Composers and their stage works 


No Love Lost

Play. Rony Robinson
M4 (young, 40-50s, old) F5 (20s, 40-50s, old) 2 sitting-rooms.

This wry romantic comedy was commissioned for the 1998 BT Biennial. Max narrates, in Act I, in reverse from his surprise birthday party in June back to the previous Christmas. In Act II Kate tells her story from Christmas to June. Kate feels under-appreciated by Max and leaves to start a theatre studies course. Her father Daniel moves in with his son-in-law because he cannot bear his wife Jenny any longer, whilst Jenny moves in with Kate, considering herself to be a widow. It's mayhem all round ...
ISBN 0 573 01810 3

No Man's Land

Play. Harold Pinter. 4 men.

Involves the confrontation of two aging writers, one a success, one not. They meet at the comfortable flat of the successful author for a nightcap, even though it is not clearly apparent that they are previously acquainted, and the failed, seedy writer is soon forced to acknowledge that he now works as an attendant in a pub. The rich author, Hirst, having drunk too much, is put to bed by the two rather sinister servant-bodyguardswho attend him, and his guest, Spooner, is left alone-with the door locked. In the morning the mood changes. Spooner is served a lavish breakfast, and then a rejuvenated Hirst bursts in, greeting Spooner as though he were a dear old school chum, and the sharer of many past escapades. Spooner plays along, and there is the sudden hope that he will be able to secure their relationship to his personal benefit. But Hirst can only acknowledge the cold around him, and order the curtains drawn, before slipping irretrievably into that place which never changes - the icy, silent no man's land, where past and present merge into eternity.
ISBN: 0-8021-5187-6

No More Sitting on the Old School Bench

Play. Alan Bleasdale
M5 (20s-middle-age) F3 (30s, middle-age), 1 boy (14-16). Extras: class of multi-racial schoolchildren. A staff room.

A serious comedy vividly portraying the staff of a multi-racial comprehensive school regrouping for the autumn term and facing two problems: the redeployment of two members and the arrival of an earnest middle-aged novice teacher who tries hard to ingratiate himself with staff and pupils alike. ' ... tart, painfully astringent drama that dares us not to laugh.' Plays and Players

No One Sees the Video

Play. Martin Crimp
M3 (20s-40s) F3 (teenage, 20s, 30s), with some doubling. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Premiered at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in 1990, Martin Crimp's examination of the world of market research starred Celia Imrie. Liz, recently deserted by her writer husband, is accosted in the street and quizzed about frozen pizzas. Reluctant at first and then resentful, Liz finds herself persuaded to take part in an intensive video-recorded interview with market-research executive Colin, and it isn't long before he offers Liz a job herself.

No Room for Love

Farce. Anthony Marriott and Bob Grant
M5 (young, middle-age) F4 (young, middle-age). An hotel bedroom and corridor.

Dr Garfeld arrives at the somewhat seedy Lawns Hotel in the hope of spending an enjoyable, if discreet, visit with his attractive receptionist, Michele. Unfortunately his wife is the harpist in an orchestra also visiting the hotel, which makes his excuse of a golfing excursion difficult to sustain. Further, the hotel's poor room registration system results in a wild confusion of mistaken identities, furious confrontations and hectic misunderstandings.
ISBN 0 573 11310 6

No Sex Please - We're British!

Comedy. Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot
M6 (young, 30s, 50s) F4 (young, 50). A living-room and kitchen.

This riotous comic farce notched up a staggeringly successful sixteen year run in the West End! Peter and Frances could reasonably expect to look forward to a calm, happy start to their married life together. Owing to an unfortunate mistake, however, they find themselves inundated with pornographic material from the 'Scandinavian Import Company'. Senior bank officials, Peter's snobbish mother, and a prim, respectable bank cashier become inextricably entangled in the rumbustious events that follow.
ISBN 0 573 01309 8

No Time for Fig Leaves

Comedy. Duncan Greenwood and Robert King
M2 F7. A room in a country house.

The women are running the world. An atomic accident has resulted in the disappearance of all men. All, that is, but two who were protected in an underground shelter. The women keep these potential super mates under close guard but, spurred on by the thought of a whole world of desirable women at their disposal, the men try to escape.
ISBN 0 573 01523 6

The Noble Spaniard

Comedy. W. Somerset Maugham. Adapted from the French of Grenet-Dancourt
M4 (20, 30, 50) F5 (18, 20s, 30x). A dining-room.

A grandee of Spain falls in love with a young English widow on holiday with her friends. His persistence causes countless crises and mistaken identities in which everyone becomes involved and everyone is compromised. The dialogue is as light and crisp as the emotions of the characters themselves and with humour as dry as only Somerset Maugham's salt wit could make it. Period 1850

Nobody Loves an Albatross

Comedy: Ronald Alexander.
7 men, 6 women. Interior.

The central character is a producer and writer of television serials, except that he doesn't really write any serials, they're written by frost-bitten minions he keeps in closets. And he really doesn't produce anything either, he just keeps dancing around his living room pretending to be as many other people as possible. Sometimes he is Toulouse Lautrec, popping stubby-kneed from his hiding-place behind the black leather furniture, sometimes he is Michelangelo, bestowing a kiss upon himself in the mirror, sometimes he is Father Christmas, sometimes he is Jack the Ripper, and always he is Ananias, the man who cannot tell a lie. 'This is my art form!' He coos in loving self-congratulation as he opens his arms to embrace the ersatz universe he has spun out of whole cloth, a universe in which busy people come and go to listen to his quick and glossy fabrications before interrupting him to articulate theirs. Included in this amazing array of visiting frauds are the hard-driving studio owner who delights in brow-beating the creative souls beholden to her; a calculating lady comedy writer whose contempt for her nationwide audience is matched only by her shrewdness in pleasing them; and a conniving agent forever on the lookout for another victim to corrupt. Circling about them are a quaking ghost writer and our hero's private secretary - two innocently honest souls trapped in a nest of vipers.
ISBN: 0-8222-0830-X


Alex Jones
2m 1f. Drama. Simple set.

Becky and Dan are teenage newlyweds expecting their first child. With their new housing association flat and with Dan's new job, life seems full of promise, until one night techno music begins to blast through the wall. As the strain of the noise increases, the hope for good things to come falls away, and they finally come face to face with their noisy neighbour Matt, in 'Alex Jones's strong, distressing play' The Times. Premiered Soho Theatre, 1997.
ISBN 1 85459 353 6

Noises Off

Comedy. Michael Frayn
M6 F4. A living-room stage set, backstage behind the set.

This clever, smash-hit farce won numerous awards. 'The play opens with a touring company dress rehearsing Nothing On, a conventional farce. Mixing mockery and homage, Frayn heaps into this play-within-a-play a hilarious mêlée of stock characters and situations. Caricatures cheeky char, outraged wife and squeaky blonde - stampede in and out of doors. Voices rise and trousers fall ... a farce that makes you think as well as laugh.' Times Literary Supplement
ISBN 0 573 11312 2

The Normal Heart

Play. Larry Kramer
M14 (or M10) F1. Various interior settings.

Set in New York in the early 1980s, this powerful, passionate and controversial play was the first to treat seriously the poignant and awesome subject of AIDS, following a writer's struggle to break through indifference and hypocrisy surrounding the killer disease and his attempt to draw attention to the plight of the gay community in contemporary America. After a successful New York run, the play was acclaimed in London at the Royal Court Theatre with Martin Sheen in the central role.

The Norman Conquests

Three plays. Alan Ayckbourn

Table Manners. M3 F3. A dining-room. .
ISBN 0 573 01573 2
Living Together. M3 F3. A sitting-room.
ISBN 0 573 01574 0
Round and Round the Garden. M3 F3. A garden.
ISBN 0 573 01575 9

These three plays form a trilogy. They are not consecutive, but all occur during a single weekend, and each takes place in the same house, with the same cast of characters, set individually in two of the rooms and the garden. Thus we are watching, at times, but not all the time, events which are taking place simultaneously with those we have seen (or about to see) in another set. Each play is complete in itself and can be played as a separate entity. However each benefits if all can be produced as one threefold whole.
ISBN 0 573 01576 7 (complete volume)

Northanger Abbey

Play. Adapted by Matthew Francis from the novel by Jane Austen
M9 (wide range of ages) F7 (wide range of ages). Extras.
Children. Can be played by M5 F4. Various interior and exterior settings.

Matthew Francis's adaptation of Jane Austen's first novel wryly dramatises Catherine Morland's romantic fantasy world alongside the real one, and captures all Austen's irony and acerbic comment in witty dialogue and narration. Period early 1800s
ISBN 0 573 01849 9

North Shore Fish

Play Israel Horovitz. 2 men, 7 women. Interior

Set in a fish packing plant in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the action of the play centres on the daily routine of the workers, mostly women, who have come to regard North Shore Fish as a way of life. But despite the ribald humour, juicy gossip, and boisterous horseplay which enlivens their working day, the women are aware that there are signs of impending trouble. Once a thriving enterprise which processed the daily catch of the local fishing fleet, the company is now reduced to repacking frozen fish imported from Japan and the layoffs have already begun. Despite the bravado of the philandering plant manager, who makes a futile last ditch effort to keep the plant open by attempting to persuade an officious lady health inspector to "look the other way," their worst fears are realised when the manager concedes defeat and announces that North Shore Fish will soon be replaced by a fitness centre. The workers, like so many others across the nation whose jobs have been lost to industrial obsolescence and foreign competition, are shaken but not surprised and while they accept their fate stoically, there is also a sense of helplessness and defeat which brings great poignancy to the final moments of the play. These are good, spirited people, whose hard work and dedication have come to nothing - and they are powerless to do anything about it.
ISBN: 0-8222-0831-8

Northeast Local

Drama. Tom Donaghy.
2 men, 2 women. Unit set

The story follows Mickey and Gi from their meeting in the late summer, 1963, until their parting thirty years later. He is a steel worker who cannot foresee the approaching end of that industry. She, sensing emerging possibilities for women, hopes soon to find her calling. By the end of the first scene they have already conceived Stefan, and over the next decades they will struggle to stay afloat as time - and the times - move more quickly than either would have imagined. Other influences in Mickey and Gi's lives are Jesse, who's moved North from New Orleans to open a pastry shop, and Mickey's immigrant mother, Mair, who finds so many things about her new world impossible to accept. Northeast Local is an elegy for a certain time, place, and class in America, as much as it is for the movement of time itself.
ISBN: 0-8222-1550-0

Not A Game For Boys

Simon Block : 3m. Black Comedy. Simple set.

Three cabbies seek solace in table tennis, and tonight they must win or face relegation from the local league. But the contest taking place between the three of them is much more than a game. 'Block's finest achievement ... is to show you how ridiculous these men are ... without belittling them or destroying your sympathy for them' Financial Times. 'His writing is compassionate, observant and, as a bonus, shot through with humour' Sunday Express. Premiered at the Royal Court, 1995.
ISBN 1 85459 234 3

Not About Heroes

Play. Stephen MacDonald
M2 (24, 30s). Several simple sets on an open stage.

The play 'shows the strangely fruitful encounter between Siegfried Sassoon, war hero and aristocrat, now obsessed with exposing every sham ideal used to justify war, and Wilfred Owen, recovering from the effects of neurasthenia attributable to shell-shock, looking desperately for a hero who was not immune to the pity of war.' Times Literary Supplement. Period 1917-18

Not About Nightingales

Play. Tennessee Williams
M14 F3. Male extras. A prison.

Written in 1938 and based on fact, the play follows the events of a prison scandal which shocked America when convicts leading a hunger strike were locked in a steam-heated cell and roasted to death. Its sympathetic treatment of a black character and of a transvestite may have kept the play suppressed and unproduced during its own time. But its flashes of lyricism and compelling dialogue presage the great later plays of Williams and shows young Williams as a political writer, passionate about social injustice.

Not Now Darling

Ray Cooney and John Chapman : Farce 5M 6F Interior set

The play is set in the elegant fur salon of Bodley, Bodley & Crouch. Gilbert Bodley, a flamboyant extrovert, is scheming to seduce a beautiful stripper, Janie with the aid of a £5,000 mink. Unfortunately, she is married and her husband, Harry, would notice such an acquisition. So Gilbert reduces the mink to £500 and Janie tries to get Harry to buy the coat for her, Gilbert paying the difference. Harry realizes a bargain when he sees one and buys it instead for his own curvaceous little secretary, Sue. Gilbert is quite demented by this turn of events and both he and his dithering assistant, Arnold Crouch, are further embarrassed when Janie strips and refuses to leave the salon without the mink. Their frenzied attempts to retrieve the coat from Sue and hide the naked Janie are further complicated by the unexpected arrival of Gilbert's wife, Maud. Meanwhile, Arnold's method of hiding any discarded ladies underwear is to throw them out of the window and it is left to Miss Tipdale, the firm's spinster secretary, to retrieve the garments and the situation whenever necessary. The hilarious permutations reach a point of hysteria before everyone gets their just desserts.
ISBN: 0 85676 174 5

Not Quite Jerusalem

Play. Paul Kember
M4 F2 (20s). Four settings.

This traces the effect of kibbutz life on four disillusioned volunteers who arrive for a working holiday and find the work more like hard labour. Two of the English, Pete and Dave, soon alienate themselves by their foul-mouthed, high-spirited behaviour. The third, Carne, nervous and lonely, desperately tries but cannot relate to either her compatriots or the Israelis and it is left to Cambridge dropout Mike to convey something of the frustration and impotence felt by many of the young of modern England. Winner of the New Standard Most Promising Playwright Award in 1980.
ISBN 0 573 11311 4

Not Waving

Drama. Gen LeRoy. 1 man, 3 women. Unit set

In a mental facility in New York, Gabby Stone, a quiet unassuming, guiltwracked widow, has come to collect her daughter, Nicole, who has been institutionalized for over a year following a suicide attempt. Mother and daughter are a mismatched couple; Nicole, in a mild manic state, is witty, brilliant, artistic, passionate and wildly courageous. Gabby, sharing her worries with the audience, reads the worst into the radical notions her daughter expounds, and is threatened by Nicole's views on how Gabby's life must change. Obsession is the core of Nicole's illness and the motor that drives her: from wanting to save Gabby, to saving the world; to enjoying everything beautiful in life, to deciding that the cat she long ago relinquished to her ex-husband needs to be restored to her own safe keeping. Trying to gain order in her life, Nicole drags a reluctant Gabby through a whirlwind of adventures that include Karate lessons, demonstrations, lectures, work at a Brooklyn Day Care Center, and finally to kidnapping Isabella, Nicoles cat. While on this roller-coaster ride, Gabby begins to understand the torment her daughter has been suffering and gradually becomes an ally. They bond, but Nicole, in trying to fill the gaps in her disoriented life, is eventually overwhelmed by her illness and her thwarted plans. She heartbreakingly spirals down and once again must be institutionalized. But she has left Gabby transformed A new woman, Gabby is focused, fearless, empowered, formidable, the kind of mother and friend Nicole will need when she once again emerges from the hell-hole of mental illness.
ISBN: 0-8222-1612-4

Not with a Bang

Play. Mike Harding
M3 F4. A living-room; outside an army barracks.

When their wives join the Women's Peace Movement, Nobby, Tommy and Ken, pals in the Territorial Army, treat it as a joke. But as the women become more involved in demonstrations the men become the laughing stock of their TA battalion. Finally, the women, attempting to make their husbands give up the army, go on sexual strike with the slogan 'No Nooky Against the Nukes'. A wry, amusing look at the nuclear disarmament issue set in the author's North of England.
ISBN 0 573 11299 1

The Notebook of Trighorn

A free adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull. Drama. Tennessee Williams. 7 men, 6 women. Unit Set On his Uncle Soriris lakeside estate, Constantine's new play premieres to disdainful reactions from the family and friends who have gathered: Masha; her future husband Medvedenko; Dorn, a lecherous doctor; Shamrayev, manager of the estate; and his wife Polina. Constantine's mother, the famous actress Madame Arkadina (and prima donna), is not one to suppress her true feelings on her son's contribution to the theatre: she abhors it. Humiliated, Constantine sulks over his life, his art, and dotes on the play's star, the woman he loves, Nina, who is infatuated with Madame Arkadina's companion, the established writer Boris Trigorin. Since Trigorin is the object of affection for Nina, as well as Madame Arkadina, he becomes the object of scorn and jealousy for Constantine. In an attempt to explain his brooding, morbid nature, Constantine presents Nina with a dead seagull, which he has just shot - a sacrificial symbol of events to come. Before the evening is over the characters dreams, infidelities, and self-deceptions will be revealed: Nina's reluctance to love Constantine; Trigorin's lust for Nina; Masha's love for Constantine and boredom with her new husband; Dorn's insecurities on his ageing appearance and his affair with Polina; and Sorin's constant pleadings with his sister Arkadina to accept and encourage his nephew, her son. Two summers later finds Constantine the successful writer; Masha, a drunk, lamenting her love for Constantine; Madame Arkadina, haggard and struggling to hold onto Trigorin; and Nina, returning to the lake after her failed acting career and rueful involvement with Trigorin, seeking sympathy and understanding from the disturbed Constantine, who still loves her enough to take his own life.
ISBN: 0-8222-1597-7

Now You Know

Play. Adapted from his novel by Michael Frayn
M4 (19 (Black), 30s, 50s) F4 (20s (Asian), 30-40s).

A small office. Terry runs an Organisations campaigning for freedom of information which is funded by his girlfriend who also organises the close-knit staff. When Hilary, a Civil Servant, arrives with a highly confidential file detailing a cover-up Terry is given a not-to-be-missed opportunity. But his increasingly intimate involvement with Hilary presents him with a personal and professional dilemma, exposing the ultimate irony that everyone has something to hide.
ISBN 0 573 01848 0