Composers and their stage works 


Once a Catholic

Comedy. Mary O'Malley
M4 F10. Various interior and exterior settings

In choosing the title, the author would seem to imply 'always a Catholic', but this extremely funny, irreverent comedy based on her own school days in a London convent certainly belies the Church's claim, as far as the author is concerned. For what emerges rather is the resilience of children to survive - in spite of, not because of, their upbringing and indoctrination. Period 1956-57

Once For the Asking

Play. Owen Arno. 8 men, 6 women. 2 Interior.

Life has been good to Ashley Robbins, but there are problems too. Living on Long Island's North Shore is not cheap, and unless he comes up with some outstanding new advertising copy Ashley may be out of a job. So he is not in the mood for eccentric neighbours, especially the newest one, Mrs. Goolsby, who claims that she is a genuine fairy, and who comes calling with a pocketbook full of crumb cake and magic powder. There are no takers for the cake, but Ashley ends up being a guinea pig for the magic powder, which she claims can make a person realise his most cherished fantasy for twenty-four hours. And much to his amazement, Ashley becomes the world's most persuasive copywriter. He devotes his 24 hours to turning out new copy for every major account in the business, and his boss is so delighted he may even give up therapy. But that evening at a "victory dinner", Mrs. Goolsby stops by and, after some bourbon, dispenses her magic powder to all. Before Ashley can stop her, she has sent his best friend's wife off to Hollywood; turned Ashley's ten-year-old daughter into a goldfish; and changed the boss into the sister he always envied. Things get hilariously worse before they get better.
ISBN: 0-8222-0850-4

Once in a Lifetime

Play. Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
M24 F14, much doubling possible. A living-room, an hotel room, a reception room, a film set, a Pullman car.

Three down-and-out troupers go to Hollywood and try their luck with the newly invented 'talkies'. Owing to a series of blunders the most stupid of the three is carried to pinnacles of fame and fortune and becomes a god of the industry. The whole mad world of early sound film is treated with dazzling satire as one wild event follows crazily on another. Period 1920s
ISBN 0 573 61388 9

Once More With Feeling

Comedy. Harry Kurnitz. 2 men, 1 woman. Iinterior.

The central figure is a symphony conductor, a perfectionist, but also one possessed of a temper that causes him to bang instruments on the heads of his musicians, break batons by the scores, and tear the shirts off his fiddlers as a form of constructive criticism. His ex-wife, who was never legally married to the conductor, who now wants a divorce, finds herself on the French horns of a dilemma. The conductor's agent is a colorful fellow addicted to larceny, perjury and skullduggery in the interest of a client and his commission. Knowing that the lady in the conductor's life is the only female who can tame him long enough for the sponsors of an orchestra to sign him, he finally brings the two together and out of the resulting cacophony finally creates harmony.

One Bright Day

Drama: Sigmund Miller.
11 men, 4 women. 2 Interiors.

Julian Prescott, head of a prosperous drug company, returns after a long illness to discover that his nationally famous product can be toxic for many people. To disclose this to the public means ruin for the company and most of the people in the town. His daughter and his protege and right-hand man; Lawrence, are lovers, although Lawrence is already married. This is the second line of interest. A scheme to oust Prescott from the company, undertaken by Lawrence and other stockholders, is the third. All three are deftly interwoven, each augmenting the other and all contributing to the mounting tension and suspense of the final moving climactic conclusion, in which the daughter, whom Prescott had reared to live with dignity and courage, compels her father to disclose the danger of the drug to the public.
ISBN: 0-8222-0852-0

One Fine Day

Play. Dennis Lumborg
M 1. A kitchen, a bedsit, a prison holding cell.

Eddie, a young metal worker, lives contentedly on a suburban housing estate with his wife, Jeanie, and two adored small children, Katie and Billy. He and Jeanie have always believed in being frank with their children about matters of sex, but when his little daughter stumbles into their bedroom during her parents' lovemaking and then cheerfully recounts the details next day at school, Eddie finds himself investigated by social services, suspected of child abuse. This is his story.
ISBN 0 573 04021 4

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Play. Dale Wasserman. From the novel by Ken Kesey
M 17 F5. A ward in a mental hospital.

The story of the devil-may-care rogue who has committed himself temporarily to a mental home rather than work in a prison. He transforms the home, charming everyone, except the fierce martinet of a head nurse, and works wonders with a presumed deaf-and-dumb Indian. However, he is condemned by the nurse to a frontal lobotomy, which will leave him a vegetable, and to save him his fellow inmates smother him.
ISBN 0 573 61343 5

One For the Pot

Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton :
Farce 6M 3F Interior set

Running for over 1200 performances at the London's Whitehall Theatre, One For The Pot is one of the most popular and revived of the Whitehall farces. When a wealthy Northern mill owner offers £10,000 to the son of a former business associate provided he is the only living relative, Billy Hickory Wood arrives in anticipation to collect his money. It isn't long before a procession of Hickory Woods follow, all claiming to be the sole living relation and rightful beneficiaries, creating a seemingly endless string of mistaken identities and hilarious confusion.
ISBN: 0 85676 033 1

One for the Road

Comedy. Willy Russell
M2 (35) F2 (30s). A lounge.

This wickedly observant comedy by the author of Educating Rita finds Dennis on the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, making a last-ditch attempt to break away from the confines of his middle-class, housing-estate existence. Reaching breaking point at his birthday party he packs a rucksack to make his escape but everyone wants to accompany him and he sinks down in front of the television, defeated. But there's always next year ... and the year after ...
ISBN 0 573 11320 3

One Good Beating

(in Scotland Plays) Linda McLean
2m 1f. Short drama Flexible set.

A blackly comic account of a brother and sister taking revenge on their violent father. Within just thirty-five minutes this play conjures up a remarkably vivid picture of one merciless family and three desperate lives.
ISBN 1 85459 383 8

One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

Comedy Don Evans. 3 men, 5 women. 2 Interiors, 1 Exterior.

The action takes place in suburban Philadelphia, where the Reverend Avery Harrison, a Baptist preacher, clings tenaciously to his position in the local black elite. His upwardly mobile philosophy is avidly shared by his wife, Myra (whose hilarious malapropisms, however, continually betray her ghetto origins), and by his son, Felix, a strictly brought up private school product who has suddenly discovered the joys of sex thanks to a surreptitiously studied manual and the cooperation of a local charmer known as "Li'l Bits." Another jarring note is struck when the Reverend's countrified niece Beverly, the only daughter of his lately demised brother, arrives from the rural South with the news that she has been left in the custody of Caleb Johnson, a jive-talking, fast-living macho type who was the partner of Beverly's father in a disreputable local nightclub. Hilarious complications ensue as the Reverend and his wife find their passions rekindled; Felix and "Li'l Bits" nervously face the prospect that she may be in the "family way" and Beverly (who is a lot sharper than her country background might suggest) plots her conquest of the increasingly helpless Caleb.
ISBN: 0-8222-0853-9

One Thing More

Play. Christopher Fry. 7-10 men, 3-4 women. Unit Set

First presented at England's soaring Chelmsford Cathedral, and then broadcast on the BBC, the play blends music, poetry and heightened prose in telling the story of Caedmon, Britain's first known poet. Set in 7th century England, the action of the play is commented on by the Venerable Bede who acts as narrator and describes the arrival of the stuttering, withdrawn Caedmon at Whitby Abbey, where he is spellbound by the singing of the chapel choir. Given a job as a stableman, Caedmon finds it difficult to communicate with his fellow workers, and unable to "sing for his supper" at the Whitby Ale Feast. But then, in a miraculous dream, Caedmon recalls the tragic death of his beloved in childbirth and suddenly the guilt with which this wretched event had saddled him is lifted by the occurrence of a divine revelation. At the urging of the kindly Abbess Hilda, to whom he recounts his dream, Caedmon leaves the stable and embraces the monastic life - and suddenly he is free to "sing" at last, and to create the timeless verse for which he is celebrated to this day.
ISBNs 0-8222-0854-7

One O'Clock from the House

Comedy. Frank Vickery
M5 (30s-50s) F8 (30s-40s). I boy (9). Extras. A living-room.

The funeral of an elderly father is not usually an occasion for hilarity, but when the family concerned numbers among its members a wellington-clad cook who bakes almondless almond cakes, another who's convinced his shopping trolley is a dog, and a sister who's a happy inmate of a psychiatric home, the proceedings are bound to be lively! A scorching comedy of personalities and situations!
ISBN 0 573 01628 3

One Of Us

Robin Chapman : Drama 3M 1 F Exterior set

What really happened during that summer weekend in 1951 when Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean suddenly disappeared only to surface later in Moscow? One Of Us sets out to unravel the story behind Burgess's dramatic defection to Russia, at the same time presenting a completely new perspective on a fascinating and extraordinary series of events. The play focuses upon Goronwy Rees, whose calm and settled life is overturned by a visit from his old university friend, the flamboyant extrovert, Guy Burgess. It is Rees's crisis of conscience, in the face of E M Forster's declaration that he would rather betray his country than his friends, that forms the pivot around which a tense and compelling drama develops. Ultimately who is left feeling the real traitor? Anthony Andrews and Ian Ogilvy starred in the highly successful production at the Greenwich Theatre.
ISBN: 0 85676 131 1

One Way Pendulum

A farce in a new dimension. N. E Simpson
M 10 (20s-50) F4 (18, 45, 50). A living-room (containing a court room in Act II).

Each of the Groomkirbys has an idée fixe. Kirby is teaching his speak-your-weight machines the 'Hallelujah Chorus'; his mother pays the neighbour to eat their left-overs; his aunt in her wheelchair is convinced she's touring the Hebrides; his father is building the Old Bailey in the living-room. When this is complete the judge and jury move in with some bizarre results ...
ISBN 0 573 01321 7