Composers and their stage works 


Under Milk Wood

Play for voices. Dylan Thomas. With music by Daniel Jones
69 characters. Extras. Doubling possible. Various settings.

A vigorous and rich narrative, sparkling dialogue, and beautifully simple songs; this play overflows with the author's fecund vision of human experience in the small Welsh seaside town of Llareggub. Although probably the most enchanting work for broadcasting ever written this play is also suitable as a stage play. 'Dylan Thomas's beautiful, bawdy, affectionate, reckless, and deeply original play was justly crowned at its first performance by a storm of cheers ...' Sunday Times

Under the Stars

Comedy. Richard Crane
M2 (young) F3 (middle-age). An understudies' dressing-room.

Stella and Regina are understudies in a West End production of a classical tragedy. Stella is a Method actress, passionate about the magic of theatre, whilst Regina is her cynically practical opposite, displaying an acerbic wit and resigned to knitting and shopping in Sainsbury's. When their double-crossing director brings in The Known Actress as the understudy for one of the stars, the two rivals unite in their resentment.
ISBN 0 573 01911 8

Under the Sycamore Tree

Farcical Fable. Samuel Spewack.
8 men, 3 women (including 3 male, and 1 female non-speaking roles). Interior.

If ants could speak, if they could love and hate and dream and philosophise like humans, how would they react to the present state of the world? We come upon the ant colony at a time when words have replaced numbers as language; radio, telephone and a secret war weapon (DDT) have established superiority over the enemy, brown ants and the scientist is ready to go beyond man's machines to man himself, to discover the "X" that makes man's world go round. The mysterious ingredient is, of course, love - and before long the scientist has taught it to a boy and girl ant, and the queen. Contentment reigns. The humanising process continues to the point where the ants have politics, confusion - everything - plus the utterly unhuman factor of happiness. They manage to get rid of that but then hit upon the equally unhuman notion of conducting a full-scale non-deadly war. The scientist sets out to give this secret to the President of the United States. His attempt to gain the Presidential ear is frustrated but at least he and his queen can, like humans, conclude that they 'have lived.'
ISBN: 0-8222-1194-7

Under the Yum Yum Tree

Comedy. Lawrence Roman.
3 men, 2 women. Interior

Hogan is the landlord who occupies the apartment next door. He rents the cozy diggings in which the story takes place to women who generally require some sort of solacing. He is a man on the prowl, and is the first to acknowledge his defects. He lies, eavesdrops and is pushy; he tells you so himself. As the play begins Irene Wilson, a divorcee and the latest recipient of Hogan's tender consolations, is vacating the flat on Telegraph Hill with the grand view of the Golden Gate Bridge. She is leaving San Francisco to spend the summer teaching in Sacramento, and she is turning over the apartment to her niece, Robin Austin, a student at Berkeley. It does not take Hogan long to make the discovery that the newcomer is gorgeous. He uses means that seem natural to him. He listens with an ear to the door of his apartment. He peeks through the keyhole. Using a handy passkey, he opens the door a trifle, and by the adroit manipulation of two mirrors he carefully cases the new tenant. It does not take Hogan long to find out that Robin has a problem. She is in love with a clean-cut, upstanding young lawyer named Dave Manning, and he is in love with her. She thinks that before marrying they ought to test their compatibility by sharing the apartment for a few weeks - platonically, that is. The business of a high-minded, red-blooded American male resisting the innocent blandishments of the nubile Robin is manipulated to arrive at maximum suggestive content. But the sport ends blamelessly. Nothing happens to Robin without benefit of clergy.
ISBN: 0-8222-1195-5


Michael Sloan : Thriller
9M 3F Interior set (London Underground train carriage)

A tense and claustrophobic thriller emerges when twelve people become trapped in a London Underground train carriage. The fear of being trapped underground with very little air and apparently no rescue service underway becomes very real as we witness the initial panic and fear experienced by the passengers. As the temperature rises and tempers fray, an electrical shortage on the train shrouds a brutal murder in darkness and when the lights eventually come up we are faced with a new and more chilling revelation - there is a murderer aboard and nowhere to run.

The Undertaking

Play. Philip Osment
M4 (young, 30s) Fl (30s). Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Henry has died of AIDS and his lover, Howard, ex-lover Michael and old friend Sheila - along with Michael's new lover, Eamon -travel to Ireland to scatter his ashes. Conflicts and jealousies arise between the members of the group and are exacerbated by the arrival of Patrick, Michael's straight brother, but the ash-scattering ceremony unites them again. Written with insight, humour and great compassion, The Undertaking is a moving and very human play tackling difficult themes with enormous but unobtrusive skill.

The Understanding

Play. Angela Huth
M 1 (65-75) F4 (18, 65-75). A sitting-room.

Three elderly sisters, Lydia, Eva and Acton, live in a rambling London house with Eva's husband, Leonard, to whom she has been married for forty years. Throughout that time he and Acton have nursed a discreet, platonic love for each other. The arrival of a young Girl Friday reminds Leonard of Acton at that age and it appears that Eva knew all about the affair. When Eva dies Leonard has the choice of either marrying Acton or losing her. Seen at the Strand Theatre, London, in 1982 with Sir Ralph Richardson.