Composers and their stage works 


Map of the Heart

Play. William Nicholson
M4 (20s-40s) F4 (17, 30s, 40s). Extras. Various interior and exterior settings.

Albie, dissatisfied with his life, decides to perform charitable work in The Sudan with his doctor lover, Mary, but his decision has damaging repercussions on those around him, especially his wife, Ruth. Whilst in The Sudan, Albie is held hostage leaving Ruth and Mary to poignantly take stock of their emotions. ' ... the most profoundly moving play in the West End since Shadowlands, which isn't surprising as William Nicholson wrote them both.' Daily Express
ISBN 0 573 01832 4

The March on Russia

Play. David Storey
M2 (30s, 80) F3 (30s, 70). A living-room.

The sixtieth wedding anniversary of Tommy Pasmore and his wife is little cause for celebration. The elderly couple live together despite each other - their bickering banter revealing deep disappointment - but only by incanting memories can they come to terms with their barren present and terrifying future. Seen at the Royal National Theatre in 1989 this is a worthy successor to the author's earlier In Celebration. ' ... deeply moving ... a play of delicate half-tones and pastel shades ... impressive ...' Guardian
ISBN 0 573 01698 4

Marco Polo

A Fantasy for Children. Jonathan Levy. 10 men, 1 woman. Open Stage.

Everyone is familiar with the tale of Marco Polo and his epic journey into the remote and exotic kingdom of Kubla Khan. But here the story is given extra dimension through elements of court intrigue, the attraction between the hero and the Khan's lovely daughter; and the greedy machinations of Marco's father and uncle. Using mime, magic and staging of imaginative simplicity, the play builds steadily in suspense until its exciting conclusion, when the villain is punished and virtue rewarded at last.
ISBN: 0-8222-0732-X

Marco Polo Sings a Solo

Comedy. John Guare. 5 men, 3 women. Unit Set.

The time is 1999; the place; an island off the coast of Norway. Stony McBride, a young movie director and adopted son of an ageing Hollywood star, is writing a film about Marco Polo, in which, it is hoped, his father will make a comeback. Stony is also attempting to deal with his attractive wife, a former concert pianist whose lover, a dynamic young politician who has obtained the cure for cancer, is also on hand. Adding to the rapidly multiplying complications are Stony's mother (a transsexual, as she later confesses); a friend named Frank (who has been in space orbit for the past five years); a maid (who is impregnated astrally by Frank); and another friend, Larry (who is fitted with a set of mechanical legs). There is also an earthquake; the discovery of a planet; and the birth of a new hero (Stony himself?); all coming together within the bizarre action of the play to yield some chilling, albeit very funny, glimpses of the future which may await us all.
ISBN: 0-8222-0733-8

Marcus Is Walking: Scenes From the Road

Comedy/Drama. Joan Ackermann. Eleven vignettes in an automobile. 3 men, 3 women (flexible casting). Unit Set

On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the car, the play examines the emotional landscape we roam as we travel in our cars. Control, navigation, love and escape, are some of the themes explored. A protective father shepherds his son through the neighbourhood , on Halloween; an actor on his way to perform Hamlet provokes a yearend collision and confrontation with a Czech émigré cab driver; a devastated businessman strikes up an unlikely alliance with a homeless woman who sleeps in his car. This is the landscape of human frailty and vulnerability, charm and strength; a playwright's whimsy combined with a shrewd sense of observation.
ISBN: 0-8222-1655-8

Margin For Error

Melodrama. Clare Boothe. 7 men, 2 women. Interior.

The Nazi Consul in New York is so odious that he tries to force his secretary to commit suicide so that he will not reveal the Consul's theft of funds. Certain facts of importance to the German government have been leaking out of the Consul's office and he is being recalled to Berlin. Knowing of his wife's affection for an American newspaper man, the Consul suspects her of being the informer and he threatens to deport her to Germany unless her lover brings out new headings in his favour. In addition to the stolen funds, the Consul has accepted bribes from a Dr. Jennings whose daughter and son-in-law are in a concentration camp, supposedly to set them free. When the Doctor finds the Consul has failed to keep his promises (his daughter has died and his son-in-law has gone insane) he shoots the Consul as he sits listening to a blaring radio speech of Hitler's. All of the other's in the room had their backs to the Consul so no one saw the crime committed. As he attempts to solve the crime a vastly entertaining Jewish policeman slips in some of the shrewdest and most humorous ribbing you will find anywhere. To add to his bewilderment, it is revealed that the Consul has also been stabbed and poisoned!
ISBN: 0-8222-1456-3

Mariana Pineda

Play. Federico Garcia Lorca. Translated by Gwynne Edwards
M8 F10, 1 boy, 1 girl. Extras. Various settings.

Lorca's second play, and his only historical play which is based on a traditional tale, tells the story of a liberal heroine of Granada, her opposition to King Ferdinand VII in the late 1820s, her love for another liberal, Don Pedro de Sotomayor, and her final execution.

Marie and Bruce

Play. Wallace Shawn. 5 men, 4 women (several roles are doubled). Unit Set

As the play begins Marie and Bruce, a young married couple, are still in bed, he sleeping soundly, she excoriating him and vowing that she will put an end to their marriage. It seems that she had thrown away his ancient typewriter, which precipitated an ugly scene, but there is more to their problem than this. However, when Bruce wakes and prepares breakfast, he seems impervious to her insults and blithely unconcerned about her threats to leave him. Later, in an hilarious party scene (where some of the guests are impersonated by mannequins) Marie and Bruce mingle with a bizarre assortment of New York "types," while she tries to muster the courage to make the final break. Then, after they have adjourned to a Chinese restaurant (with a rather coarse, but very funny group at the next table) Marie finally boils over and attempts not only to leave Bruce but virtually to destroy him. But, again, Bruce reacts as though he has barely heard her and she, in turn, realises that it is his weakness, his vulnerability, which makes her need him. Their marriage, they both know, is terrible - and, of course, it will last forever.
ISBN: 0-8222-0734-6


Play. Josh Rivera. 4 men, 5 women, (flexible casting); unit.

Marisol Perez, a young Latino woman, is a copy editor for a Manhattan publisher. Although she has elevated herself into the white collar class, she continues to live alone in the dangerous Bronx neighbourhood of her childhood. As the play begins, Marisol narrowly escapes a vicious attack by a golf club-wielding madman while travelling home on the subway. Later that evening Marisol is visited by her guardian angel who informs her that she can no longer serve as Marisol's protector because she has been called to join the revolution already in progress against an old and senile God who is dying and taking the rest of the universe with him. The war in heaven spills over into New Yolk City reducing it to a smouldering urban wasteland where giant fires send noxious smoke to darken the skies, where the moon has not been seen in months, where the food has been turned to salt, and water no longer seeks its level. Alone, without her protector, Marisol begins a nightmare journey into this new war zone where she is attacked by a man with an ice cream cone demanding back pay for his extra work on 'Taxi Driver.' Marisol finds herself on the streets, homeless, where her many encounters include a woman beaten for exceeding her credit limit and a homeless burn victim in a wheelchair looking for his lost skin. With the apocalypse well under way, the angels have traded in their wings for uzis and wear leather motorcycle jackets and fatigues. As the action builds to a crescendo, the masses of homeless and displaced people join the angels in the war to save the universe.
ISBN. 0-8222-1374-5

Marking Time

Comedy. Michael Snelgrove
M3 (20s-50s) F2 (30s-40s). A room.

In a tiny, tatty room in a residential teachers' centre, Team B are up to their eyebrows in A level English Literature marking. Elsewhere in the building, the dreaded Team A are coping far better with their marking band guidelines, matrix grids and marked pilot samples and managing to spend plenty of time in the bar; Team B, led by the far-from-perfect Howard, lurch from disaster to disaster. Doors slam, tempers are lost and personalities crumble as the situation becomes ever more chaotic.
ISBN 0 573 01828 6

Marlboro Man

(in Greatest Hits) Clare Dowling
2m 2f. Short drama. Single interior set.

Set in the cramped quarters of an army barracks, Marlboro Man is an intimate portrait of a modern Irish marriage. An infertile Irish couple struggle to cope with the blatant jeers of his arty comrades and the condescending attitudes of her indiscreet family.
ISBN 1 85459 352 8


Play: Drama. Edward Albee. : 1 man, 1 woman. Interior

Jack comes home from a middling day at the office quickly to announce to his wife, Gillian, that he is leaving her. Suspecting for some time a mid-life crisis, Gillian goads Jack about this announcement, forcing him to try it again going outside and coming in again twice! Jade wants his wife, whom he still loves, to really understand his fears and his.reasons he must leave her. His days seem unknown to him; his secretary of 15 years is a total stranger; his sex is by rote. Gillian understands, but feels the investment of a 30 year marriage is worth holding on to because so much is in place, and quite frankly, they've been through these changes before: affairs, neglect, sections of time forgotten. Jack accuses Gillian of not listening, an accusation she easily returns, and when Jade then does start to leave, Gillian blocks him and a small battle ensues. Retreating to their corners, both recount memorable points in their marriage and lives, and discovering that through it all, nothing is really enough. As the lights fade, they prepare for a departure, but don't make a move.
ISBN: 0-8222-1422-9


Comedy. Nikolai Gogol. New English version by Barbara Field. 6 men, 4 women. Two Interiors.

Deciding that it is time he was married, Podkoliosin, a long time bachelor (and minor court councillor) engages a match-maker, Fiolka, to find him a wife of suitable social status - not to mention fortune. Fiolka comes up with Agafya, the spinster daughter of a wealthy merchant, who is seeking a husband of demonstrably higher social position. Podkoliosin agrees to visit the charming Agafya, only to discover that the bustling Fiolka has rounded up four other suitors as well, which leads to some unseemly - and hilarious - bickering among the preening competitors. The suitors are all quite different (one enormously fat, one painfully skinny, one terribly tiny, another notoriously prissy), which enriches the farcical contretemps which result - and adds to the relish with which Podkoliosin's sidekick, the scheming Kochkariev, sets about winning Agafya for his friend. In the end he succeeds, but perhaps too well, as he also provides Podkoliosin with a glimpse of what marriage really entails and, as the curtain falls, the terrified would-be suitor makes his escape - leaping unceremoniously from a second story window, and back to the comforting routine of blissful bachelorhood.
ISBN: 0-8222-0735-4

The Marriage of Bette and Boo

Comedy Christopher Durang. 5 men, 5 women. Unit Set

As the play begins Bette and Boo are being united in matrimony, surrounded by their beaming families. But as the further progress of their marriage is chronicled it becomes increasingly clear that things are not working out quite as hoped for. The birth of their son is followed by a succession of stillborns. Boo takes to drink and their respective families are odd lots to say the least. His father is a sadistic tyrant, who refers to his wife as the dumbest woman in the world, while Bette's side includes a psychotic sister who endures lifelong agonies over her imagined transgressions and a senile father who mutters in unintelligible gibberish. For solace and counsel they all turn to Father Donnally, a Roman Catholic priest who dodges their questions by impersonating (hilariously) a strip of frying bacon. Conveyed in a series of dazzlingly inventive interconnected scenes, the play moves wickedly on through three decades of divorce, alcoholism, madness and fatal illness - all treated with a farcical brilliance which, through the author's unique talent, mines the unlikely lodes of irony and humour residing in these ostensibly unhappy events.
ISBN: 0-8222-0736-2