laura also hears stories about her family's past: why her mother left and her father killed a man. She discovers an acquaintance across the street, Velma, is really a distant cousin, which both intrigues and repels her as Velma is a dependent, sometimes raving alcoholic, yet she may know the history of her family no one else will tell her. Over the course of several weeks, while Laura waits for an answer from her mother, she learns of her mother's infidelities and her father's jealousies. Parallel lives and stories also fill Laura's world as she begins dating Stewart, who abruptly drops her to go to visit his old girlfriend who has moved to Atlanta. Another classmate, Harvey, seems also involved with that girl when he is accused of making her pregnant; the reason she moved away. Denying he is the father and revealing any number of the boys could have been, he is forbidden out of the house since the girl's father has threatened to kill him. A quiet, sensitive boy, Harvey has expressed interest in Laura and wanted to ask her to the school dance. He is forbidden to do so, not because of past indiscretions or present threats, but because, as is finally revealed to him by his adoptive parents, he is Laura's half-brother by her mother and her father's cousin, the one her father killed. Shaken by all that's happened to him Harvey disobeys his parents and takes a walk in town. In front of the movie house he is shot and killed by the pregnant girl's father. Laura hears the news about Harvey's death and her connection to him, just after she receives a letter from her mother saying she wants nothing to do with her. Feeling she lost her mother, and a brother she never knew well, Laura is devastated. Yet, she tries to find something in the day to sustain her. She accepts what help she can get from those who love her through what is now a crossroads in her young, now saddened life.
ISBN: 0-8222-1484-9


(in Scotland Plays) - IainCrichton Smith
4m 3f, doubling. Comedy. Single interior set.

The story of a man who cannot, or will not, get out of bed one morning for 'metaphysical reasons'. As the day progresses he is visited by his brother, neighbours, doctor, Death and Immanuel Kant ...
ISBN 1 85459 383 8