Composers and their stage works 


Racing Demon

Play. David Hare
M8 (20s, 40s-60s). F3 (20s, 30, 50s). Extras. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Racing Demon focuses on the Church of England. A disparate body, the Church now finds itself attracting unwanted publicity, wracked by the dissension of its members on matters of doctrine and practice and at odds with the government. In this climate the Reverend Lionel Espy and his team of clergymen struggle to make sense of their mission in South London, as the arrival of a zealous young curate intensifies their personal and professional problems.
ISBN 0 573 11369 6

Raft of the Medusa

Play. Joe Pintauro.
10 men, 3 women. Interior.

In an opening scene, a man dies an agonizing death from A.I.D.S. The play itself is an explosive A.I.D.S. support group session, where the members discover the disease they share can divide as effectively as it conquers. The members of the group are a diverse lot, including homosexuals, heterosexuals and bisexuals, conservatives and liberals, black, white and Hispanic, rich and poor. Some of them are philosophical, some are angry, and some resigned. As the evening's discussion progresses they discover that one member, Larry, a reporter, does not have A.I.D.S., but is tape recording the sessions for an article. They attack him verbally and physically until Nairobi, a homeless woman in the group, stabs Larry with a dirty syringe, infecting him with the virus. The others are stunned and the reporter is hysterical, until Nairobi reveals that the needle was a clean one and that she would not give the disease to her worst enemy. The other members of the group then react with a kind of awe, asking the reporter what it feels like to experience the miracle of a "cure." The quick trauma brings them together, reaching for their own comfort while they search for unattainable answers.
ISBN: 0-8222-1314-1


Play. John Colton and Clemence Randolph. From the story Miss Thompson by W. Somerset Maugham
M7 (young, 35, 40, elderly) F4 (young, 30s, Kanaka). Extras. An hotel living-room.

Torrential rains have trapped a party of Europeans in a small hotel in the South Seas. To the missionary Davidson and his wife, the presence of the prostitute Sadie Thompson is an insult. Davidson provokes a trial of strength between Sadie's love of life and his own suppressed desires. On the point of succeeding, he finds that the strength of his own self-denial is insufficient. Period 1925
ISBN 0 573 01368 3

Raised In Captivity

Comedy. Nicky Silver.
3 men, 2 women, flexible casting. Unit Set.

We meet Sebastian Bliss and his twin sister, Bernadette Dixon, at their mother's funeral, after she was killed by an errant shower head. It is a reunion for the siblings, having not seen each other in years. After the funeral Bernadette can barely stop weeping, while her brother is merely irritated by what he feels is her humiliating display of emotion. We follow Sebastian to a therapy session with Dr. Hillary MacMahon, an extravagantly needy woman, who, upon hearing that Sebastian is terminating his treatment, dissolves into a morass of self recrimination, ending with her stabbing her hand. All the while, Bernadette's husband, Kip, responds to the funeral rather mystically, deciding to eschew his dental practice and become an artist. Bernadette, now pregnant, is reduced to being Kip's model - immobile on the outside, raging on the inside. Sebastian's only real contact with people is in the form of letters he writes to a convicted murderer, Dylan. Attempting to form another human relationship, Sebastian brings home a prostitute and ends up with his throat cut. As he lay bleeding, he is visited by his mother's ghost. Mother and son reveal secrets they couldn't tell while Mother lived: her children are the progeny of a rapist; and Sebastian had, indeed, loved. Sebastian goes to his sister's home to recuperate and while there becomes obsessed with Dylan. As Bernadette and Kip prepare to leave for Africa with their new baby, Sebastian finally receives a letter from Dylan. In it he explains that his punishment has not alleviated his guilt, but that charity might, and thus he sets Sebastian free from his obsession. The lesson is learned again as Bernadette sets her husband free to pursue life with Sebastians doctor, Hillary MacMahon, who had visited Sebastian at his sister's. As the play ends, Sebastian, who has decided to stay and be the baby's father, finally weeps for his lost lover, his mother and everyone he misses.
ISBN: 0-8222-1478-4

Ramshackle Inn

Mystery/Farce: George Batson.
9 men, 6 women. Interior

An old maid librarian has saved her money for 20 years, in order to buy a hotel where she can meet interesting people. She purchases a strange tumbledown place near the ocean, and gets what she bargains for - plus a goad deal besides. The imperturbable librarian encounters ghosts and secret trunks, she wanders through mysterious situations and thunderstorms, she meets with drama and comedy, the living and the dead, and somehow manages to emerge at the end none the worse for her extraordinary experience.
ISBN: 0-8222-0929-2

The Rape of the Belt

Comedy. Benn W. Levy
M3 (young) F7 (young, middle-age, elderly). Two exteriors.

The Amazons have a perfect kingdom full of peacefully creative women who have, through propaganda, created such a fearsome reputation tat no-one dares attack. Heracles, who has to steal the belt of the Amazon Queen for his ninth labour, would undoubtedly have fallen victim to their charms had divine Hera not intervened, turning the Amazons into warriors. Heracles easily wins the belt, but he knows he has lost a paradise. Period Ancient Greece
ISBN 0 573 01371 3

Raping the Gold

Lucy Gannon : Drama
4M 1F 2 boys Flexible staging

In a small Derbyshire town facing the closure of the local factory works, members of the local archery club meet regularly for what has become their only source of comfort in a community beset with social and economic change. In the wake of his wife's premature death from cancer, Gabby struggles to raise his only daughter amid the growing pressures of redundancy and a declining sense of self-worth. For Gabby, archery is the only outlet he has left, and when the local cricket club proposes to share the archer's field and build a modern communal clubhouse in return, the membership is divided and personal conflicts between the archers echo the larger conflicts faced by the community caught between a betrayed past and an abandoned future. A powerful and moving play with a warm sense of humour which contrasts the hopes and despairs of friends and family in a community torn apart by events beyond their control.
ISBN: 0 85676 141 9

Rappaccini's Daughter

(in Latin-American Plays) Octavio Paz. Trans. S. Doggart
3m 2f, 1m/f. One-act drama. Simple set.

Based on a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. When Giovanni comes to stay in a rooom overlooking the strange overgrown garden of Doctor Rappaccini, he has eyes only for his host's beautiful daughter. But many men before have been warned away from her, and slowly he discovers the terrible truth: that her father is using her as part of an experiment on the human will to live, and has turned her into a living phial of poison ... Written 1956. First performed in this translation in 1996.
ISBN 1 85459 249 1

The Rat Race

Play: Garson Kanin.
11 men, 4 women. Multiple

This "amiable ... rooming-house idyll" is characterised by Atkinson (Times) as a "charming ... free-hand sketch of a girl who has abandoned hope in New York and of a boy who is on tip-toe with hope and enthusiasm. Nothing is more actable than the principal characters and the neighbourhood rag-tag and bobtail who move in and out of the performance. For the 'rat race' substitute the squalid life of penniless people drifting around the lower depths of the city. The girl thinks she is through. She is bitter, disillusioned and broken. The boy has just come to New York from the Middle West to make his mark as a saxophone player."

Rattle of a Simple Man

Play. Charles Dyer
M2 (28, 52) Fl (26). A basement flatlet.

A friend bets Percy fifty pounds that he will not spend the night with a prostitute and do his duty like a man, so he goes home with Cyrenne. When her brash jokes and open suggestiveness fail to bring Percy up to scratch, the two start chatting and, gradually, a bond grows up between them. A gentle blend of humour, sentiment and emotion, the play depicts with charm and perception how loneliness can drive people to opposite extremes.
ISBN 0 573 01372 1

Raw Youth

Play. Neal Bell.
3 men. Unit Set

Sam, a young former policeman who has been drummed out of the force because of suspected corruption, is approached by his father, Mel, to act as a gay decoy to entrap a reportedly homosexual congressman. Mel, a convicted confidence man, is cooperating with the FBI in the hope of having the charges against him dropped, and he has long been aware of his son's bisexuality - a knowledge which, until now, has been a source of concern and dismay for him. Sam, embittered and empty but still hopeful of regaining his father's love, agrees to the scam, and the trap is set. But Congressman Gary proves to be much more than just an easy mark, and the sudden, unexpected bond which occurs between him and Sam becomes increasingly poignant with the congressman's growing realization and resigned acceptance of the manner in which he has been used. He too has. lost a son, but somehow, in Sam, he has found him again. As the play ends Mel, strolling on the beach with Sam, also comes to realise that the love of a father for his son transcends expediency and alienation - and he offers no resistance as Sam gently takes away the incriminating videotapes and flings them far out into the implacable silence of the sea.
ISBN: 0-8222-0931-4

Ready For the River

Play. Neal Bell.
4 men, 2 women (male roles can be doubled). Unit Set

The drama begins on the site of the foreclosed farm of Doris, her estranged husband, Jim, and her daughter, Lorna. As Doris and Lorna reminisce about life before the foreclosure, they witness Jim take a shotgun, stalk and shoot the banker who came with the foreclosure notice. Doris and Lorna flee the scene, fearing the same fate. On the highway, as mother and daughter relentlessly drive, the question Lorna asks, "How far away is far enough?" The play also tells the tale of the stormy relationship between the scenes, blurs reality; memories and dreams create powerful descriptions of lives as desolate as the abandoned farms of the heartland. Along the way, Lorna and Doris have some strange company in the car, including the son of the dead banker and also what seems to be the dead banker himself. After a series of stops and close calls, mother and daughter arrive exhausted at a motel where they learn that they are free of the threat of violence. With this news, Doris must face the fact that the independence she and Lorna finally found will accelerate to separation as Lorna goes off to start a life of her own.
ISBN: 0-8222-0932-2