Composers and their stage works 


The Learned Ladies

Molière. Trans A.R. Waller & adapted by Chambers & Pimlott
8m 5f Classic comic satire. Multipurpose set.

Molière's satire of intellectual snobbery focuses on the womenfolk of Chrysale's household, who look on all but intellectual pursuits as worthless, and spurn love in favour of learning. The heroine, Chrysale's daughter Henriette, wants to marry Clitandre but her mother wishes her to marry the poet Trissotin, who is worming his way into the household in order to marry Henriette for her family's fortune. When his avaricious plot is discovered, he is sent away in disgrace, leaving Henriette free to marry Clitandre as she wishes. Molière's play was written in 1682. This adaptation was first performed by the RSC in 1997
ISBN 1 85459 375 7

The Leaned Ladies

Molière, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur :Comedy 8M 5F Interior set

Les Femmes Savantes, Molière's witty examination of intellectual pretensions and the vicissitudes of love translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur.

Clitandre seeks the hand of Henriette, a match heartily approved of by her father, Chrysale. However, his wife, Philaminte, has other plans for her young daughter, namely marriage to Trissotin, a foppish wit its birthday. who panders to Philaminte's intellectual pretensions. Further complications arise in true Moliere fashion involving various other members of the family as well as a jealous scholar, Vadius. Needless to say, the course of true love does not run smooth as the pseudo-intellectual posturings of Philaminte and her coterie clash with the struggle between Chrysale and Philaminte over who shall ordain the disposition of their daughter's hand. But happily and thanks to the manoeuvring of Chrysale's brother, Ariste, all is set right in the end with hypocrisy exposed and true love made triumphant.
ISBN: 0 8222 0648 X

Leaving Home.

Play. Julia Kearsley: M2 (22, 50) F4 (20s, 36, 49). A living-room.

A touching, yet humorous play which wryly examines the effects of loss and dependency on the family. When Dad walks out, his family must try to come to terms with his mysterious disappearance: his grief-stricken wife, his pregnant, widowed daughter, his slightly eccentric son, and his career girl stepdaughter. But the arrival of down-at-heel Malcolm brings about an amazing transformation. 'Not least of the author's qualities is a sparky, unpredictable humour ...' New Statesman
ISBN 0 573 01647 X

Legend of Sarah

Comedy James Gow and Arnaud D'Usseau. 4 men, 3 women; 2 Interiors

After a quarrel with her boyfriend, Minerva Pinney returns home to Penneyfield. There Minerva hits on a plan to turn her historic New England village into another Colonial Williamsburg and interests the Banning Foundation in funding the restoration. Sarah Pinney, Minerva's ancestor and a Revolutionary heroine who courageously defied General Howe, will be forever enshrined in American history. Then Adam Hatwick, her boyfriend, shows up. Minerva is happy to see him until he denigrates the restoration project. Minerva orders him out, but he remains, making himself agreeable to Minerva's mother, who thinks the restoration is rubbish. To annoy Adam, Minerva becomes engaged to Edgar Cameron, who shares her enthusiasm and thinks he could make a profit off of the project. Then her mother produces Sarah's diary, which reveals that she was not the saint history has made of her; but that she seduced General Howe to keep him from pursuing the Revolutionary Army. Adam applauds her action, but Minerva is shocked and decides the restoration must be stopped. Edgar and Landis, the foundation representative, however, want to continue. Determined, Minerva pretends to use Sarah's trick, blackmailing Landis into pulling out of the restoration. When Adam finds out, he is enraged. But the audience knows she is only teasing him, letting him think she did what he honored Sarah for doing! Minerva realizes she is still in love with Adam, and pulls him into her arms.

The Legendary Stardust Boys

Play D.B. Gilles. 4 men. Interior

The setting is the basement recreation room where "The Stardust Boys," a local Ohio polka band, meet to rehearse. Urged on by their leader, Stosh, they are getting ready to make a demo record which, Stosh hopes, will lead on to the fame and fortune which have eluded them thus far. The other players, who hold full time jobs and have been content to settle for the extra income their weekend bookings has provided, humour Stosh - but the mood darkens when Nick, the accordion player and star composer for the group, announces his decision to marry and leave the band. What is suddenly at stake is the very existence of "The Stardust Boys" and their newly kindled hopes for the big time - a prospect which Stosh cannot easily accept. Tension mounts as Stosh confronts Nick with the perfidy of his decision and the others, joining in, reveal the problems which shadow their own lives. In the end it is dear that their music, and the escape it provides, has been the sustaining force of their lives, and its loss, however stoically borne, will return them to the. tedium and bleakness which they have struggled to surmount.
ISBN: 0-8223-0650-1

Lemon Sky

Play Lanford Wilson: 2 men, 3 women, 2 boys. Unit Set.

At 17, Alan visits the California home of his father and his father's former mistress turned wife. His father's life now centers around his two young sons, a tiresome job at an aircraft plant, and two teenage girls who are boarded with the family by the State. Alan has come expecting to go to school full-time and work part-time at the plant, having accepted his father's encouragement to do so. But the older man is incapable of honesty, least of all emotional honesty, and his lies about school are worth about as much as his lies about love. In the end, his cruelty, insecurity and lechery bring on an inevitable collision which destroys all that the father and son had hoped for. Alan is driven away once more, embittered by the knowledge that he must live without the father he so desperately wants and needs.
ISBN: 0-8222-0652-8


Play. Kent Broadhurst. 8 men, 5 women. Interior.

The scene is the showroom of Beuchel Goodee Motors in a mid-sized American city, where several of the latest model Edgar and Beamus automobiles are on gleaming display. Also on hand are the fast-talking, commission-hungry salesmen who peddle the product; the officious, pants-suited office manager, Desenelle Peplow, who tries to keep them in line; and assorted customers who fall into their clutches. But there are problems beyond selling cars: Bud Goodee, the son of the ailing owner, is trying to fill his father's shoes while keeping a jealous eye on his sexy wife; his best friend, Wade Grady, is both the star salesman and the one Bud's wife is determined to seduce; while Berl Fancher, another salesman, is a recovered alcoholic with an outrageously obvious toupee who frequently wishes he was back on the booze. And as the action of the play races ahead hilariously we can see his point - although, happily enough, things do work out, with those involved remaining as breezily brash, greedy and tacky at the end of the play as they were at the beginning.
ISBN: 0-8222-0651-X

Lend Me A Tenor

Comedy. Ken Ludwig : M4 (young, 30s, 50s) F4 (20s, 30s, 50s). An hotel suite.

A concert in Ohio in 1934 is jeopardised when the lead Italian tenor falls into a drunken stupor. So the impresario's diminutive assistant blacks up and goes on as Othello. The tenor awakens, dons his costume, and thence follows an hilarious comedy involving two Othellos, a volatile Italian wife, an outrageous bellhop and a cynical impresario. 'A furiously paced comedy with more than a touch of the Marx brothers ... wonderful farcical moments and funny lines ...' Time Out
ISBN 0573016402


Play. Michael Wilcox : M2 F2, 1 boy. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Orphan Paul Blake's prep school is also his home. So, when the other boys leave for the 1956 Easter vacation, Paul is thrown upon the company of the despised headmaster and his wife and his somewhat eccentric grandmother, Mrs Blake. He is befriended by fellow sufferer Matey, the elderly Latin master also condemned to spend his vacation at the school, who provides an avuncular companionship for the boy on the painful, yet exciting, verge of adolescence.


Play. Mike Stott, loosely based on the story by George Buchner
M4 (20s-30s) F2 (20s-30s). Various simple interiors.

Jacob Lenz, gifted, highly intelligent but seriously unbalanced, is invited to stay at the house of Oberlin, a philanthropic parson. The play examines the effects on the household of Lenz's erratic, sometimes dangerous, behaviour, which gradually makes him the centre of all attention and activity, and ultimately, madness is powerfully depicted as the height of selfishness. Oberlin's compassionate, Christian attempt to give Lenz love and shelter fails, and he is returned to Strasbourg. Period 1778


Play. Jean Anouilh, translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker
M8 F3. Extras. The drawing-room, the Chateau grounds.

This is a new translation, broadcast on BBC Radio, of the Anouilh play which first appeared in 1939. Léocadia was an opera singer who died after three blissful days of love with Prince Albert who has mourned her ever since. His aunt, the Duchess, does everything she can to help him and finds Amanda, who bears a striking resemblance to Léocadia, and encourages her to lay Léocadia's ghost which she does with honesty and gentle perseverance.

Lessons and Lovers: D. H. Lawrence in New Mexico

Play. Olwen Wymark : M4 F5. Various interior and exterior settings.

This beautifully written play is set chiefly on Lawrence's New Mexico ranch between the years 192245, and also in the present. It centres on the extraordinary personality of Lawrence who inspires fierce loyalty in the women around him and the love between Freida and Lawrence which survives the conflict of their two strong characters and the pain of Lawrence's last years. This is observed and commented on by a professor and his four students, involved both inside and outside the action.
ISBN 0 573 01644 5

Let's Pretend

Vanessa Brooks : Comedy 3M 4F 1 Interior, 1 Exterior set

The Hotel Nova Paradise may have seen better days, but it's still a home away from home for the long-stay British pensioners wintering in Majorca. For one couple, the victims of a plundered pension fund, Marj can't help but to nose into the private lives of her fellow "Twilight Adventurers", while talking up her husband Bill's capabilities in order to impress them. Alfred and Grace are trying to escape their separate loneliness and while Alfred tries to maintain a light- hearted exterior, Grace's constant battles with Marj thinly mask her own efforts to keep up appearances. Even Karen, the tour rep, isn't above a little embellishment. But when the arrival of a young couple, booked into the pensioner's hotel by mistake, coincides with a near-riot by the hotel's staff, the many layers of deceit peel away with increasing speed, leaving everyone exposed to the dangers of pretence and deception.
ISBN: 0 85676 217 2

The Letter-Box

(in Scot-Free)
Ann Marie Di Mambro : 1m 2f. Twenty-minute near-monologue. Minimal set.

'The audience was absolutely riveted to the plight of a battered wife, thrown out of the house by her husband and trying to explain the situation to her young daughter through the letter-box' Inverness Focus.
ISBN 1 85459 017 0

A Letter of Resignation

Play. Hugh Whitemore : M3 (35, middle-age, 60s) F2 (50s, 60s). A castle library.

1963 was an amazing year and life was changing. Britain was becoming a different place and to many people, Harold Macmillan, the Prime Minister, seemed outdated and irrelevant - an Edwardian grandee lingering uncomfortably in the world of E-type Jaguars, Carnaby Street and Beatlemania. But few were aware that his life was scarred by domestic unhappiness and sexual betrayal. Hugh Whitemore explores the events that lay hidden behind the headlines and examines a complex web of personal and political morality.

Lettice and Lovage

Comedy. Peter Shaffer : M2 (middle-age) F3 (middle-age). Extras. A grand hall, an office, a basement flat.

Daughter of an actress who toured with an all-female company playing Shakespeare's plays, Lettice has inherited both theatricality and eccentricity. Now employed as a tourist guide in a shabby stately home, she enlivens its dull history with her own over-imaginative fantasies, until she is caught in the act and promptly sacked. She is later visited by the starchy Preservation Trust official who fired her, and an unlikely friendship develops between the two.
ISBN 0 573 01823 5


Play. Timothy Mason. 6 men, 3 women. Exterior.

The place is the front porch of a comfortable old house in suburban Minneapolis; the time a summer night in the late 1970s. Arriving home unexpectedly to visit his family, Joe, a would-be playwright who earns his living working for a newspaper in New York City, finds the house locked and apparently deserted. Then his father, a retired minister who has been sitting in the backyard watching for shooting stars, suddenly appears, followed in turn by other family members and friends. Included are Joe's mother, his sister and her young son, a favourite former teacher of his father's (who, by Joe's calculation, should have died years before), Orville Wright (who really can't still be alive), and Joe's male lover, Ira, a flippant young Jewish caterer from New York who, unaccountably, seems to get along famously with the others. As the action progresses the line between the real and the imagined becomes progressively more blurred until, in the play's deeply affecting final moments, Joe comes to accept both the fact of death and the transitory nature of life, and to realise that the two are a continuum in which our loved ones are never lost to us as long as memory persists.
ISBN: 0-8222-0654-4