Composers and their stage works 


Ski Whizz

Comedy. Richard Ingham
M3 (20s, 30s) F3 (20s 30s, middle-age). The hall of an Austrian pension.

It is opening day at Ernst Edelbaum's hotel and already things are going wrong. His English niece turns out to be Leslie, a male punk, most of his guests don't arrive and the tour company are about to discover that his required wife doesn't exist. As for the guests, they all have their own problems ... But this hilarious farce, complete with man in drag and indoor tobogganing, ends happily of course.
ISBN 0 573 01895 2

The Skin of Our Teeth

Play. Thornton Wilder
M5 (young, middle-age) F5 (young, middle-age). Small parts and extras. A living-room, one exterior.

Down through the ages the Antrobus family have survived. They are indestructible. Antrobus invented the alphabet, the multiplication table, the lever and the wheel, and Mrs Antrobus invented the apron. Their beginnings are to be found in the Garden of Eden, although they speak in the accents of New Jersey. They are humanity, and whatever happens, they survive all catastrophes - by the skin of their teeth.
ISBN 0 573 61548 9

Skipper Next To God

Play - Jean de Hartog.
15 men. Interior set.

The play is a timely and powerful dramatic fable about a pious and idealist Dutch captain with a shipload of Jewish refugees who are refused admittance wherever they go. The captain, who takes his Christianity seriously, is determined to give his passengers a decent chance of finding a safe home. So, after fruitless efforts to get them into America legally, he wrecks his ship thus allowing the refugees to be rescued and taken ashore.


Play. Catherine Hayes.
3 women (30s, old). A bedroom.

The scene is the bedroom of a house in provincial England, where a senile old woman lies on her deathbed, attended by her two-middle-aged daughters. One of them, Jean, has stayed at home and has borne the brunt of her mother's illness, from the first stroke to her present almost total incapacity. The younger sister, Rita, has long since moved away and returns now, grudgingly, only out of a sense of duty. Jean, childless and rather slovenly, is unhappily married to a traveling salesman; while Rita, attractive and well dressed, is the happily married mother of three children. Their differences, and the long-standing resentments which these have bred, pour out with bitterness and black humor as the two squabble at their mother's bedside - sure that the old woman is unable to comprehend what they say. That she does - and what her final reaction to their bickering is - constitutes the ironic heart of the play, and provides a telling comment on the power of the dying to continue their sometimes baleful hold on the lives of those who survive them.
ISBN: 0-8222-1037-1

The Skriker

Caryl Churchill
7m 9f. Drama. Minimal set.

Premiered at the National Theatre in 1994, with Kathryn Hunter as the malevolent Skriker, this extraordinary play by one of Britain's leading playwrights combines English folk tales with modern urban life in a physically and verbally stunning creation. It follows the Skriker, 'a shapeshifter and death portent' in its search for love and revenge as it pursues two young women through London, changing its shape at every new encounter
ISBN 1 85459 275 0

A Skull In Connemara

Comedy/Drama. Martin McDonagh.
3 men, 1 woman. Unit set.

For one week each autumn, Mick Dowd is hired to disinter the bones in certain sections of his local cemetery to make way for the new arrivals. As the time approaches for him to dig up those of his own late wife, strange rumours regarding his involvement in her sudden death seven years ago gradually begin to resurface.
ISBN: 0-8222-1665-5


Comedy. Samson Raphaelson.
6 men, 4 women. Interior.

Tony is completely absorbed by his advertising business. What should be a joyful 10th wedding anniversary turns out disastrously with Tony offering his wife Lydia's cook to Mrs. Valentine, with whose husband he hopes to close a deal. This is too much for Lydia. To get away from the stuffy party she takes a ride with Bill Blake, a guest who Mrs. Valentine fancies. On her return, Tony insists Lydia phone Mrs. Valentine, to reassure her that she and Bill merely went for a casual ride. This done, Tony selfishly feels the happiness of their anniversary has been restored, but Lydia walks out. When she returns to pack that evening, her husband realises she is determined to get a divorce. Taking his partner's advice, Tony bluffs her into believing he too wants freedom from his success. He will give up his job, they will sell the house and fire the servants. But Tony's bluff is called by the arrival of the jealous Mrs. Valentine, who still believes Lydia has won Bill away from her. In a rage, she announces she is having Tony fired. Lydia, thrilled, urges her to do so. Tony is stunned, but does not reveal his true feelings. Lydia sells her watch, Tony's anniversary present, and treats him to the little pleasures he has not had time to enjoy for years. A splendid position is offered Tony, which he pretends not to want. But Lydia, realising he has worked hard to deceive her so he won't lose her, recognises her own frailties, and joins him as he goes to accept his new job.
ISBN: 0-8222-1319-2


Play. David Hare
M2 (18, 50) Fl (30). A living-room/kitchen area.

Kyra Hollis is a dedicated teacher in a run-down east London school. Tom Sergeant is a successful businessman. When young, Kyra worked for Tom and his wife Alice, became part of the family, and then Tom's lover for six passionate years finally severing all connections with the family when Alice discovered the affair. Now, a year after Alice's death, Tom's son Edward unexpectedly arrives at Kyra's flat seeking help for his father who cannot cope. Tom also visits Kyra but what is it he seeks?
ISBN 0 573 01876 6


Drama. David Auburn.
3 men, 3 women. Unit Set

The scene is a rainy night in Chicago where six strangers collide on the rooftop of an historic building targeted for demolition. Jessica, a young photographer fighting to save the building, has injured herself trying to take pictures of the crumbling skyscraper. She and her lawyer, Jane, are suing the demolisher, Raymond. Raymond has his own troubles: he has just been forced to fire his dreamy and unreliable brother, Joseph. Meanwhile, Louis, a 110-year-old man whose life is bound up with the building, tries to rescue Vivian, a distraught young woman determined to leap from the roof. Jessica inadvertently saves Raymond's life; Jane seduces Joseph; Louis struggles with Vivian and his failing memory, and all of their lives are changed as they uncover the threads that connect them to Chicago, this building, and each other.
ISBN: 0-8222-1652-3

Slapstick Tragedy.

Tennessee Williams

The Gnadiges Fraulein. Tragicomedy
M3 (old) F3 (middle-age). Porch and exterior of a frame cottage.

The Fraulein earns her keep in the bunkhouse for 'transient residents' by trying to catch the fish thrown up by hurricanes, but is frustrated by the jealousy of the Cocaloony, a bird of prey rather like a giant pelican. This and other aspects of the interplay between the strange and odd-looking characters form a nightmarish fantasy open to many different forms of interpretation veering between the comic and the tragic.

The Mutilated. Play
M 9 (middle-age) F4 (50s). Extras. A bedroom, with several other skeletal sets.

Together with The Gnadiges Fraulein (q.v.) this forms a double-bill known as Slapstick Tragedy. It is Christmas Eve and the carollers are singing. In and around a seedy New Orleans hotel two whores, one a shoplifter, the other morbidly sensitive about having had a breast removed, quarrel and make up in their wretched companionship. The implication is that all of us suffer in one way or another.


Play. Norman Robins
M4 (30s-60s) F6 (30s-60s). A drawing-room.

Ageing horror star Romney Marsh has gathered together a group of theatre people in his great country house. Once the guests realise they are actually trapped, it is revealed that someone has been blackmailing Romney. Shortly thereafter one of the guests is found with her throat cut, and afterwards Romney is poisoned by one of his own chocolates. Marooned in the house, the finger of suspicion is pointed at each guest until the final truth is revealed with fatal consequences.
ISBN 0 573 01896 0

A Sleep of Prisoners

Play. Christopher Fry.
4 men. Minimal set

The story is presented as a highly imaginative, poignant drama about four prisoners of war locked up in a church in enemy territory. Thus confined, their problems are magnified as they struggle to understand themselves and the world. The action comes in a sequence of dreams in which each prisoner demonstrates his own inner response to events - extending himself, his companions, and the problems they face on to a spiritual plane. The immediate surroundings suggest Biblical protagonists to each dreamer, and the attempted murder of one soldier by his friend is seen successively as the story of Cain and Abel, of David and Absalom, and of Abraham and Isaac.
ISBN- 0-8222-1040-1

The Sleeper Murders.

Thriller. Don Woods
M4 (40s) F4 (30s, middle-age). An integrated lounge and kitchen.

After Myra is unexpectedly summoned to her twin sister Elaine's posh residence, she finds that Elaine and her husband have been killed in a car crash and she is to inherit all their possessions. Irma, a sinister character, comes on the scene and starts to blackmail Myra. The story unfolds with a series of macabre twists and murders, until the deep-freeze door opens and a blood-stained, zombie like Irma emerges from it.
ISBN 0 573 01695 X

Sleeping Dogs

Play. Neal Bell.
5 men, 3 women. Unit Set.

The play begins on the roof of a Manhattan office building where Park, a hard-driving (and dishonest) insurance executive, and Sling, his protégé, are discussing the dire trouble Park has got them, and the company, into by selling policies to bogus clients (Judge Crater, Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, to name a few) and then pocketing the proceeds after declaring them dead. Sling, who confides that his wife is pregnant and he is suffering from terminal brain cancer, is also the holder of one of Park's worthless policies, an aggregation of problems which he solves by leaping from the roof - only to turn up later in the play as a grisly ghost who communes with Parks dissatisfied suburban wife, Sally. But, for Park, the more pressing concern is to retrieve a collection of incriminating computer discs which are locked up in his sealed office, a manoeuver which involves a burnt-out, sleazy private detective and Park's brash, sexy secretary (who is not overly pleased to find her own name on one of Park's phony policies). Trying to keep one step ahead of the SEC auditors and the police, Park flirts with the idea of absconding to Argentina, but his fate is ultimately sealed by his vengeful wife, the moribund family dog, Nana (played by an actress in a shaggy sweater) and, in the final essence, by his own consuming ennui as he contemplates the wreckage which greed - and betrayal - have made of his once grandiose dreams.
ISBN: 0-8222-1042-8

The Sleeping Prince.

Occasional fairy tale. Terence Rattigan
M7 (16, 40s, 60s) F5 (15, 20s, 40s, 50s). A reception room.

The Regent, the Grand Duke Charles, intends to spend the eve of the coronation with a chorus girl, but when Mary Morgan arrives the liaison turns out to be a disastrous failure. Mary realises what loveless and lonely lives these aristocrats lead, and the Regent responds to Mary's naive philosophy that everything can be solved by adding more love to life. They fall deeply in love but even fairy tales must have an end. Period 1911
ISBN 0 573 01421 3

The Sleeping Prince

An occasional fairy tale. Terence Rattigan.
7 men, 6 women. Interior.

The Prince Regent of Carpathia, in London for the coronation of King George V, has arranged for a midnight supper with a pretty chorus girl. But to his dismay, he finds the chorus girl has her own ideas as to how the supper should be conducted. By the time he has persuaded her to fall in with him, she has also fallen in love with him. But the Royal Family of Carpathia abhors love and considers it unnecessary for the efficient conduct of their affairs. Just as the Regent thinks he is getting rid of the chorus girl, his wife decides she must accompany her to the Coronation as her Lady-in-Waiting. When that is over and the Regent again thinks he's going to be rid of the girl, his son, The King of Carpathia, asks her to go with him to an official ball. The Regent and his son are having a tussle as to which political party is to control the country; the King is too young to have any official voice, but he's hoping his party may depose his father and put him on the throne before he attains his majority. During the ball, the chorus girl persuades the King to co-operate with his father - in exchange for a motorcycle and the promise that he won't have to marry a neighbouring princess who is a first-class brat. When the chorus girl has achieved all this for the Regent, he decides that he too is in love, but by then it's time for him to return to Carpathia, leaving the chorus girl to bid a wistful farewell to the royal family, and to take home an outsize collection of royal decorations and signed royal photographs.


Play. Anthony Shaffer
M2 (30s, 50s). A living-room.

Your programme for this play will list five names for five roles, but the actual cast will be two, for no-one is ever what he seems in this brilliant whodunit, where every event is bizarre. The scene is set in a beautiful English country house owned by a famous mystery writer. A young guest arrives and they begin a convivial round of scotch and dialogue. Suddenly the host says '1 understand you want to marry my wife' and from that moment the two are locked in mortal combat.

The play is a study, set mainly on the east side of Cardiff. of the relationships between two boys, their relationship to each other and to their respective mothers, and how these conflicting attachments affect them through life. It is non-naturalistic except for the dialogue, and none of the characters leaves the stage throughout. The 'scenes' are linked by monologues from all four.
ISBN 0 573 01709 3

A Slight Case of Murder

Comedy. Damon Runyon and Howard Lindsay.
8 men, 2 women,. Interior.

Remy Marko, racketeering ex-beer baron of Prohibition days, has become a legitimate brewer, chiefly at the wish of his wife, Nora. Their daughter, Mary, is arriving home after receiving an expensive education abroad. While abroad she met the handsome and wealthy Chancellor Whitelaw, scion of an old line family. But Mary insists she won't marry Chance unless he gets a job. The Markos and an assortment of ex-thugs, who now play with great discomfort the roles of chauffeur, cook and butler, arrive at the house they have rented for the racing season at Saratoga. But they find the lifeless remains of four gangsters resting peacefully in an upstairs room. These "parties" just brought off a sensational highjacking job worth half a million dollars and came to the house to satisfy a grudge against Remy. At the same moment a traffic cop arrives. But the cop is none other than Chance, who decided to get work as a policeman. Remy "don't like cops," and his dislike is further emphasised when Chance's father comes to the party at the house the same evening. Father is a rather narrow-minded gentleman who is taken aback at the strange antics that go on at the party, and he is determined to break off the match between his son and Mary. Chance, however, is given a marvellous opportunity to make himself a hero. He is urged on by Remy to make it look as though he captured the four highjackers himself. This reconciles the two families. The figure of Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom, the orphan boy whom Remy has brought up to Saratoga in order that he may enjoy the cultural advantages of the place, pursues its ridiculous way through the play. It is through him that Remy discovers the cash stolen by the highjackers and which enables him to weather a financial crises with two hardboiled bankers.

Slow Dance on the Killing Ground

Play. William Hanley.
2 men, 1 woman. Interior.

As the curtain rises a poor, dusty shop with its dirty window obscuring the dark hostile night, with its mean little counter, and with its juke box glaring vulgarly from the side, the storekeeper is taking inventory. The door is flung open, letting in a lithe young Negro, weirdly dressed in a soft, high-crowned hat over his kinky little mop, sunglasses, a cape, short slacks and sneakers. Mr. Hanley calls this act Pas de Deux. In this dance for two, the characters make hesitant approaches, circle, feint, threaten each other with gun and ice pick but scarcely make contact. The young man is obviously a hunted man. Through the circumlocutions of his odd mixture of jive talk and fancy literary allusions, there pants a sense of terror. The storekeeper is a non-Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, is close-mouthed, suspicious, anxious to avoid self-involvement ... In the second act the Pas de Deux becomes Pas de Trois. The third dancer is Rosie, an 18-year old from Riverdale, has wandered into the shop after losing her way while looking for the address of an abortionist. Rosie has no illusions about her homeliness or about the encounter that has led to her troubles ...The laconic German and the flowery young man react to her with a sensitivity and concern that seem to diminish the furies within them. But not for long. Finally the German is driven to revealing the truth about himself as the young man, at last, in the third act, faces his inexorable fate out there on the killing ground.
ISBN: 0-8222-1043-6