Composers and their stage works 


Murmuring Judges

Play. David Hare
M19 F6. Extras. Various simple interior and exterior settings

When Irina Platt embarks on her first case as a lawyer, she finds that all sections of the criminal justice system - police, courts and prisons - are running far from smoothly. With its large multicultural cast and contemporary settings ranging from prison interiors to the Inns of Court, Murmuring Judges presents a broad yet finely detailed picture not only of the judicial system but of British society in the 1990s.

Music Lessons

(in Cinzano). Ludmila Petrushevskaya. Trans S. Mulrine
6m 7f, extras. Drama in two acts. Flexible staging.

A realistic, domestic drama, set in a Moscow apartment block, tells the story of two interrelated families. Their lives are depressingly full of problems, but the individuals are drawn with great warmth and understanding.
ISBN 1 85459 106 1

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

Thriller/Farce - John Bishop
M6 F5 - Setting Library of mansion

Under the guise of a backer's audition for their new musical, the production team of a recent Broadway flop assemble at an isolated country mansion to try to piece together the identity of the mysterious "Stage Door Slasher", who murdered three of the chorus girls in the show. While a blizzard rages outside and the composer, lyricist, director and actors prepare for their performances, the Slasher reappears, striking again - and again, and again!
Assassins stalk each other through secret passageways and behind hidden library panels in an ever-increasing romp through comic pastiche involving German spies, a bumbling police investigator and a maid who is apparently four different people - all of which figure in the intrigue and hilarity before the Slasher is finally unmasked.
The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious "Stage Door Slasher") assemble for a backer's audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy "angel." The house is complete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people - all of which figure diabolically in the comic, mayhem which follows when the infamous "Slasher" makes his reappearance and strikes again - and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare their performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. However, and with no thanks to the bumbling police inspector who snowshoes in to investigate, the mystery is solved in the nick of time and the "Slasher" unmasked - but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time and a generous serving of the author's biting, satiric and refreshingly irreverent wit.
ISBN: 0-8222-0792-3

Mutual Benefit Life

Play Robert Patrick. 2 men, 2 women. Interior.

Having achieved recognition and some success as a playwright, after a long period of struggle and apprenticeship, Scott has undergone a breakdown and memory loss. Released from a hospital in Los Angeles, he is taken in by Greg and Laura, the young couple with whom he had been living before his illness. Greg, who is concerned and sympathetic, had hoped to produce the brilliant new play (now apparently lost) which Scott had written before his memory lapse; while Laura, seemingly cold and calculating, is an actress who had starred in Scott's earlier plays. Also present is Carol, a beautiful young actress whom Scott had brought with him from New York some months earlier. The interaction of these four, their differing versions of Scott's life before his breakdown, form the intriguing heart of the play, and lead to its surprising conclusion - in which Scott, without regaining his memory, comes to understand more about himself, his past, and his supposed friends, than he did before his senses failed.
ISBN: 0-8222-0795-8

My Boy Jack

Drama. David Haig. 5 men, 2 women (flexible casting). Unit Set

The year is 1913, war with Germany is imminent: Rudyard Kipling, the British Empire's greatest apologist, is at the peak of his literary fame. This play explores the nature of a man who loses his balance when devotion to family and country clash. World War One breaks out, and Kipling's son, Jack, is determined to fight, but the Army and the Navy both reject him because of his extremely poor eyesight. Undaunted, Kipling uses his influence to land Jack a commission in the Irish Guards, sparking off a bitter family conflict. Jack goes to war and is reported missing, believed wounded, in his first action. The Kipling family live in vain hope for two years, before finally learning of Jack's death. The effect on Kipling is profound and irrevocable, as he struggles to confront his appalling sense of guilt and loss. The play is a powerful and moving account of the anguish at the heart of a man whose storytelling continues to delight millions throughout the world.
ISBN 1 85459 314 5
ISBN: 0-8222-1694-9

My Cousin Rachel

Play. Diana Morgan. From the novel by Daphne du Maurier
M5 (young, 40s, 50s, elderly) F2 (18, 30s). A hall.

Philip Ashley travels to Italy to find his cousin Ambrose has died suddenly and Rachel, Ambrose's wife, has gone. Philip returns to England convinced Rachel was responsible for Ambrose's death, hoping to inherit his possessions. When Rachel arrives in England Philip falls in love with her. One small event after another causes a kind of see-saw of belief and disbelief. Is Rachel a scheming murderess or a grossly maligned woman? Period mid-1800s
ISBN 0 573 11305 X

My Cousin Rachel

Play. Diana Morgan, from the novel by Daphne du Maurier. 5 men, 2 women. Interior

The setting is a great house in Cornwall, which has been inherited by young Philip Ashley on the death of his uncle and surrogate "father." Although deeply attached to his ancestral home, the uncle had gone to Rome, married a young Italian widow of short acquaintance, and then died under what his friends and family consider mysterious circumstances. When the widow, "cousin" Rachel, comes to visit Philip, she is received coolly at first, but her charm and grace, and the fact that she too comes from Cornish lineage, soon wins her friends - and the ardent devotion of Philip himself. This does not sit well with Louisa Kendall, a lifelong friend and neighbour who is in love with Philip, or with her father, Nicholas, who has acted as trustee for Philip's inheritance. As his attraction for the alluring Rachel increases, Philip's health declines, and he is soon the victim of "Roman fever" himself, confirming, to Kendall and Louisa, the fear that Rachel, who is, treating Philip with a specially prepared herb tea, is actually poisoning him. The arrival of a faintly sinister friend of Rachel's from Rome; Philip's decision to sign over his estate to her; and Rachel's cold refusal of Philip's offer of marriage, even after they have become lovers - all add to the mounting tension, and lead to the breath-stopping final scene, the famous "twist" ending which leaves nagging doubts as to where guilt, and evil, should fairly be assigned.
ISBN: 0-8222-0797-4

My Dear Children

Comedy. Jerry Horwin and Catherine Turney. 8 men, 5 women. Interior.

The play shows how an immensely successful temperamental matinée idol is surprise by the appearance, on Christmas Eve, of three of his daughters, of whose existence he had little or no recollection. Each daughter brings to him her immediate pressing problems, and, under the stress of the situation the matinée idol begins to react in a charming and amusirìg way, playing the unfamiliar role of father.

My Fat Friend

Comedy. Charles Laurence
M3 (18, 30s, 40s) F 1 (29). A flat in Hampstead.

Vicky, a Hampstead bookseller, is a heavyweight. When a handsome customer seems attracted to her she resolves that while he is abroad she will slim. Aided by the two male 'characters' who share the flat above her shop, hard exercise, diet and a graph, she manages to reduce to a streamlined version of her former self - only to find that it was her rotundity that attracted the book buyer in the first place.
ISBN 0 573 01545 7

My Friend Miss Flint

Comedy. Donald Churchill and Peter Yeldham
M3 (20s, 50s, middle-age) F3 (30s, 40s). A studio/apartment.

When Tom Lambert receives a telephone call one morning from the Inland Revenue enquiring about his public relations consultant, a Miss Joanna Flint, he can honestly say he has never heard of her. By lunchtime, however, he knows all about Miss Flint and rather wishes he didn't, for Sarah, his accountant and ex-wife, confesses that she invented Joanna Flint as a tax dodge and that unfortunately the Revenue have rumbled her. A highly entertaining comedy.
ISBN 0 573 11271 7

My Giddy Aunt

Ray Cooney and John Chapman : Comedy/Thriller 5M 3F Interior set

Set in Lady Eppingham's house in India, this play has all the superb comedy that one would expect from the masters of farce, plus a good measure of thrills. The eccentric but aristocratic Lady Eppingham lives in a world of fantasy and past glory of the Empire, whilst the running of her tea estate is left in the hands of her unscrupulous nephews. But when Beatrice Horrocks, Lady Eppingham's half sister of decidedly lowly birth arrives to claim her right to manage the estate, the situation changes and in a series of hilariously funny scenes, she slowly but surely sorts everything out and unmasks the schemes of her nephews.
ISBN: 0 900354 03 8

My Heart's a Suitcase

Play. Clare McIntyre
M2 (18, early 50s) F4 (early 20s, 30, indeterminate age). A room.

Chris is an impoverished waitress, paranoid and angry at her lot in life. Hannah, a ceramics teacher with the beginnings of multiple sclerosis, is calm and genuinely unmaterialistic. Their weekend in Brighton is interrupted by visits from Tunis, shopaholic wife of the flat-owner, and Elliott, a drunken down-and-out. Chris also has spectral visits in the shape of Pest, a bad memory, and Luggage, the Patron Saint of Heavy Burdens. It seems Chris can never escape her lot.

My Kinsman, Major Molineux (The Old Glory)

Play. Robert Lowell. Based on a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 12 men, 1 boy, 1 girl. Exterior

Young Robin and his brother arrive in Boston from their frontier home in Deerfield to seek out their illustrious uncle, Major Molineux, a man of wealth and position and an avowed Royalist. In their backwoods innocence they are unaware of the ferment which has seized the people of Boston, and they are confused by the oblique and taunting replies which greet their request for information on their uncle. They accost, among others, a barber, a tavern keeper, a clergyman, a prostitute, and a man in a grotesque mask, - half red, half white - but all to no avail. When they do find the major's house, the Union Jack has been ripped down and replaced by the Rattlesnake flag, and the major is nowhere to be found. Then their uncle is dragged, torn and bleeding before them, a fallen man now, the prisoner of those he dominated. He dies, and the boys' hopes for advancement would seem to expire with him. But the spirit of freedom has gripped them too, and they resolve to stay in Boston to fight for a new life which could bring greater rewards than those their uncle might have provided.

My Mother Said I Never Should

Play. Charlotte Keatley
F4. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Charlotte Keatley's first play was premiered at the Contact Theatre, Manchester in 1987 and produced at the Royal Court, London. 'Totally engrossing, warm, funny, human look at four generations of women, Ms Keatley refuses to preach about a woman's nature and her place in the world, letting action and characters speak for themselves.' Manchester Evening News
ISBN 0 573 01700 X

My Life

Play. Corinne Jacket. 5 men, 4 women. Unit Set

The story poses a fascinating set of questions: why do we become what we are? And if we were able to go back in time and deal with unanswered questions, would we really know any more about ourselves? Edward Howe, a young physicist whose life has reached a point of stasis, endeavours to discover his true self by recreating the people and events of his past: his parents; himself when younger; his first love; and the grandfather he hardly knew. As the play progresses the people of his fantasy made real, co-exist with those of his present life: his parents grown older and the girl with whom he is now involved until a mosaic of mingled actions begins to form. But while the orchestration of his emotional rebirth expands Eddie's self-knowledge, it also teaches him that some scars never heal and that, although he may come to understand the past, he can never undo its power to influence the present and the future, be it for good or ill.
ISBN: 0-8222-0800-8

My Night With Reg

Kevin Elyot
6m. Comedy. Single interior set.

Premiered at the Royal Court in 1994, and then moving to the West End with John Sessions, this play about gay morals and manners won both the Evening Standard and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Comedy, as well as awards from the Writer's Guild and Critic's Circle. It has since been filmed for the BBC. 'It marks the coming of age for plays which portray gay men' Jack Tinker, Daily Mail 'The best new play I've seen since I started reviewing' Paul Taylor, Independent
ISBN 1 85459 358 7

My Sister in this House

Play. Wendy Kesselman
F4. 3 male voices. Composite setting.

Set in Le Mans in the early 1930s, this extraordinary, award-winning drama is based on a celebrated historical murder case in which two maids, sisters, were convicted of murdering their employer and her daughter. Wendy Kesselman's very cinematically structured work explores the motivations which lead the two emotionally repressed sisters to commit the most gruesome of murders. The play was presented by Monstrous Regiment at the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1987.
ISBN 0 573 61872 0

My Three Angels

Comedy. Sam and Bella Spewack. From the French play Cuisine des Anges by Albert Husson
M7 (20s, 40s, middle-age) F3 (20s, middle-age). A living-room.

The scene is French Guiana, a region where, on Christmas day, the temperature has graciously dropped to 104 degrees. It is Christmas Eve in the tropical prison colony of Cayenne. Felix Dulay, a hopeless storekeeper, is fearfully awaiting the owner, Gaston. Providence has given the Dulays three guardian angels three convicts! The three are employed as roofers by a family whose roof is in desperate need of maintenance. On the way from France is an evil-minded cousin to oust the father of the family from his business, and his cold-blooded nephew, who is jilting the father's daughter for an heiress. The three convicts - two of them murderers, the third a swindler - take the visitors on. All three have warm hearts, and are passionate believers in true justice. Possessing every criminal art and penal grace, they set matters right, and in doing so redeem themselves as real life angels to the grateful family, so that in no time they have cooked Christmas lunch - and Felix's books - and will loose their own executioner on Gaston for his cruel behaviour!
ISBN 0 573 01304 7

MY THREE ANGELS is no longer available for performance because the term of the agreement between the authors, Sam and Bella Spewack, and the original French author expired. My Three Angels is based on a French play, and the Spewacks were given permission to adapt it and have it produced, but only for a certain time period, not in perpetuity. As the end of the time period came to a close the estate of the French author and the estate of the Spewacks were somehow unable to come to an agreement on new terms. Therefore, My Three Angels is no longer legally produceable.

My Uncle Sam

Play Len Jenkin. 7 men, 4 women. Unit Set

My Uncle Sam was a novelties salesman who died one night, alone and broke, in a Pittsburgh hotel. But he was also a larger-than-life figure, a mythic hero, to his nephew who now seeks to discover his uncle's true story. His quest is a quixotic and picaresque one, involving a seductive night club singer who promises to marry Sam if he can locate his ne'er-do-well brother (who absconded with the proceeds from a robbery), and developing into a series of sometimes funny sometimes hair-raising episodes as the nephew "becomes" his uncle in his youth and journey's to a remote lighthouse, a rather sinister university laboratory, an opium den, the clinic of a Mexican quack, and a very odd miniature golf course - all intriguingly distorted as though viewed through a funhouse mirror. In the end it is really the landscape of the mind which is explored and illuminated as the trail leads back to Old Sam and the disquieting knowledge that dreams and reality are, in the final essence, often one and the same, with the "truth" still remaining tantalisingly out of reach.
ISBN: 0-8222-0803-2

The Mysteries.

Made from the Lincoln Cycle of Mystery Plays. E. Martin Browne
M34 F8. Extras. Rostra and staircases.

An adaptation and abridgement of the cycle of plays written about 1425 and now recognized as the Lincoln Cycle of Mystery Plays. This version can be given in two hours, but the central elements of the story have been preserved. It is the story of the creation, fall and redemption of mankind, mixing the human with the divine, the humorous with the solemn. The staging can be varied by each director to suit his conditions.
ISBN 0 573 06006 1

The Mysteries

Trilogy of plays. Tony Harrison
M 17 F3. A bare stage. for each play

The Yorkshire poet Tony Harrison has taken the York, Wakefield, Chester and Coventry cycles of the Mystery plays and woven them into three separate and infinitely varied forms of story-telling and of English life. The Nativity begins with the Creation and ends with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The Passion takes up the story from the baptism of Jesus to the Crucifixion. Doomsday traces the final part of the Bible from the Resurrection to the Last Judgement.

The Mysteries:

Part 1 The Creation 1 85459 391 9
Part 2 The Passion 1 85459 396 X

Anon. Adapted by Edward Kemp

Large cast, doubling. Drama. Minimal set.

The original reworking by Edward Kemp for the RSC of the medieval dramatisations of Bible stories telling of the creation of the world and the life and death of Jesus Christ. Written as two plays of two and a half hours each, it can be cut to make one long play.

The Mysterious Mr Love

Play. Karoline Leach
M1 (early middle-age) Fl (39). Various simple settings.

Mr George Love is a gentlemanly diplomat, polite and charming, or so he would have you believe; in fact, he is a fortune-hunter, marrying vulnerable young women and stealing their nest-eggs. At first, Adelaide Pinchin, an overweight milliner lacking in confidence, seems like just another of his victims, but then the unexpected happens: Mr Love begins to feel emotionally involved with her. From this point, the plot twists and turns in many surprising ways until it reaches a chilling conclusion ... Period 1910
ISBN 0 573 01830 8

Mystery at Greenfingers

Comedy of detection. J. B. Priestley
M4 (28-50) F6 (20x, 35). An hotel staff-room.

In a big hotel in Derbyshire before opening for the season the staff are coping as best they can, trying feverishly to get things ready. The whole company, marooned in the snowbound hotel, is bullied by Crowther, the stupid house detective, after the mysterious disappearance of an unexpected guest. Miss Tracey, another guest, holds the key to the mystery and the denouement is sufficiently unexpected.
ISBN 0 573 01307 1

The Mystery of Irma Vep

A penny dreadful. Charles Ludlam
M2 playing various male and female roles. A library drawing-room, various simple sets.

The definitive Gothic melodrama written to be performed as a quick-change act in which two actors perform all the roles. A sympathetic werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess brought to life when they open her tomb make this the play that has everything. This American awardwinning romp was cited by Time magazine and the New York Times as one of the best plays of its year.
ISBN 0 573 64046 7

Mystery Play

Play/Farce. Jean-Claude van Itallie. 5 men, 3 women. Interior.

The action is set in the chic living room of a US Senator, during a cocktail party. Present are the Senator, his wife, his schizophrenic, bisexual son (played by two actors), a beautiful young woman who may be the son's fiancée, a rather pompous Harvard professor. a quietly efficient butler and a lady mystery writer from next door. It is the mystery writer who holds the key to the bizarre events which follow, as she explains to the actors and the audience what will happen next and what part each character will play in the action about to follow. At the snap of her fingers each sequence begins, as this one is nabbed, that one drinks poisoned coffee, another is, blown up - until only the mystery writer and the true culprit remain. But, as the "corpses" keep popping up to add to the conversation, the plot continues to thicken - providing both a delightful metaphysical spoof and a scathing assessment of the social and political hypocrisy of our disjointed times.
ISBN: 0-8222-0804-0