Composers and their stage works 


Mr. and Mrs.

Play. Kevin Wade. 2 men, 2 women. Interior

Sam Dawkins, a successful young portrait artist, is low-key, quietly observant and genuinely in love with Blake Upton, an ambitious, energetic television reporter who is doggedly determined to become a network anchorwoman. Although both Sam and Blake believe. they are ready to make the commitment necessary to effect a successful union in a world of casual sex and two-career marriages, there are problems en route to the altar. For one thing there is Jake Marlowe, Sam's friend and Blake's producer, who is not exactly blind to Blake's charms himself, and who unsettles the trusting Sam by slipping him a tape which, apparently, provides evidence that Blake has enjoyed a pre-marital fling with a famous baseball hero. Then there is Alexandra Mulwray, a brash, highpowered, newsworthy young lady-lawyer, who offers to give Blake the scoop of the year - but at the cost of intruding on the Jamaican honeymoon which she and Sam had promised each other. Needless to say conflicts ensue, conflicts that form the fast-paced and very funny core of the play but which, happily enough, also lead to the genuinely touching conclusion in which true love (old-fashioned as it may be) carries the day.
ISBN: 0-8222-0778-8

Mr. Acularis

Play: Conrad Aiken. 10 men, 5 women. Unit Set

The action begins in an operating room, where Mr. Arcularis undergoes major heart surgery. To hasten his recuperation he embarks on a prolonged sea voyage - but many of his fellow passengers are strangely similar to the doctors and nurses from the hospital. There is some confusion when Mr. Arcularis name is not found among those of the Purser's list, but he settles in to enjoy his trip. But two disclosures disturb him. The other travellers tell him of his sleepwalking and the Steward reveals that there is a coffin on board. When it is discovered someone has tried to force open the coffin an inquiry is held, and the culprit proves to be Mr. Arcularis. The knowledge of his action unleashes a flood of painful memories; his childhood, his mother's infidelity, the discovery of her drowned body. Struggling to sort out the meaning of his existence Mr. Arcularis cries out for light . . and we are back in the operating room where the play began. This time, however, the mood is intent and sombre as the patient's pulse slowly fades, and he slips into death.

Mr. Barry's Etchings

Comedy Walter Bullock and Daniel Archer. 7 men, 6 women. Interior

Judson Barry is an enthusiastic etcher, and as a pastime had made a marvellous imitation of a $50 bill. Barry would never think of doing anything dishonest but his town has been in the hands of political jugglers, and is in financial difficulties. All the worthy causes, hospitals, etc., are suffering, and Barry realises that unless something is done his town will soon be at the mercy of grafters. Out of the goodness of his heart he distributes his counterfeit bills to the good causes in need of money, including a political campaign to drive out the crooks. At once the town responds and is on the way to recovery when a pair of counterfeiters make their way into Barry's home and propose a partnership whereby he shall supply the bills and they will circulate them. Barry is shocked and turns them over to the police. But this brings about the discovery that Barry has been circulating counterfeits. His friends rally to his defence, but Barry is determined to accept his punishment. Meantime, a movie executive offers him a huge sum for the story of his life. The only condition on which Barry will accept is that the magnate give him the equivalent in good money of the counterfeits he has distributed, plus 10%. Barry will then offer for all counterfeits returned to him good money, plus a 10% bonus. So, all ends happily including Barry's stipulation that whatever legal penalty is imposed upon him he will cheerfully accept. In fact, he looks forward to a short jail term in peace and quiet.
ISBN: 0-8222-0779-6

Mr. 80%

Comedy James Sherman. 3 men, 3 women. Interior.

Sharon, a no-nonsense young attorney, and Patricia, who is doing her medical residency, advertise for a roommate to help pay the rent of their New York apartment. After a sour experience with Sharon's former live-in boyfriend, the two decide to specify either another woman or a gay male only, which elicits a response from Sam, a struggling young comic, who, with his partner, Jan, is desperate to find an affordable place to live - desperate enough to pose as a homosexual, with Jan as his lover. The fact that Sharon and Patricia are taken in by the ruse leads to a series of hilarious misunderstandings, made even funnier by the swishy high jinks of the two attractive (and decidedly heterosexual) young men; and the fact that, inevitably, they find themselves falling. in love with their toothsome roommates. How to work out a happy ending for relationships involving two young women who have become embittered and suspicious by the perfidy of men in general; and two young men who, having been so successful in convincing their roommates that they are gay that they are now hard pressed to reverse the notion, is a test of the author's ingenuity - but one which Mr. Sherman meets with lively inventiveness, non-stop hilarity and, in the end, a redeeming touch of genuine warmth and humanity.
ISBN: 0-8222-0780-X

Mr. Hobbs' Vacation

Comedy: E Andrew Leslie from the novel by Edward Streeter.
8 men, 7 women (4 of the male roles can be doubled). Interior

From the moment their holiday plans are first discussed Mr. Hobbs evinces misgivings about trekking off to an unfamiliar island on the New England coast, but the combined enthusiasm of wife Peggy and daughter Kate soon overwhelm his feeble. opposition. Away they go to Rock Harbour, but they have no sooner reached their destination, crumpled and road-weary, than Mr. Hobbs' direct predictions begin to come true. Their house is an uncomfortable horror and its plumbing, as Mr. Hobbs quickly finds out, is a nightmare. The hope of having a good rest is further annihilated when daughter Jane and son-in-law Byron appear on the scene. Byron, an intellectual college professor, has precious little in common with his businessman father-in-law, but the arguments which ensue are insignificant in comparison to the annoyances which crop up when the Turners, the Hobbs' not-so-old friends of last year's vacation, come over for the weekend. Mr. Hobbs is forced to cope with an exploding hot water tank, dragged off on bird-spotting expeditions, shanghaied, into sailing a "spatterbox," turned into cook, bartender, dish washer and general provisioner and, as he teeters on the edge of exhaustion, obliged to join in the wee hours carousing of an irrepressible group of fog-bound sailing friends. Needless to say then, before long they are all ready and willing to head for home- if only to rest up from their "vacation."
ISBN: 0-8222-0782-6

Mr. Peter's Connections

Arthur Miller : Drama 5M 3F Flexible staging

Harry Peters walks into an old club, greeting what may be an old friend or a long lost brother. The club brings back memories, or creates them, and even though he is not sure which, he is there for a reason: to find out something about himself. He often asks, "What is the subject?" as if trying to prompt the answer to life-long questions out of the walls and dusty chairs. A piano plays old music. A middle-aged bag-lady sits in the back and occasionally makes remarks. He is visited by his wife, or is it? He is visited by a young couple, the woman reminding him of a lustful past. He is visited by another couple who remind him of nothing until the young girl talks to him as his daughter would. Through it all, a trip to the powder room by the other characters creates a sensation of peace, but Harry won't go there - doesn't want to. Wants to avoid it. Is the powder room heaven after the nightclub purgatory? Is Harry struggling to stay in the real world and is this play a dream as he fights for his life? Is his search for a "subject" the same as our search for meaning in our lives? Perhaps.
ISBN: 0 8222 1687 2

Mr Puntila and his Man Matti

Play. Bertolt Brecht

John Willett, music by Dessau
Paul Kriwaczek
Gerhard Nellhaus

M 14 F7 (children). Extras. Interior and exterior settings.

Mr Puntila suffers from a dual personality. When drunk he is human and humane; when sober he is surly and self-centred. In the former condition he proposes to Eva to marry his own loyal and sardonic friend, his chauffeur Matti. When he sobers up he throws Eva out and abuses Matti. However, after putting Eva's suitability to the test, and having had enough of Puntila's instability, Matti leaves him, saying 'water and oil can never blend.'

Mr Quigley's Revenge

Play. Simon Brett
M 14 F20 (speaking parts). A village hall.

Frinsley Village Hall is the hub of community life, lovingly tended by the amiable Mr Quigley, whose little blue book ensures the aerobics class never clashes with the wedding bookings. But plans are afoot to change this cosy existence ... the invidious Keith has plans to sell the site. Feeling sure of success, Keith launches his attack on Mr Quigley -a big mistake, for Mr Quigley is wilier than he looks. Offers acting opportunities for all and great fun for the audience!
ISBN 0 573 01845 6

Mr Thomas

(in First Run 3). Kathy Burke
4m 1f. Black comedy. Single interior set.

A consciously Ortonesque piece, by an author better known for her acting roles (Nil By Mouth and Harry Enfield), explores the issue of sexuality in a society where respectability is paramount. Set in a tatty 1950s bedsit, George arranges to go to a bar with some friends and his landlady, but the evening is interrupted by the arrival of Mr Thomas. The play 'develops from a very funny comedy of kitchen-sink manners to a sinister comment on social stereotyping' Time Out
ISBN 1 85459 059 6

Mr Whatnot

Comedy. Alan Ayckbourn
M7 F4, doubling possible. Various settings.

Mr Whatnot is Mint, a piano tuner, summoned to the stately home of Lord and Lady SlingsbyCraddock. Once there he falls in love with their daughter, Amanda, elopes with her, fails to save her from marriage to Cecil but wins through in the end. With plenty of mime and sound effects Mr Whatnot offers great opportunities to an imaginative director for a highly entertaining and unusual production.
ISBN 0 573 11287 8

Mr. Williams and Miss Woods

Play: Max Wilk. : 1 man, 1 woman. Open Stage.

Seated at two simple desks at opposite sides of the stage the young Tennessee Williams and his agent-to-be speak of his early years as a writer and of his fateful meeting with the remarkable woman who was the first to recognize his potential as a playwright and who was to become his guiding genius as his career developed. Beginning with small fees for short plays and magazine pieces, the fledgling poet-playwright was obliged to work at a variety of drab jobs while he sought the break-through which would allow him to come to New York and devote himself exclusively to writing. But his first "big break," when it came, proved to be a crushing disappointment the disastrous Theatre Guild production of his first full length play, Battle of Angels (which later, substantially rewritten, found success as Orpheus Descending). Daunted, but still determined, the playwright continued to write, and the agent continued to promote her client's work with undiminished zeal, leading, in time, to The Glass Menagerie and sudden, international fame, plus, at last, financial security. After that came the amazing succession of plays which have made the name of Tennessee Williams the most celebrated in the modern theatre, but also the gradual and, to many, unaccountable rupture of the collaboration which underlay this accomplishment. But the fruit of their association, and the fascinating events which led to them, remain, and are captured with rare eloquence and understanding in this moving tribute to two singular and irreplaceable individuals.
ISBN: 0-8222-0783-4

Mrs. California

Play. Doris Baizley. 2 men, 5 women. Unit Set

The time is pre-women's lib 1955; the place a Los Angeles hotel where a homemakers contest is in progress - the winner to embody the epitome (at the time) of the ideal woman: "a happy, good and beautiful homemaker." Entered as Mrs. L.A., Dot, sponsored by the local gas company, vies with the others in ironing a man's shirt, sewing an apron from an original pattern, setting a table, preparing a meal, and delivering a monologue entitled "My Proudest Moment" -which, for Dot, was when she saved an American naval force from submarine attack while serving as a decoder in the WAVES during World War II. She is also abetted by her tart-tongued friend Babs, an electronics wizard who is not above tampering with sewing machines and stoves as the contest comes down to the finals, with Mrs. Modesto, Mrs. San Bernardino and Mrs. San Francisco going head to head with Dot for the victory. Urged one way by the brassy Babs (who can't resist showing up the contest for the ridiculous farce it is) and another by the fatuous man from the gas company (who pleads with Dot to play by the rules) Dot ultimately decides to do what she thinks is right rather than what she is told to do - the result, of course, being that the final nod goes to the contestant who best fulfils the image ordained by the macho men who run the contest, and the one who manages to blend a good helping of sex appeal with her compliance.
ISBN: 0-8222-0784-2

Mrs Klein

Play. Nicholas Wright
F3 (30s, 52). A living-room.

Seen in London at the Natonal and Globe theatres in 1988 starring Gillian Barge, Francesca Annis and Zoë Wanamaker, this powerful drama centres on an episode in the life of controversial childpsychoanalyst Melanie Klein. Because of the death of her son, Hans, Melanie is confronted with the irony of being a successful child analyst but a failed mother. She attacks her own daughter Melitta who leaves for good and whose role as daughter is replaced by Melitta's friend, Paula. Period 1934

Mrs. Lincoln

Drama. Thomas Cullinan. 4 men, 4 women. Stylised Interior.

In 1875, ten years after Lincoln's tragic death, his widow was declared insane and upon petition of her son, Robert, was confined in the Bethlehem Place Sanitarium, Batavia, Illinois, for about a year. Cullinan has set his play in the confines of this room and Mary Todd Lincoln recalls the incidents of her married life far beyond the four walls that surround her. Cullinan's treatment is masterly. The rear curtain is divided into panels and as the mind of the woman wanders her thoughts take form. These scenes flash on from time to time as Mrs. Lincoln's wandering mind brings a new incident into focus. Always she is victimised; always each speaker is inimical in her deranged reasoning. In the second act another inmate imitates Lincoln at the doctor's orders in an effort to quiet the widow's mind. And in the final act, when time is nearing for her discharge, Robert calls on his mother and promises her a speedy release.
ISBN: 0-8222-0786-9

Mrs. Murray's Farm

Comedy. Roy London. 7 men, 4 women (3 of the 7 men are bit parts). Unit Set

The time is 1776; the place Robert Murray's farm, in what is now mid-Manhattan. Preparations are in progress for a gala dinner in honour of General Howe, commander of the British forces which now encircle the beleaguered American troops in lower Manhattan. Mrs. Murray, a witty and ambitious woman with Tory leanings, sees the dinner as a means to curry favour with the expected victors; while her servants, rebels all, hope that delaying General Howe at table will create an opportunity for the hard-pressed Americans to escape uptown. Happily, and despite the conflicting motives of the lively and diverse characters involved in the action, this is precisely what occurs - to the bewilderment of the British, the delight of the servants and, in the end, to the grudging admiration of Mrs. Murray as well.
ISBN: 0-8222-0788-5

Mrs. Sedgewick's Head

Comedy/Drama. Tom Griffin. 8 men, 2 women. Unit Set

Johnny Simmons, a successful screenwriter, is sent to prison for the mercy killing of his brother. During his incarceration he writes a novel - in his mind - totally memorises it, and upon his release writes it down verbatim and has it published under a pseudonym. It is a huge success and Hollywood comes calling. The novel is purchased by an independent producer who hooks up with a studio. Although the novel is published under a pseudonym, the studio insists Johnny write the screenplay. Secrets can't be kept. The studio sends a young female executive and the slimy producer to Johnny's cabin to convince him that he's the only one for the job. What at first seems like a screamingly funny and scathing Hollywood comedy soon turns into a rather dark and brooding look at selfishness and self loathing. The ruthless Hollywood moguls and the seemingly innocent locals ultimately clash, showing both sides in a harsh light, proving that if one is not capable of a mercenary lifestyle, one is nothing but a victim.
ISBN: 0-8222-1542-X

Mud, River, Stone

Drama. Lynn Nottage. 3 men, 4 women. Unit Set

An African-American couple vacationing in Africa takes a turn off the main highway and find themselves stranded during rainy season in the remnants of a grand hotel. The run-down colonial hotel's only inhabitants are a reticent bellhop and an outspoken white African businessman. As the rains continue, the guest list grows to include a Nigerian aid worker at wits' end, and a Belgian adventurer wandering the landscape in search of meaning. The couple's comic and romantic adventure takes on absurd dimensions when the hotel guests are taken hostage by the angry bellhop. His demands are simple: he wants grain for his village and a wool blanket for his mother. The stakes increase when an international mediator arrives and tries to end the stand-off. The couple's relationship is tested by the volatile politics of Africa, and they learn what the hungry human spirit will do for food and a warm blanket.
ISBN: 0-8222-1660-4

Müller's Dancers

(in Hungarian Plays). Akos Nemeth. English version D. Mornin
6m 5f, extras. Drama. Flexible staging.

Müller has deserted the dance company he founded, and his dancers' careers and private lives fall apart without him. Explaining the metaphor at its heart, the play's first director commented: 'For forty years we (in Hungary) had been held tightly by the hand - and it was comfortable. Now they let go, and we all feel confused.'
ISBN 1 85459 244 0

Mumbo Jumbo

Robin Glendinning : Light Drama 6M 3F plus classmates. Flexible staging

Joint-winner of the 1985 Mobil Playwriting Competition and premiered at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre.

Set in a Protestant boys' public school in present-day Belfast, this both humourous and touching play centres on the sexual discovery and political awakening of two classmates, the poetic and idealistic Dunham, and his fiercely Orange friend, Creaney. School is seen as a world which both reflects and reinforces the rigid tribalism and sectarianism of Ulster politics. The schoolboys' chant of Vachel Lindsay's menacingly rhythmic poem, The Congo, acts as a powerful central metaphor, weaving its way relentlessly through the action of the play as it mesmerizes the innocent young minds.
ISBN: 0 85676 133 8

The Mummy's Tomb

Play. Ken Hill. Songs by Alan Klein and Ken Hill
M7 (young, middle-age) F2 (young, middle-age), with doubling. Interior and exterior settings.

In ancient Egypt, Pharaoh's wife Ashayet kills her lover's mistress. Pharaoh banishes Ashayet and entombs and mummifies her lover. But Ashayet also is immortal, having bathed in the River of Life. AD 1922-Professor Niven sets out for Egypt with his daughter, Nancy, and rather unwisely, both her present and past fiancés. Almost at once strange things happen. Period 1380BC; AD 1922
ISBN 0 573 11288 6