Composers and their stage works 


Pack of Lies. Play. Hugh Whitemore
M3 (40s, 50s) F5 (16, 20s-40s). A living-room, kitchen, hall.

Based on the true story of the Krogers, convicted in 1961 of spying for the Russians, Whitemore has written a fictional account of the quiet, totally unsuspecting Jackson family who live opposite the Krogers and consider them their closest friends. When an M15 official arrives suddenly to use the Jackson's house as a surveillance post their decent, happy life is shattered as they are plunged into a sordid, alien world of deceit and intrigue.
ISBN 0 573 11343 2

Paddywack. Drama. Daniel Magee
M4 (20s, 30s, 50s) F2 (20s, 60s). A living-room.

Damien, a young Irishman, moves into lodgings in London where he is befriended by a student and his girlfriend. When the IRA mounts a bombing campaign, it seems the enigmatic Damien may be involved. He is drawn into an affair with the girlfriend who is attracted by the IRA spectre, but when he confesses he's a dispatch clerk with no IRA ties, she shuns him and Damien returns to the lodgings where misconceptions and resentments explode into sudden violence.
ISBN 0 573 69578 4

Page 3 Murder

Comedy-Thriller. Larry Beghel
M5 (23, 40s, 50s) F2 (25, 35). The living-room of a flat.

In this stylish comedy-thriller, attractive glamour model Jenni Brandon and her ex-live-in boyfriend Len Carrington have concocted what appears to be the perfect plot to acquire a very large amount of money. The would-be murder plan involves Jenni's current boyfriend Tom and his parents - lustful MP Geoffrey Holden and stepmother Marion. But these two characters are not the only ones plotting-everyone, it seems, is double-crossing the another.
ISBN 0 573 01697 6

Pains of Youth

Play. Ferdinand Bruckner, translated by Daphne Moore
M3 F4. A room in a boarding house.

Written in 1926, this was the play that established Ferdinand Bruckner. It depicts with unprecedented candour the moral corruption and cynicism of a group of medical students. For these young people, youth itself is a fatal disease and the idea of death by suicide is always present in their minds.

Painting Churches

Play. Tina Howe
M 1 (70s) F2 (30s, 60s). A living-room.

Gardner Church, once a famous poet, slips in and out of senility as his wife Fanny valiantly tries to keep them both afloat. Their daughter Mags, an artistic celebrity, comes home hoping to finally paint their portrait and, in this way, to come to terms with them - and they with her. Mags triumphs in the end as Fanny and Gardner actually step through the frame and become a work of art, ineffable and timeless.
ISBN 0 573 61939 5

The Palace at 4 a.m.

Play. Howard Moss. 2 men, 1 woman. Open Stage.

The Queen and Edward meet, as if for the first time, and slowly discover that they are repeating, or are meant to repeat, the tragic action of Sophocles' Oedipus. The settling is ambiguous: at first abstract, then possibly a playroom in a suburban house, and, finally, the throne room of the palace at Thebes. Drawn to each other and to the fate that awaits them, the Queen and Edward, caught in an intense love-hate relationship, try to avoid a destiny that appears to be inevitable. Figure, the third actor, plays a various roles at various times: an Elizabethan fool, a stage manager, a disappointed actor, the Greek seer Tiresias. He is a foil, and a dangerous one. The play is a study in jealousy and explores the relationship between and older woman and a young man. It is a play of shifting moods and changing tones, a modern investigation of a theme suggested by ancient Greek tragedy, and a psychological play with historical tones.

A Palm Tree In a Rose Garden

Play. Meade Roberts. 3 men, 5 women. Unit Set.

Rose Frobisher once won a beauty contest and on the strength of that came to Hollywood. After years of frustration she settled down to keep an apartment-rooming house which she called the Rose Garden. For a while she pinned her hopes on her daughter, but Lila was not interested in getting into the movies so Rose turned to a succession of roomers, young, beautiful and all with a burning desire to be a movie star. One after another these young girls disappointed her. When Barbara Parris moves into the Rose Garden, Rose again lets her hopes soar. She lends Barbara money, won't take rent from her and sees in Barbara another version of herself. Meanwhile, Lila is interested in another roomer, Mr. Jonas, a middle-aged' refugee, kindly and sensitive. But because Jonas is neither young nor handsome and Rose can't understand Lila's interest in him does her best to break off Lila's romance. What Rose fails to see is the desperation in Barbara, whose repeated failure to get a part brings her to an attempt at suicide. When Rose realises that Barbara has failed, she turns again to Lila and finally acknowledges that Lila has the right to lead her own life.

Panic Stations

Farce. Derek Benfield
M4 (35, middle-age, 60s) F5 (20s-60). A cottage interior.

Chester Dreadnought has bought a lovely country cottage, dreaming of idyllic peace, but is he able to enjoy it'? Not with Abel Bounty, the local un-handyman always around, and not with Carol, an attractive girl who seems to have mysteriously moved in. Those who have met Chester already in Wild Goose Chase and Post Horn Gallop know his aptitude for social and antisocial blunders, and Lord and Lady Elrood and scatty Miss Partridge also make a reappearance.
ISBN 0 573 11352 1


Play. Kenneth Cameron. 3 men, 1 woman. Interior.

As Edith Oliver, writing in The New Yorker, describes. "The lines are filled with puns - outrageous and lightly blasphemous - and the theme is destruction. The play is set in the private library of the Pope at the Vatican - or, to quote the dramatist, 'of Papp at the Vatican.' The room is overgrown with vegetation and is thick with grime; the books are inches deep in dust, and so is a statue of Buddha on one of the bookshelves. There are jungle noises outside, and organ music within. The time is some future Dark Ages ...Something serious and human and touching does come through all the verbal rigmarole - even a story. An extraterritorial Demolition Man named Mak, a plastic helmet on his head and a pack of explosives on his back, comes to blow up the place. Papp detains him by quoting garbled proverbs and telling him garbled stories from Scripture, trading a story for a 'boom,' and then Mak, who can read, picks up a Bible and starts to correct Papp who cannot. All ends with a public book burning and an explosion, and with Papp, back in his old form, pronouncing that 'God hurts those who hurt themselves.' The play is neither comedy nor tragedy, funny nor sad; it is facetious and pessimistic, both on purpose."
ISBN: 0-8222-0872-5

The Parasol

Play. Anton Chekhov. Adapted from the novel Three Years by Frank Dunai
M8 (20s, 30s, 50s, 60, 80) F2 (21, 30). 2 drawing-rooms, an office.

The Parasol has an authentic Chekhovian feel - the bourgeois boredom and guilt, the aching, aimless loneliness - without the musty archaism we get in some translations. It's crisp and sharply witty and has the emotional directness of the real thing ... It's a richly intricate, carefully crafted fusion of sociology and psychology and the private pains of a pre-revolutionary world ... It's like discovering an old master in the attic.' Robin Thornber, Guardian

Pardon Me, Prime Minister

Farce. Edward Taylor and John Graham
M4 (30s, 50s) F5 (20s-40s). A study.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor are preparing a puritanical budget taxing amusements such as bingo, gambling and night-clubs out of existence. On the afternoon before its presentation, however, each in turn appears to be the father of the pretty Shirley, the result of a post-party conference night many years ago. In an even less expected family bombshell, it transpires that the Prime Minister's deferential Parliamentary Private Secretary, Campbell, is, in fact, his son ...
ISBN 0 573 11334 3

Parallel Lives: The Kathy and Mo Show

Comedy. Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy : 2 women. Unit Set

In the opening scene, two Supreme Beings plan the beginning of the world with the relish of two slightly sadistic suburban wives decorating a living room. Once they've decided on the color scheme of the races, a little concerned that white people will feel slighted being such a boring color, they create sex and the sexes. Afraid women will have too many advantages, the Beings decide to make childbirth painful and to give men enormous egos as compensation. From this moment, the audience is whisked through the outrageous universe of Kathy and Mo, where two actresses play men and women struggling through the common rituals of modern life: teenagers on a date, sisters at their grandmother's funeral, a man and a woman together in a country-western bar. With boundless humor, Parallel Lives re-examines the ongoing quest to find parity and love in a contest handicapped by capricious gods or in this case, goddesses.
ISBN 0-8222-1308-7


Comedy. Richard Harris
M3 (20s, 30s) F4 (20s). A sitting-room.

Paul, a scriptwriter, and Graham, a novelist, have to produce a film 'treatment' of Graham's novel. The film producer has lent them his luxurious penthouse. They make a stab at their 'treatment' but it's impossible - who can work in these fabulous surroundings? Their train of thought is continually interrupted by strings of girls telephoning to speak to the producer. What a good life the man must have! They see no reason why they shouldn't enjoy a bit of it too.

Party Piece

Comedy. Richard Harris, suggested by the author's earlier play, Local Affairs
M4 F3. The gardens of a pair of Victorian terraced houses.

This is a fast-paced and very funny play set in the back gardens of feuding neighbours. It is the night of Michael's and Roma's fancy dress house-warming party. The evening looks set to be a lively one until a string of hilarious disasters strike, including a distinct lack of guests, a burning garden shed, a marauding Zimmer frame and the prospect of an irate husband on the prowl.
ISBN 0 573 01862 6

Party to Murder

Thriller. Olive Chase and Stewart Burke
M4 (20-40) F3 (18, 30s, 40). A lounge hall.

When Norma Brent is killed there are a number of people with reason to welcome her departure. For one frightening moment it seems Norma may have come to life again, but the apparition is actually her cousin Diane, who strongly resembles her. At the climax of the play Norma's husband Stephen makes good use of this resemblance in a carefully staged and eerie scene which leads to the unmasking of the killer.
ISBN 0 573 01564 3

A Party to Murder

Play. Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes
M3 (40s, 50s) F3 (late 20s, 40s). A livingroom.

Writer Charles Prince has invited six people to play a murder mystery game at a rustic cottage on an island somewhere in North America. They appear set for a fun weekend until past ghosts begin to haunt the proceedings and all is not as it seems. The game takes on a sinister dimension when guests begin to die and the remaining players realize that they are playing for their lives.