Composers and their stage works 


Make and Break

Play. Michael Frayn
M 11 (20s-50s) F2 (young, 40). An exhibition stand in an hotel bedroom.

John Garrard is a compulsive businessman, and his self-absorption is complete. During one climactic night amid the hectic activities of a trade fair in Germany, it looks as if the shell of his self-concern might at least be pierced; an unexpected relationship with an attractive secretary, a lesson in Buddhism, a sudden apparent heart attack and confrontation with death. But death when it comes strikes unexpectedly elsewhere - and Garrard's character seems unchanged, unless for the worse ...
ISBN 0 573 11257 6

Make Way for Lucia

Comedy. John van Druten from the novels of E. F. Benson
M5 (38-45, 45, 50, old) F6 (35, 40s, 50, old). A drawing-room.

E. E Benson's hilarious novels, written in the 1920s and 30s, of the war for social supremacy between Lucia and Miss Mapp in Tilling are brought to the stage with all the wit, irony and humour of the originals. Hitherto, Tilling's doyenne has been Miss Mapp; Lucia is the supreme poseuse who peppers her speech with Italian phrases she doesn't understand. When Lucia rents Miss Mapp's house for the summer the battle lines are drawn ...
ISBN 0 573 01820 0

Making History

Play. Brian Friel
M4 (20s, 40s) F2 (20s). A living-room, a thicket, a palace apartment.

The central character of this play is Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, who led an alliance of Irish and Spanish against the armies of Elizabeth I in an attempt to drive the English out of Ireland. The action takes place before and after the Battle of Kinsale, at which the alliance was defeated: with O'Neill at home in Dungannon, as a fugitive in the mountains, and finally exiled in Rome. Period Elizabethan

Making It Better

Play. James Saunders
M3 (20s, 40s, 50s) F1 (40s). Various simple interior and exterior settings.

It is 1989; Czechoslovakia is struggling with its new-found freedom. In London, Pavlicek and Tomas, two Czechoslovakian émigrés, become involved in the tangled relationship between Diana and Adrian Harrington, who purvey British culture across the globe via the World Service. Betrayals - of friends, loves, countries and ideals - abound in this emotionally exacting and politically stringent comedy.
ISBN 0 573 01834 0

The Man

Mel Dinelli : Thriller 5M 2F Interior set

Mrs. Gillis lives alone in a large house. Her son was killed during the war, and she takes a motherly interest in Howard, the pathetic youth she has hired to clean floors. Howard, however, shows signs of paranoia, and he sometimes has lapses during which he completely forgets what he has done only a few minutes before. All of Mrs. Gillis' efforts to help merely result in Howard becoming suspicious. Tension mounts as Howard, at intervals, becomes wholly friendly and helpful. But Mrs. Gillis becomes more and more worried. When friends come to the house Howard prevents her from conveying any message to them, and she finds herself imprisoned in her own home. Howard then decides to move into Mrs. Gillis' home. But later when an employee from the phone company comes to the house, after the phone is found to be disconnected, it seems the old lady may be saved. The phone man manages to call the police while Howard disappears. Neither Mrs. Gillis nor the phone man know where Howard is. Ready to leave, Mrs. Gillis goes up to get her things, but it is Howard who slowly comes down and confronts the phone man. Suspecting the worst, the latter runs upstairs and when he appears again the expression on his face confirms this.
ISBN: 0-8222-0721-4

Man Alive!

Unlikely story. John Dighton
M7 (20s-60s) F7 (20s-middle-age). A shop window.

In preparation for the January Sale, a window-dresser has the idea of utilising a very special sunlamp in the window which contains two blasé female dummies and Waldorf, a male dummy. But the lamp's rays have fantastic properties: they turn the waxen dummy into a beguiling young man and the store's unpopular owner, Hathaway, into a dummy. Waldorf's human life is short but exceedingly merry and he revolutionises life in the store while Hathaway learns some valuable lessons.
ISBN 0 573 01259 8

Man and Boy

Drama. Terence Rattigan
M5 (young, 30s, 50s) F2 (young). A basement apartment.

A tense drama of the business world which requires a comparatively simple set. Gregor, a tycoon of Hungarian origin, arrives at the apartment of his illegitimate son, Basil, for a business meeting to discuss a highly-profitable merger. After achieving apparent success he finds everything collapsing aound him and learns from Basil that a warrant is out for his arrest. Basil offers help, but Gregor acquires a conscience for the first time in his life and determines his own way out.
ISBN 0 573 61214 5

A Man for All Seasons

Play. Robert Bolt
M11 (30s, 40s, 60s) F3 (24, 47, 55). Composite setting.

Paul Schofield starred in both play and film as Sir Thomas More, the sixteenth-century Chancellor unwillingly in conflict with Henry VIII. More loves God, but he loves the world also. He has a subtle intellect, a scrupulous conscience and a very human fear of death, knowing full well the penalty of even silently opposing the king. All the while the chorus figure of the Common Man evades all personal responsibility for orders carried out, even to being More's executioner.
ISBN 0 573 01260 1

Man Is Man. (Man Equals Man)

Play. Bertolt Brecht

Steve Gooch
Carl Mueller, music by Dessau
Gerhard Nellhaus, music by Dessau

M8 F2. Soldiers. Various interior and exterior settings.

Four soldiers loot an Indian temple, but one is left behind. Terrified of their fierce Sergeant, they get Galy Gay, an Irish docker, to pose as the fourth man. Galy Gay witnesses his own supposed execution and funeral; in the last two scenes he takes part in a war against Tibet and has become the perfect soldier. The missing man tries to rejoin his comrades, but is turned away with Galy Gay's old identity papers. The story is vaguely set in British India, but both time and geography are largely nonsensical.

The Man In the Dog Suit

Comedy. Albert Beich and William H. Wright (from a novel by Edwin Corte.) 6 men, 4 women. Interior.

Oliver is being groomed by his in-laws for a position in the family business - banking. Shy and ineffectual under ordinary circumstances, Oliver discovers that he can be bold and independent when wearing the dog costume he had acquired for a masquerade ball. Donning it on the proper occasions, he can even outface his in-laws. They, in turn, are appalled at the thought of Oliver wearing the dog suit in public. When he wears it to work at the bank he's told he must choose between the dog suit and his job. To his delight, he discovers that his wife is as bored with their stuffy life as he is, and they suddenly decide to head for the great woods of Oregon where Oliver can pursue his dream of being a tree surgeon. The in-laws are shocked, except for one: as Oliver leaves, his brother-in-law takes over the dog suit, and another hilarious rebellion is apparently on its way.
ISBN: 0-8222-0723-0

Man of the Moment

Play. Alan Ayckbourn
M6 (30s-50s) F4 (19-50s). Extras 3M 3F, I child (7). Male voices. A patio/pool area of a Mediterranean villa.

This joint winner of the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award starred Peter Bowles as the exrobber turned successful media personality and Michael Gambon as the timid clerk who once heroically foiled his bank raid. ' ... one of the best things he has ever done ... It is, in fact, a masterpiece ... Ayckbourn at the peak of his powers using comedy to say harsh, true things about our society ...' Guardian
ISBN 0 573 01833 2

The Man Who Came To Dinner

Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman : Comedy 15M 9F Interior set

Sheridan Whiteside comes to dine with the Stanleys, a nice conventional American family, and is forced by an unhappy accident to stay for six weeks. The Stanley living-room is monopolised by this irascible invalid. Ex-convicts are invited to meals, strange gifts arrive from his friends and transatlantic calls send the Stanleys' phone bill soaring. This is just the start of things to come. The war that breaks out between Sheridan and the ultra-theatrical friends that flock to his side and the desperate efforts of the Stanleys to get rid of their increasingly unwelcome guest, provide enough material for a dozen comedies.
ISBN: 0 8222 0725 7

The Man Who Had All the Luck

Arthur Miller : Drama 9M 2F 2 Interior sets

Miller's early American fable tells the story of two brothers, David and Amos Beeves, and the fate which sends one brother on to success while the other spirals down into failure. The mild mannered and innocent David's life appears to be a steady progression of good fortune, where everything he tries succeeds and obstacles seem to fall helplessly by the wayside. However, his phenomenal luck begins to breed anxiety and he becomes convinced that fate will one day do him in. By contrast, his brother Amos is a promising athlete, whose years of hard work and practice have prepared him for the big time. When his moment arrives, he fails - the damage done from over-coaching by his doting father has come with a price, which leads both men to understand the mysteries of fate and destiny in life.
ISBN: 0-413-61660

A Man with Connections

Play. Alexander Gelman. Translated by Stephen Mulrine
M 1 (40s) F I (40s), voice (1 M). A bedroom

Andrei Golubev realizes that his desire to further his career has led him to ignore his wife's affair with his superior; he is also partly responsible for his son's horrific injuries in an industrial accident. Andrei eventually declares that he will quit his job, and his wife remains with him on this understanding. She is then horrified when Andrei reveals that he has been promoted and cannot leave his job for some time, and she walks out on him.

The Manchurian Candidate

Drama. John Lahr. 9 men, 5 women (double casting of many roles). Unit Set

Raymond Shaw is a young American hero, the first Congressional Medal of Honour winner since Vietnam. Decorated for saving his troops in a peace-keeping mission in the Middle East, he has returned to the US and a career as a journalist in Washington, D.C. His wealthy widowed mother has married the repugnant racist Senator John Iselin, wedding her lust for power to his crude demagoguery. Through ruthless manipulation of the media, the power elite, and the disenchanted masses, Mrs. Iselin manoeuvers her husband closer and closer to the vice-presidential nomination. She even masterminds Raymond's marriage to Jocie Jordan, the beautiful daughter of Senator Tom Jordan, the favoured candidate for vice-president. In a series of chilling flashbacks, Raymond is shown to have been no war hero, but a prisoner brainwashed by mysterious captors in the Middle East. It was during the brainwashing sessions that Raymond killed several of his own men in cold blood, was told he saved them, and the seeds were planted for future murders using Raymond as the medium. One of the other prisoners, and a survivor, was Ben Marco, who discovers the international conspiracy which depends upon Raymond killing a number of prominent figures. As Ben vainly attempts to find someone to believe him in order to stop the killing, Raymond struggles to understand his own dreams and flashbacks while systematically murdering the people who are blocking the Iselin nomination: the savvy editor of his newspaper, his father-in-law, and even Jocie. When Ben finally unravels the final step in the plot, he races to the Republican Convention to prevent Raymond from completing the final murder. the assassination of the president, who has just chosen Johnny Iselin as his running mate. In his last confrontation with his mother, Raymond learns that she has been a part of this ongoing plot and has used him as a murdering pawn in her scheme to put Johnny Iselin in the White House. With a deep, incestuous kiss, she sends him to his fate. As these characters engage in the final battle for ultimate power, the play reaches a crescendo of almost unbearable suspense.
ISBN: 0-8222-1339-7

The Mandrake

Comedy: La Mandragola by Niccolo Machiavelli. Translated by Wallace Shawn.
6 men, 4 women. Unit Set

Set in 16th century Florence, the play blends songs and robust action in detailing the hilarious lengths to which the smitten Callimaco goes in winning the favours of Lucrezia, the beautifid young wife of the rich and aged lawyer, Nicia. Enlisting the aid of the artful trickster Ligurio, Callimaco is passed off as a doctor who has devised a magic potion which, he promises Nicia, will make the childless Lucrezia conceive. But the catch is that the first man who sleeps with her after she takes the potion will die. Lucrezia's gullible mother and a venal friar, Brother Timothy, are also persuaded to help overcome Lucrezia's scruples against bedding down with a man not her husband (and who needless to say, turns out to be Callimaco in disguise). The resulting twists and turns lead on to non-stop high spirits and hilarity until, in the end, everyone gets exactly what he hopes for and, quite possibly, deserves.
ISBN. 0-8222-0728-1


(in The Guid Sisters). Michel Tremblay. Trans J. van Burek
1 m 1f. Short drama. Simple set.

The play crosscuts the lives of Manon, an obsessively religious girl, and Sandra, a sex-obsessed transvestite, exploring the similarities and differences between them. A controversial but humane duet.
ISBN 185459 118 5

Mansfield Park

Play. Adapted by Willis Hall from the novel by Jane Austen
M11 (young-elderly). F9 (young-elderly). Various interior and exterior settings.

As a timid nine-year-old, Fanny Price is taken to live with her affluent cousins, the Bertrams, at Mansfield Park. Despite suffering many hardships as the poor relation in her early years, Fanny, by her gentle good-matured disposition, becomes an indispensible member of the household and finally marries her true love Edmund. This skilful dramatization preserves all the plot and characterization of the classic novel.
ISBN 0 573 01839 1