Composers and their stage works 



A play by Michael Wilcox
M10 (can be played by M5). Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Through an episodic style which mirrors the fragmentary nature of the characters' lives, the play describes the fleeting sexual encounters of the homosexual rent boys in 1970s' Edinburgh. Phil, a droll drama student, shares a flat with Robert, an 18-year-old shop assistant who has had many years on the game. Both become involved with Richard, a mature lecturer from Newcastle desperately in need of sexual humiliation.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Play. Bertolt Brecht

Ralph Manheim
George Tabori
Ranjit Bolt

M28 F2. Extras. Numerous simple interior and exterior settings.

A grimly humorous 'parable play' in blank verse, in which Hitler's rise to power is illustrated in the story of a small-time gangster's take-over of the green grocery trade in Chicago. A brief six line Epilogue points out how nearly Hitler ruled the world.

Responsible Parties

Play. Jeffrey Sweet.
5 men, 2 women. Interior.

The scene is the lobby of the Ventura Oasis Motel, in a run-down section of Los Angeles. The owner, Randolph, is debating whether to tear the building down or turn it into a fast-food franchise. In the meantime he occupies himself by meddling in the life of his manager, a world-weary ex-convict named Cornell, and in those of his guests. Included in the latter art an out-of-work song writer and guitarist; a down-on-their-luck Texas couple whose only valuable possession is a luxury car; and, as the action progresses, a pretty but brashly aggressive former girlfriend of Cornell's who has tracked him down and is determined to revive their relationship. Although strangers all, for the most part, the various characters are inevitably drawn into each other's lives as crises are dealt with, confidences exchanged, and each learns that he or she is, in a very real way, his brother's keeper. In the end they go their separate ways again - but for a fleeting moment, at least, they have known a sense of caring and humanity all too seldom encountered in a world where "other people's problems" are more often ignored than shared.
ISBN: 0-8222-0945-4

The Restless Evil

Play. Charlotte Hastings
M3 (24, 38) F7 (20s West Indian, 40s, 50s, 60, 70s). A café.

After a prison break, convict Jubilee, with two companions, takes over a small roadside cafe. The owners are temporarily absent; however, a special party of their friends is expected to lunch. After serving the visitors lunch, the gang tells them they are prisoners. The mutual reactions of 'respectable' and 'villains', the mounting tension of the situation, and instinctive groping towards some sort of understanding, form the basis of the events that follow.
ISBN 0 573 11370 X

The Restoration of Arnold Middleton

Play. David Storey
M2 (30s, 40) F4 (young, 20s, 30s, 50s). A living-room.

Arnold Middleton and his wife Joan share their cramped quarters with Joan's mother Edie. Arnold genuinely likes his mother-in-law, but, one night, takes unforgivable advantage of her momentary drunkenness. There is, now, no more hiding from self-knowledge. At the end, he turns to his wife for help. Joan is very willing and, to his own surprise, Arnie finds that his long soul-sickness is finished.
ISBN 0 573 01376 4


Play. James Saunders
M I (middle-age) Fl (young). A living-room.

Harold Hopper has retreated to a cottage in Wales following a car accident in which his wife died and his daughter was disabled. But his 'retreat' is disturbed by the arrival of Hannah, daughter of his closest friends who have died in a plane crash. Hannah forces him to confront the facts, unleashing the repressed bitterness within him. At the end the doorbell rings again - did Hannah truly arrive or has Harold conjured her to catharise his guilt?

Retreat from Moscow

Play. Don Taylor
M2 (50s) F2 (16, 22). A living-room.

Cocooned in their suburban home are Tom, idealistic socialist and unemployed classics lecturer, and Phillipa, his disillusioned daughter. Into their lives unexpectedly comes Boris, a bellowing bear-like Muscovite who only wants to enjoy the fruits of the capitalist good life. But beneath Boris's laughing exuberance lies a bitter, dreadful secret past which, when revealed, shakes the beliefs Tom holds firm. The play was presented at the New End Theatre, Hampstead, in 1993 in a production directed by the author.

The Return of A. J. Raffles

Edwardian comedy. Graham Greene
M8 (young, 30s, middle-age, elderly) F2 (young, 30). An apartment in Albany, a bedroom.

In this light-hearted pastiche EW.Hornung's famous 'amateur cracksman' is persuaded by Lord Alfred Douglas to break into and rob the house of the latter's hated father, the Marquess of Queensberry, accompanied by the ever-faithful Bunny. Douglas intends to send part of the proceeds to Oscar Wilde, now living in poverty. They then become involved in a plot to secure certain compromising letters written by no less a personage than King Edward VII!

The Return of Herbert Bracewell or (Why Am I Always Alione When I'm With You?)

Comedy Andrew Johns
1 man, 1 woman. Interior.

It's 1909 and Herbert Bracewell has retired to the attic of his New York home with plans to stage a comeback in a one-man review of his long, if undistinguished career. He assembles five antique match-lit footlights to mark a playing area and proceeds to ad-lib ideas for his show,straining to pull down dusty manuscripts from atop overflowing shelves of vintage souvenirs, using a stunt dummy to play off of, and conferring often with his pet, a stuffed crow. Herbert's wife, Florence, thirty years his junior and once a great success as an actress, comes to call her husband to bed and is caught up in his production plans, first with good-humored derision, then with the suggestion that she join him in the comeback attempt. Through a series of barbs, playful reminiscences, and impromptu "performances," we learn of the strains this relationship has endured Florence's infidelity and success and that Herbert is endearingly closer to losing his mind than we thought. But we also sense that, through it all, husband and wife have been sustained by the magic of theatre, their first love.
ISBN: 0-82222-0946-2


Thriller : Robin Hawdon
1M 1F Interior set

Bill Crayshaw, MP, returns from an overseas business trip to his smart Westminster flat to learn of the death of his party agent in a car crash. Mary Stanwyck arrives, a journalist intent on learning his reaction to the news, but her line of questioning quickly turns to items which could apparently ruin Bill's political, business and personal life. But no one is ever what they appear to be, and the initial game of cat-and-mouse between reporterand politician quickly urns into deadly battle as the suspense increases through a series of twists and turns reaching a climax that keeps audiences guessing until after the final curtain.
ISBN: 0 85676 143 5

The Revengers' Comedies

Play in two parts by Alan Ayckbourn
M11 F10, MI F1 voices only, some doubling possible. Various interior and exterior settings. for each part

Hapless Henry Bell, depressed at being ousted from his firm, is distracted from committing suicide by another would-be suicide. He rescues her, and after hearing her tale of abandonment by her married lover, agrees that revenge is sweeter than suicide. Karen persuades Henry that they should swap revenges - she will see to the man who took Henry's job, while he will take care of her ex-lover's wife, Imogen.
ISBN 0 573 01881 2

The Revenger's Tragedy

Cyril Tourneur (attrib)
13m 3f, extras. Classic tragedy. Multipurpose set.

This Jacobean tale (1606) of personal vengeance in a morally bankrupt world follows Vindice in his quest to revenge the murder of his beloved Gloriana by the lustful Duke. He gains access to the court in disguise to cause havoc and commit serial murder among the corrupt family until they are overthrown by the virtuous Antonio, who himself sentences Vindice to death for his crimes.
ISBN 1 85459 330 7