Composers and their stage works 


Long Days Journey Into Night

Eugene O'Neill : Drama 3M 2F Interior set

A startlingly honest autobiographical piece written by O'Neill at a time of acute psychological stress. Set in 1912, the action takes place in the living room of a summer house, in the space of one day, from morning until midnight, we are given the tortured family background which created the elusive yet magnificent talent of the author. The characters come to life with an almost frightening fidelity; it is doubtful if any work in the theatre has ever been written with such first-person authority. The proceedings take place in the living room of a summer house in 1912. In short order we learn that the father, although well off, is a confirmed miser; one son is a drunk, the younger one is tubercular and the mother is a drug addict. Then we begin to learn the reasons for this excessive bad fortune. The mother's addiction resulted from the father's penury in sending her to a second-rate doctor; the elder boy drinks from sheer frustration; the old man has never been able to get over his magnified respect for money induced by an impoverished childhood. Even the illness of the younger son, quite obviously the author, is being treated by the cheapest local physician, and the father is planning to send him to a State sanatorium where he will hopefully expire inexpensively. This sounds like a preponderance of tragedy for any household, and so it must have been, but it is revealed in such terms of stark honesty that no one can ever doubt its stature as an autobiographical document. The people speak in the everyday language of our neighbors; their emotions rise and fall with the absurd devotion to trivialities which provoke so many quarrels; these are dimensional characters trying desperately to keep their doomed household together.
ISBN: 0-300-04601-4

The Long and the Short and the Tall

Play. Willis Hall M8 (young, 30s). A store hut.

Set in the Malayan jungle, this critically acclaimed play is tough, realistic and full of comedy. Its characters are British soldiers who look upon their duty in the jungle with a marked lack of enthusiasm until they discover that soldiering is something more than the game they thought it was at first. Before the play comes to its unexpected climax, the men have faced up to unforeseen issues of loyalty and danger. Period 1942
ISBN 0 573 04016 8

Long Black Coat

John Waters, (with David Byrne)
3m. Comedy/drama. Single interior set.

Long Black Coat explores the relationship between a father and son, who - on the eve of possible nuclear war - hole themselves up in a primitive fall-out shelter, built to the specifications of a surreal 1960s Irish Government Civil Defence booklet
ISBN 1 85459 263 7

Look Back in Anger

Play. John Osborne
M3 (25, 60) F2 (25). A one-room flat.

Jimmy Porter, frustrated and bitter in his drab flat, lives with middle-class wife Alison. Also sharing the flat is Cliff who keeps things tenuously together. Alison's friend Helen arrives and persuades her to leave Jimmy only to fall for him herself. When Alison becomes pregnant Helen leaves them together. This play originally opened at the Royal Court Theatre in 1956 and has since proved to be a milestone in the history of theatre.
ISBN 0 573 11255 X

Look Behind You

Daniel Wain : Comedy 5M 6F Flexible staging

This tragicomic panto-within-a-play is set over the holiday period at a crumbling provincial theatre, chronicling both the on and off stage lives of the cast and crew of a repertory production of Dick Whittington that is rapidly going downhill, even on the opening night. Among the many delightful characters are Anastasia Crabbe, a faded movie star now playing Fairy Bow Bells; an actor fresh from drama school applying his classical training to Idle Jack, Bernie the has-been puppeteer increasingly venting his frustrations on Pistachio, his puppet Monkey; a weather girl-turned- eading lady who is soon way in over her head as she competes with a savvy chorus girl for the attentions of Jake Caffery, the boy band lead singer playing Dick Whittington. Holding the show together - both on and off stage - are Maggie the stage manager and Tom, the theatre's owner who also plays Sarah the Cook. Since the death of his partner the previous year, Tom has been trying to keep the theatre afloat, but external financial pressures and the increasing antics backstage are a poignant counterpoint to the hilarious antics interspersed onstage during the pantomime.
ISBN: 0 85676 241 5

Look, No Hans!

Comedy. John Chapman and Michael Pertwee
M2 (30s, middle-age) F4 (20, 30). Extras 1 M (voice only) 1M (optional). An office/living-room.

This play enjoyed a successful run at the Strand Theatre starring David Jason as the hapless Fisher, manager of the West Berlin office of a British car company. When his wife Monica returns from the airport because her flight has been delayed, what follows is a fast-paced fun-filled farce by the masters of the genre involving Heidi, Fisher's mistress, Mitzi, a voluptuous singing telegram girl and Cadwallader, from British Security of Industry, amongst others.
ISBN 0 573 01606 2

Look: We've Come Through

Comedy-Drama. Hugh Wheeler. 4 men, 2 women. Interior

Belle accepts her plainness, stringy hair and myopia as if they were unalterable. She wears a shapeless sweater which make her even less appealing. She is innocent and vulnerable under the surface of her sophisticated, adult talk A young man is supposed to take her to Ivan the Terrible Part II, but he begs off ... as others have before. But then Bobby, a shy, overly sensitive boy, arrives to deliver Belle's roommate's dress from the cleaners. He too is an outcast, a closetted homosexual with a fierce distaste for his mother. He is inarticulate, but he and Belle find a kinship, and their relationship hesitantly but cheerfully begins with a trip toIvan the Terrible Part II.
ISBN: 0-8222-0687-0

Look Who's Talking!

Comedy. Derek Benfield
M2 (40, 50) F3 (26, 40). A drawing-room.

When two unexpected guests, Jane and Brian drop in on Sheila and Andrew, a devoted middle age couple, what ensues is a complicated and hilarious series of misunderstandings and mistaken identities as Sheila and Andrew begin to weave an elaborate web of lies and half-truths to hide their own possible infidelities.
ISBN 0 573 11250 9