Composers and their stage works 



Play. Bertolt Brecht
Translations: Derek Goldby, Stefan Lasch and Evelyn Warman
M33 F9. Extras. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

There is no cotton to be bought in China; the Emperor and his brother have a monopoly, but are waiting for a rise in price. A group of futile thinkers is called in to invent excuses for the shortage, the most successful whitewasher to marry the Emperor's daughter Turandot. Gogher Gogh, the gangster, burns half the imperial cotton stock so that the rest can be sold on a rising market, but Turandot does not care to marry him. Set in China at some indeterminate past time.

The Turn of the Screw

Play. Ken Whitmore, adapted from the novel by Henry James
M l or 2 (35) F3 (20s, 50). 1 boy (12) 1 girl (10). A sitting-room/hall.

Shortly after Miss Grey, a governess, arrives at Bly to take charge of Flora and Miles she sees the ghosts of the former valet and governess; it is the children they want. She determines to save the children from destruction and damnation at hands of these 'devils', but her courageous efforts are not enough to save little Miles from tragedy. Period 1875
ISBN 0 573 11454 4

The Turn of the Screw

Play: Jeffrey Hatcher from the story by Henry James
1 man, 1 woman. Unit Set

Based on the provocative tale of suspense, horror and repressed sexuality, this adaptation gives the famous story yet another turn of its own. A young governess journeys to a lonely English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children. But she is not their first governess. Her predecessor, Miss Jessel, drowned herself when she became pregnant by the sadistic valet, Peter Quint, who was himself found dead soon after under mysterious circumstances. Now the new governess has begun to see the specters òf Quint and Jessel haunting the children, and she must find a way to stop the fiends before it is too late. But one frightening question tortures the would-be heroine: Are the ghosts real, or are they the product of her own fevered imagination?
ISBN: 0-8222-1554-3

The Tutor

Play. Bertolt Brecht. Translated by Pip Broughton
M 10 F 10. Extras. Seven interiors, two exteriors.

This is a modernised version of the 18th-century drama by Reinhold Lenz about the miseries and humiliations suffered by a young private tutor. Treated as a servant by his employers, he is seduced by the daughter of the house and has to flee from the outraged family. Later, in a similar situation, he lands himself in the same sort of trouble. In desperation he castrates himself, and thereafter finds life easier and is accepted by society. Period 1930s Germany. NB.

The Tutor

Play. Bertolt Brecht

Translations: Ralph Manheim, John Willett, Geoffrey Skelton, Richard Grunberger
M10 F10. Interior and exterior settings.

For synopsis, see above.

Twelfth Man

Comedy. H. Connolly
M7 (teenage, 20s, middle-age) F6 (teenage, 20s, middle-age). A cricket pavilion.

When Tetford cricket team are faced with the unexpected challenge of an all women's team their reactions are hardly encouraging. However, despite intrigue and trickery from the Tetford team, the women win the day, calling for some rethinking on the men's behalf on the sanctity of cricket, although not before several major revelations rock the foundations of the cricket club.
ISBN 0 573 01919 X

Twelve Angry Men

Play. Reginald Rose
M 13. A jury room.

A young delinquent is on trial for the murder of his aggressive father. The judge has directed the jury to find the boy guilty if there is no reasonable doubt. Eleven of the jurors declare there is no reasonable doubt, but one of them, while far from convinced of the boy's innocence, feels that some of the evidence against him has been ambiguous. At the end of along afternoon he wins all the others round to his view. Period 1950s.
ISBN 0 573 04012 5

Twelve Dreams

Play. James Lapine.
3 men, 2 women, 2 girls. Interior.

Inspired by an actual case history denoted by Carl Jung, the play traces the story of a little New England girl, Emma, who makes a booklet of her dreams which she gives to her psychiatrist father, Charles Hatrick, for Christmas. Still numbed with grief over the death of his wife, Dr. Hatrick is unable to make sense of these amazing dreams and passes the book along to his mentor, the Professor, who is visiting from abroad. The structure of the play sets the daily life of Emma against the re-creation of these dreams, which are enacted by the individuals who inhabit her world: her governess-housekeeper, jenny; her best friend, Rindy; a rich neurotic who Dr. Hatrick is treating, Dorothy Trowbridge-, Emma's ballet teacher, Miss Banton; and a young protege of Dr. Hatrick's, Sanford Putnam. The dreams, which are disturbing and phantasmagoric, are described by the Professor as those of an older person, one who is facing death. As the events of the play gather force, we learn that the young girl is in fact fatally ill - a tragic destiny which her father, for all his erudition and experience, is helpless to understand or avert. Twelve Dreams is ultimately a meditation on love and loss, and the forces of life and fate.
ISBN: 0-8222-1506-3

Twilight Walk

Drama. A.B. Shiffrin.
8 men, 6 women, 1 boy. Exterior.

Kate Scott is writing articles on recent murders in Central Park. Sam Dundee is a detective trying to solve the murders. Clark Wilson, who is engaged, to Kate, arranges for her to question Dundee about the killings. But Kate and Dundee clash over their opposing ideas on crime. Dundee wants to catch the criminal and kill him. Kate thinks he should be studied. All the time the murderer himself, young Ronnie Brewster, sits within earshot of them. That very day another girl is killed in the park. Kate and Dundee meet and when Kate taunts him he challenges her to stop theorising and do something. Over Clark's protests she joins the manhunt. At the risk of her life, she encounters Ronnie, questions him, realises that he is the murderer, and persuades him to surrender. Everything is moving smoothly when Dundee and Clark arrive on the scene. But Ronnie suspects Kate of laying a trap for him and tries to escape. Dundee shoots him down. Kate is heartbroken to see her near success ruined. Ronnie Brewster is lying dead at her feet just as his mother arrives to take him home.


Play. Romulus Linney
9 men, 2 women; unit.

April, 1945. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials against the leaders of Nazi Germany are about to begin. Hermann Goering, in the place of Adolf Hitler, leads the accused and with his German counsel, prepares his defence. Drug free and healthy from a Spartan imprisonment, Goering is once again the formidable man who more than any other made Hitler Chancellor of Germany and built the engines of the Third Reich. He defies the Tribunal with wit and ferocity, refuses to blame Hitler for his actions, denies the right of any conqueror to fairly prosecute the conquered, and foretells a disturbing future for crimes of war. As the horrors of what he is responsible for come to light, he demonically refuses to accept them as anything but the natural consequences of human conflict, and after manipulating his own suicidal escape from hanging, asks the audience, "What do you think men are?"
ISBN: 0-8222-1486-5


Play. Jim Cartwright
M 1 F1, playing 14 characters (M6 F7, 1 boy). A pub.

Set in a Northern pub owned by a savagely bickering husband and wife, Two is a series of short vignettes that skilfully combines pathos and humour, with all fourteen characters played by two actors. During the course of the evening, assorted customers pass through, including a little boy left behind by his father - an event which triggers a movement towards a fragile reconciliation between the pub couple, as their own dark tragedy is revealed.

Two and Two Make Sex

Comedy. Richard Harris and Leslie Darbon
M3 (24, 45, 50) F3 (20, 40). Split set: a drawing-room, a bedsitter.

Middle-aged George, having reached the 'virility crisis', seeks reassurance from young Jane. His wife, Clare, finds herself behaving in somewhat the same way with Jane's boyfriend Nick. The action swings between the contrasting rooms (in a split set) until matters are brought to a general confrontation. In a long climactic scene mistaken identities abound and rebound, and a bizarrely humorous game of make-believe is played by all concerned.
ISBN 0 573 01548 1

Two and Two Together

Comedy. Derek Benfield
M4 (30s, 50s, 60s) F3 (40s, middle-age) Split set: 2 suburban reception rooms

Rachel's husband Victor never suspects that she is keeping an assignation with a young man in the house of her good friend Georgina. Why should he? He has other things on his mind - in the shape of the said Georgina, who he is meeting secretly while her husband Henry, an actor, is safely occupied in the theatre. But Henry returns home unexpectedly and the two couples are forced into a riotous whirlwind of lies and misunderstandings ...
ISBN 0 573 01947 9

Two Blind Mice

Comedy Samuel Spewack.
14 men. Interior.

The Office of Medicinal Herbs of the Department of Agriculture in Washington, manages to persist because no one realises that it was abolished years ago, but no official steps have been taken to close it. Two nice old ladies run this department, but never answer the phone for fear of discovery. They are really interested in helping people, and are too scrupulous to cash the salary cheques which are automatically sent to them. They manage to exist by renting parts of their office to a pants presser and a dance teacher, and by collecting fees from a parking lot nearby. In the words of the Daily News, they are "taken over by a newspaper reporter who transforms their hideaway into a top-secret bureau, staffed with Army, Navy, and State Department people who never know exactly what they are doing but believe they are developing a new science of herbal warfare which is the deadliest yet. There's a love story about the reporter, his ex-wife and. the ex-wife's new fiancé - and if you know your theatre you know who wins. The journalist enjoys mystifying people, particularly literal-minded Government employees. This farcical play is not only an entertaining, but is full of caustic and amusing satire on bureaucracy, stupidity and red tape.

The Two-Character Play

Play: Tennessee Williams - A revision of Out Cry : 1 man, 1 woman. Unit Set

Two actors, a brother and sister, meet in the empty playhouse where their theatre company is scheduled to perform that evening. But apparently the other actors have deserted them, and absconded with their money, so the two decide to perform the "Two Character Play," extemporizing the parts not memorized or not yet written. Thus the play-within-a-play begins, and it proves to be so compelling, and so deeply affecting, that soon both they and the audience are no longer sure as to where the play stops and real life takes over. In the end unanswered questions linger, but, with them, overtones of larger truths revealed and deeper meanings brought into light at last.
ISBN: 0-8112-0729-3

Two Dozen Red Roses

Comedy. Kenneth Horne, adapted from the Italian by Aldo de Benedetti : Comedy 3M 2F Interior set

Alberto Verani and his wife Marina are a happily married, well-to-do couple, living in modern Rome. Marina, however, feels that before old age approaches she wants to prove to herself that she is still attractive to men. She determines to take a short vacation at a winter resort with a woman friend of hers. Alberto is somewhat upset until his wife explains that her project is no way "improper." He therefore consents with fairly good grace. Chance has it that a telephone message intended for a nearby florist comes to his home from a well-known Countess, ordering roses. Alberto decides to play a little game with the Countess and sends her the roses on his own, together with a brief anonymous note from a supposed admirer. He believes that an innocent flirtation of this kind is not entirely out of order in view of his wife's plans. Just before Marina leaves for the station the roses intended for the Countess are by mistake delivered to her, together with her husband's anonymous note. Marina is of course intrigued, and decides not to go away. Alberto, unwilling to admit his slight but innocent trick, keeps his silence. So for several days the roses come regularly to Marina, each accompanied by a mysterious note. Matters threaten to become even more serious when Marina is seen to be drifting farther and farther from her husband in the direction of the unknown admirer. In an attempt to set matters right a family friend, Tomasso Savelli, resorts to the desperate measure of telling Marina that he himself is the unknown admirer. However, that story will not hold water, and in the end the Veranis are not only reconciled but they have established a more genuine understanding and affection than existed before Marinas original plan to go away.
ISBN: 0-8222-1181-5 (US)
ISBN: 0 85676 078 1 (UK)

Two Into One

Comedy. Ray Cooney
M5 (Oriental, 20s-40s, 60s) F5 (young, 20s, 40s). Extras optional. Multiple settings.

While staying at the Westminster Hotel, MP Richard Willey despatches his wife Pamela to the theatre so that his assistant, George, can arrange a suite where Richard can seduce one of the PM's secretaries. Unfortunately, George bungles the arrangements and Richard finds his illicit love nest is the suite next to his and Pamela's. From then on George piles one outrageous deceit upon another, accidentally finding himself seducing Pamela, until staff and guests are reeling in confusion!
ISBN 0 573 01607 0

Two of a Kind

Comedy. Hugh Janes
M2 (elderly) F2 (middle age, elderly). A room, lobby, office and optional inset scene.

'Wally' Wallis is hardly the perfect retirement-home resident. When his roommate, Potts, dies and is replaced with staid, dull George, war is instantly declared! Wally decides he must leave, but before his escape with Potts' ashes he reaches a level of understanding with George and shares some tender moments with May, another resident, who has a soft spot for both men.
ISBN 0 573 01944 4

The Two of Us

Four one-act plays for two players. Michael Frayn
M1 F1 . A bedroom, a dining room, two living-rooms.

The four plays are not connected except by the fact that they can all be played by the same two performers. In the first Black and Silver, a husband and wife return to the hotel room in which they spent their honeymoon. In The New Quixote a young man has spent a night with a girl, to whom the encounter is so casual that he has even forgotten it when he leaves her. However, he returns to take up residence - but will they really be happy together'? Mr Font, the third play, concerns a couple -he is in line for a new job, she may be 'vetted' as his wife, by his employer. She creates an imaginary interview. The last play, Chinamen, is the longest, and in it the players share five parts. It concerns a dinner patty to which friends are invited who at all costs must not be allowed to meet. They do!

Two Planks and a Passion

Play. Anthony Minghella
M 12 F4. Extras. Composite setting.

Set in York in 1392, this play tells of a performance of the Mystery Plays. For the townspeople the competition is fierce to attract the attention of the Royal Party and to impress them at all costs. But the message of Mystery cycle as performed is strong, clear and truthful. This remarkable and beautifully written play is highly original, often very funny and ultimately deeply moving. '... a play full of bustle, life, satire and at times a most moving account of simple faith.' Daily Mail
ISBN 0 573 01604 6

Two Rooms

Lee Blessing : Drama
2M 2F Interior set

The two rooms of the title are a windowless cubicle in Beirut where an American hostage is being held by Arab terrorists, and a room in his home in the United States which his wife has stripped of furniture so that, at least symbolically, she can share his ordeal. In fact the same room serves for both,.and is also the locale for imaginary conversations between the hostage and his wife, plus the setting for the real talks which she has with a reporter and a State Department official. The former, an overly ambitious sort who hopes to develop the situation into a major personal accomplishment, tries to prod the wife into taking umbrage at what he labels government ineptitude and inaction; while the State Department representative is coolly efficient, and even dispassionate, in her attempt to treat the matter with professional detachment. It is her job to try to make the wife aware of the larger equation of which the taking of a hostage is only one element, but as the months inch by it becomes increasingly difficult to remain patient, and when the official lifts the reporter's passport to prevent him from going to Beirut, the wife is goaded to speak out against government policy and, in so doing, triggers the tragic series of events which brings the play to its startling conclusion. In the end there are no winners, only losers, and the sense of futility and despair which comes when people of good will realize that logic, compassion and fairness have become meaningless when dealing with those who would commit such barbarous acts so willingly.
ISBN: 0-8222-1183-1

Two Small Bodies

Play: Neal Bell.
1 man, 1 woman, Unit set

Estranged from her husband, and working as a cocktail waitress, Eileen has perhaps neglected her two small children whose disappearance has brought about a visit by the tough-talking Lt. Brann. Obviously suspicious, the detective plays a cat-and-mouse game with Eileen, suggesting that the children may have been kidnapped; or perhaps gruesomely murdered; or perhaps are safely with their father; or may have become victims of the dissolute life style which he attributes to Eileen. Comprised of a series of contiguous, interconnected scenes, the play pursues the growing love/hate relationship which begins to build ominously between the tired, conservative minded police officers, and the voluptuous woman who both intrigues and repels him. He drops by at odd hours of the day and night; he is sometimes sympathetic and confiding, sometimes hard and abrasive; until, at last, he drives her to confess. Then, in a startling turnabout, the detective tells Eileen that the bodies of her children have been found and the vagrant who killed them arrested - but this revelation only underscores the grief which the mother, for all her worldliness, will carry with her always and the sexual confusion which their encounter has aroused in the hard-driving, relentlessly moral police officer.
ISBN 0 8222 1185 8