Composers and their stage works 


Patient A.

Play. Lee Blessing,
2 men, 1 woman; unit.

Commissioned by the Bergalis family to explore Kimberly's case of contracting the AIDS virus, the playwright becomes part of the story as an essential observer to the story. Kim's encounters with Lee reflect their relationship in real life as well as the "playwright" and "character" in the play. A third character, Matthew, represents a composite of the thousands of gay men who have suffered in the AIDS epidemic. As the play recounts Kim's case, spotlighting the media and political circuses surrounding it, we see all three characters struggle with the debate, and with their innermost feelings about themselves and each other.

Patient A

Lee Blessing
Drama 2M 1F Flexible staging

Blessing's play is a true account of the experiences of Kimberly Bergalis, whose case marked the first known instance of HIV transmission from a health worker to a patient. Issues of testing, ignorance, discrimination and personal responsibility are explored against the backdrop of the raging AIDS epidemic across America, while the moral complexity of the issues are skilfully interwoven into the profound nature of Kim's predicament. Commissioned by the Bergalis family, the playwright becomes drawn in to the story as a character of his own, and the encounters between Kim and the playwright take on a real life of their own running parallel to the characters and the play itself. Another character, Matthew, emerges as a composite of thousands of AIDS sufferers and as the play recounts Kim's case, highlighting the media and political circus surrounding it, we see all three characters struggling not only with the debate but with their innermost feelings about themselves and each other.
ISBN: 0 8222 1364 8

Patrick Henry Lake Liquors

Play. Larry Ketron.
5 men, 4 women (plus 2 male bit parts). Interior.

The setting is the local liquor store in Patrick Henry Lake, Tennessee, a sleepy mountain town suddenly jarred awake by the return of Leif, an ex-Marine whose father was once the most powerful man in the area. He was also killed by lightning while having a tryst with the mother of Leif's girl friend, and the effect of that tragic event is still felt. The mother and her husband are now hopeless alcoholics and their daughter is committed to their care. But it is the arrival of an outsider, a mysterious prophet-like stranger named Mickey, which brings the action to focus and illuminates the shared experiences which tie together all the various, and disparate, characters who people the play. And, in the end, it is also Mickey, through his unsuspected involvement in Leif's own past, who impels matters to their inevitable, and dramatically moving, conclusion.
ISBN: 0-8222-0881-4

The Patrick Pearse Motel

Comedy. Hugh Leonard
M4 (30s, elderly) F3 (20s, 30s). A living-room, two hotel bedrooms and corridor.

When her husband plans to be away with his business partner, Grainne seizes the opportunity of spending the night with an ex-flame, now a TV personality. She also involves the partner's wife, Niamh, in the plot. Things go wrong when Niamh's furiously jealous husband returns unexpectedly, and matters are further complicated by the manageress of the motel turning out to be the spurned love of the TV personality.
ISBN 0 573 01333 0

Paul Robson

Drama. Phillip Hayes
Dean : 2 men. Unit Set

A powerful chronicle of the life of Paul Robeson, taking us from his childhood in New Jersey, to his adult life around the world. An All-American athlete and a lawyer with Columbia Law School credentials, Robeson faces the racism prevalent in society in early part of the 20th century. He strives to rise above, and it is his triumph in that struggle that turns Robeson into a modern day hero. Realizing the racist system would not allow him to practice as a lawyer, Robeson turns to singing, something he had learned well in the church choir. His singing leads to acting and his acting, with all the accolades due a master, leads him around the world. But every place he visits he sees the strains of racism in its many forms. The more he sees, the more he speaks out, using the his influence and stature to try and enlighten those around him. After some time in Europe, he returns to the United States to perform and speak out about the injustices in the country he loves. Confronting racism again, he sticks to his values, adhering to no party line, but is accused of being a Communist, an agitator and much more. He is blacklisted and his passport is revoked, but he goes on speaking out whenever he can. For eight years he fights to clear his name. Finally, the social climate begins to change and towards the end of his life, Robeson's passport is reinstated along with some of the glory and respect he earned along the way. There is still far to go, but Paul Robeson remains a beacon to those struggling to make this world a better place. This play is a powerful look at the many facets of Robeson the man, as well as Robeson the star. It is a tour-de-force for any actor.
ISBN: 0-8222-1515-2

The Peacock Season

Play. Otis Bigelow. 5 women. Interior.

Peer Gynt.

Play. Henrik Ibsen. Translated by Christopher Fry and Johan Fillinger
Large cast. Various interior and exterior settings.

Written in 1867, Peer Gynt was Ibsen's last work to use verse as a medium of dramatic expression but it carries the marks of his later prose plays in the kind of spare, dramatically eloquent dialogue which has become characteristic of twentieth-century drama. At the same time the poetry is brilliantly appropriate to the imaginative swings between Scandinavian oral folk traditions, the Moroccan coast, the Sahara Desert, and the absurdist images of the Cairo madhouse. Period: early to mid nineteenth century

Peer Gynt

Henrik Ibsen, Trans and adapted by Kenneth McLeish
18-32m 10-13f. Classic drama. Flexible staging.

Ibsen's mighty epic (1867) - by turns lyrical, comic, fantastic and tragic. Despite Peer's quest for absolute purity he repeatedly falls for the fleshly temptations of compromise, as he swaggers and seduces his way from the fjords of Norway to the deserts of Africa and back. First staged at the National Theatre by Declan Donnellan, Founding Director of Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company.
ISBN 1 85459 067 7

Peggy For You

Alan Plater

Peggy For You, Alan Plater's new play, is a witty and poignant portrait of Peggy Ramsay, the larger-than-life play agent who nurtured several generations of England's best dramatists and became one of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in postwar British theatre. Focusing on one fateful day in Ramsay's life, when old clients are exiting and new ones entering, Plater's play premiered at London's Hampstead Theatre in December 1999.


Comedy. Ken Whitmore
M4 (20s, 30s, 50s, 60s) F3 (20s-40s). A drawing-room.

The virtuous, kind-hearted couple Bethany and Patrick have corresponded for six months with two lonely pen-friends: Ted, a divorcé, and Kitty, a widow. Now Patrick and Bethany are to bring this vulnerable couple together for a weekend in their country house. But never judge by appearances, as this hilarious comedy goes to show, because nobody is quite what they appear to be!
ISBN 0 573 11346 7

Penny Blue

Vanessa Brooks :
Comedy 3M 3F Interior set

Bob and Marion live with their rebellious daughter Pen in a cockroach-infested tower block. Dougie and Petula are old friends who years before emigrated to Australia in search of a better life. Dougie and Petula have made it big Down Under and now live the Australian Dream - luxurious home, designer labels and kidney-shaped swimming pool - while Bob and Marion have continued to live a modest life in England. When Dougie and Petula arrive for a reunion back in the Old Country, home (and abroad) truths burst through the surface as the veneers are stripped off and old wounds are re- pened. As the tequila flows a little too freely, tongues loosen and the pent-up jealousies of seventeen years finally come pouring out, with disastrous - and hilarious - results. But where does the Penny Blue fit in? In a stamp collection, brought back from Australia, which holds the promise of an instant fortune for Bob and Marion . . .
ISBN: 0 85676 199 0

Penny Wise

Comedy. Jean Ferguson Black.
3 men, 4 women. Interior

Penny Wise Farm is the home of Gordon Chase, playwright, and Penny, his adoring wife. And there is Jeff who lives with them, Gordon's brother, blissfully unemployed. Gordon is devoted to Penny. Twice in the course of their marriage he has made romantic excursions "elsewhere," but neither affair proved an important threat to Penny's happiness, and each of the ladies involved has slipped into the role of "family friend." Knowing that Gordon is becoming involved with Katherine Drake, Martha and Tina rush out to Penny Wise to prevent disaster. Their efforts are complicated by Katherine, who comes at the seemingly innocent invitation of Penny. Martha and Tina decide to persuade Katherine to withdraw for Penny's sake, but they only succeed in crystallizing Katherine's determination to tell Penny of her "great" love for Gordon. Gordon is as unhappy as Martha and Tina: he hadn't intended to allow this affair to take on serious proportions, He blames Martha and Tina for the crisis. Penny's resourcefulness is demonstrated, and she deftly side-steps the implications of Katherine's "confession," and at the play's end we see Katherine definitely relegated to the ranks of "family friend."
ISBN: 0-8222-0883-0


David Edgar
11-12m 6-8f, 1 girl. Drama. Simple set.

A valuable mural is discovered in a church in war-torn Eastern Europe. International and local art historians argue over who should own the painting. The fate of the mural becomes powerfully interwoven with the fate of the country. First performed by the RSC in 1995, this was the 'first serious response in the British theatre to the tragedy of Sarajevo' Observer. 'One of those rare works that makes you want to climb on to roof tops to shout about its merits' Daily Telegraph.
ISBN 1 85459 292 0

The People Next Door

Play: J.P. Miller. Stage adaptation by E Andrew Leslie.
5 men, 3 women (plus several bits). Unit Set.

The drama involves two middle-class families that outwardly symbolise the tranquility of stable suburbia. But behind the green shutters and the contentment of sustained affluence lies the latent turmoil all too frequently documented in police records, the tragedy of households divided against themselves with children and parents going separate routes to common disaster. In one of Mr. Miller's families - the Masons - a 16-year-old girl takes LSD and worse. In the second family - the Hoffmans - the son turns out to be the wise-guy pusher coining a fortune in debasing his peers. The girl's destruction is remorselessly unfolded - the wild fantasies of trips on drugs, the filth and sordidness of an East Village pad, the unsuccessful attempts at group therapy, the pure horror of the understaffed ward for the disturbed and finally the distinct possibility that the child may face a controlled environment for the rest of her life. In a final scene of explosive fury her father lashes out against the forces which have destroyed his daughter, but it is too late - and his own share of the guilt too great. There is only the hope that others will understand - and learn from - his agony.
ISBN: 0-8222-0884-9