Composers and their stage works 


Victor's Island

Play. Bryan Stocks
M5 (young, 20s, middle-age, elderly) F3 (young, 20s, 30s). A veranda.

Actor Victor Kendrew returns to his Bahamian home from his honeymoon with his young bride Ida, who is rumoured to have left behind an unhappy love affair. Actor Peter Barlow arrives, and it transpires that he is the lover Ida left behind. They both leave together for Hollywood, where Peter's screen test is such a success that he is destined to take the place of fading idol Victor, who has played 'hard to get' once too often.

The Vietnamization Of New Jersey

Comedy/Drama. Christopher Durang.
5 men, 2 women. Interior

A comic and biting satire of post-Vietnam America.

The scene is a middle-class home in Piscataway, New Jersey, where Ozzie Ann (the mother) and Harry (the father) await the return of their Vietnam veteran son, David, and his native bride, Liat. Also on hand are younger brother Et, a sex-obsessed high school junior who eats cornflakes from his unzipped pants; and Hazel, the irrepressible black maid (portrayed by a male performer) who is the real power in the household. When David and Liat arrive they are both blind (which he demonstrates by walking into the refrigerator) and she is an ex-hooker (who later turns out to be a displaced orphan named Maureen O'Hara). Thereafter come suicide, adultery, the feeble intervention of a homosexual priest, and the arrival of a super-patriotic, war-mongering uncle - plus a staccato of outrageous comments by the cynical Hazel. The final result is a scathing, irreverent indictment of the worst aspects of the American character, made real by the incisiveness of the author's writing; yet hilarious by the wild originality of his vision.
ISBN: 0-8222-1208-0

Vieux Carré

Play. Tennessee Williams
M9 F9. Composite setting: a rooming house.

This is an autobiographical portrait of Williams as he recalls, with pain, compassion and wry humour, a sojourn in the French Quarter of New Orleans during 1938. We see a tubercular, homosexual painter, a New York fashion illustrator now suffering from leukaemia, two elderly gentlewomen starving politely, and dominating Mrs Wire, the sentimental and cruel, comically desperate landlady.

The place is a morning house in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the time the late '30s. As narrated by The Writer, a young man recently arrived from st. Louis, the action is concerned with interlocking lives of the various residents: a tubercular, homosexual painter; a doomed young girl and har coarse lover, two aging "ladies" living in near poverty; and the eccentric irrepressible landlady, who veers from cruelty to sentiment in her treatment of her charges. Filled with evocative memories, and sharply etched portraits of its singular characters, the play centres first on The Writer, and his seduction by The Painter; and then probes into the fateful love of the young girl for her stud - she dying of leukemia, and he torn between his debt to her and his urge to escape the consequences of her condition. It is a play of echoes and remem brances, a series of engrossing scenes, sometimes brutally candid sometimes delicately poetic, which are woven together into a rich and revealing tapestry, glinting with theatricality and throbbing with the
feel of life.

A View From the Bridge

Drama: Arthur Miller. Originally produced on Broadway as a long one-act. 12 men, 3 women., Interior

The central character is a longshoreman who, though his mind is limited and he cannot find words for his thoughts, is an admirable man. When two of his wife's Italian cousins - submarines they are, in the waterfront argot - are smuggled into this country, he makes room for them in his home. Gratefully they move in among his wife, his children and the teen-age niece whom he has brought up and whom he has come to love, he thinks, as a daughter. And now the stage is set for tragedy. One of the illegal immigrants has a family in Italy for whom he is working; the other young, extraordinarily handsome, and exceedingly blonde, is single. He wants to become an American, and he falls in love with his benefactor's niece. If he marries the girl he will no longer have to hide from immigration officials. A monstrous change creeps up on the kind and loving uncle. He is violently opposed to this romance and is not intelligent enough to realise that this opposition is not motivated, as he thinks, by a dislike of the boy and a suspicion that he is too pretty to be a man, but by his own too intense love for his niece. Not even the wise and kindly neighbourhood lawyer can persuade him to let the girl go. This is an intensely absorbing drama, sure of itself every step of the way. It makes no false moves, wastes no time and has the beauty that comes from directness and simplicity.
ISBN: 0-8222-1209-9

The Village Fete

Play. Peter Tinniswood
M4 (30s, 40s) F4 (30s, 40s). Simple settings on an open stage.

Nancy is at the helm of the unhappy Empson family who, for the sake of Father's health, move to a small country village. Their new house is in a state of disrepair, but they find that a local handyman, Winston, is keen to help them out. He breaks their resistance to him with his irreverent wit, gourmet cooking, free repairs and liberal doses of sexual advice. Gradually the family are transformed by his presence.
ISBN 0 573 01924 X

Vinegar Tom

Play. Caryl Churchill
14 characters, can be played by a cast of 9. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Written for Monstrous Regiment in 1976 and first presented at the Humberside Theatre, Hull, this is a history play with a difference. Set loosely in the seventeenth century, it charts the persecution of women in the name of witchcraft showing how fear of female sexuality is one of the major forces behind the witch hunts - and in its 'modern' songs challenges the audience to examine its own attitudes to women and sexuality.

Virtue Triumphant, or, Her Honour in Peril

Comedy melodrama. Pat Norris
M8 (young, middle-age) F6 (young, middle-age, old). Extras. Various simple settings on an open stage.

A full-blooded melodrama complete with wicked Squire, handsome hero, beautiful heroine, comic rustics, flirtatious matron, susceptible vicar and other staple ingredients. Thrilling adventures include a last-minute rescue, a chase, and a plethora of vengeful ghosts. The basis of the main plot is the Squire's lust for the lovely Rose and his determination to possess her by hook or by crook.
ISBN 0 573 11492 7

The Visions of Simone Machard

Play. Bertolt Brecht
Translations: Hugh and Ellen Rank, Ralph Manheim
M 12 F3. Extras. A courtyard.

Simone, a teenage girl working as a hostelry servant, spends her time reading about Joan of Arc. The period is 1940 and the Germans are advancing towards the French town. In a series of dreams or visions she sees herself as Joan leading a Resistance movement against the enemy. When she attempts to turn her visions into reality her employers commit her to a mental asylum. However, in the last few lines of the play it appears that she has encouraged others in the town to take action.

The Visit

Drama. Friedrich Durrenmatt. Adapted by Maurice Valency
M29 F8 (9 principals and 28 small parts). Extras. Composite setting.

Claire Zachanassian, the richest woman in the world, returns to her poverty-stricken home town. The townspeople are ready to grovel for favours and select as their representative Anton Schell, for Claire and Anton had once been deeply in love. Claire arrives with a sinister menage. She soon announces that she has come for revenge on her onetime sweetheart, offering a million marks for his life. In the nightmarish climax Schell's corrupted friends sacrifice him to their greed.
ISBN 0 573 61754 6

Visit To a Small Planet

Comedy. Gore Vidal.
8 men, 2 women. Interior

Ritchard comes from another planet to do a bit of sightseeing and to see or start a war. He thinks he has arrived in time to see the Civil War, which he expects will be jolly, but he has misjudged his landing and gets here in 1957. He tries to make the best of it. "Isn't hydrogen fun?" he gurgles, as he hears about modern warfare. Where he comes from, civilization has gone way beyond what we have here. They don't have babies any more, for instance, and he explains to us earthlings, "We gave it up. Sometimes I think we were a bit hasty." This interplanetary visitor, who can read human minds and even have an enchanting conversation with a Siamese cat, plops himself into an average community whose population includes an average general, an average boy and girl in love, an average TV newscaster or oracle and an above-average cat. Since he has missed the Civil War, the visitor from outer space (not from Mars, he insists) decides to make his own war - he's enchanted with all the new playthings the 20th Century has invented for war-making, and he wants to toss a few of them around. Since on his planet emotions withered away to make room for intellectual development, he sees no reason why a few people shouldn't be happy to die for his amusement. It takes the combined action of the entire cast to persuade him to call off his war.
ISBN: 0-8222-1211-0

Visiting Hour

Play. Richard Harris
M2 F4, playing a variety of roles. A hospital ward.

Six inter-linked plays set in a National Health hospital during visiting hour. Alternately funny and sad - with elements of tragedy and comedy in each - your audience will be reaching for the Kleenex one minute and rolling in the aisles the next! '... packed with sharp lines and cruel characterisation ... It hurts to laugh but laugh we do ... for those who like their comedy black there is much to enjoy.' Daily Telegraph
ISBN 0 573 01925 8

Visiting Mr. Green

Jeff Baron. Comedy/Drama.
2 men. Interior.

Mr. Green, an elderly, retired dry cleaner wanders into traffic on New York's Upper West Side and is almost hit by a car driven by Ross Gardiner, a 29-year-old corporate executive. The young man is charged with reckless driving, and is given a community service sentence of helping Mr. Green once a week for six months. The old man's wife has just died, he lives in a fourth floor walk-up, and he needs help with groceries and such. The play follows the two men's growing and changing relationship over several months beginning with the first of these weekly visits. What starts out as a comedy about two men who do not want to be in the same room together, turns into a gripping and moving drama as they get to know each other, come to care about each other, and open old wounds they've been hiding and nursing for years.
ISBN: 0-8222-1681-7

Vita and Virginia

Play. Eileen Atkins, adapted from the correspondence between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
F2 (30, 40). A bare stage.

Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West first met in 1922. Through the course of the next twenty years, until Virginia's suicide in 1941, the extraordinary relationship between them was charted in their letters to one another, providing a remarkable insight into their love affair. Eileen Atkins has made a supremely skilful dramatisation of their correspondence in which they speak of everyday life, friends, literature and, above all, themselves.
ISBN 0 573 13012 4

Vivat! Vivat Regina!

Play. Robert Bolt
M27 F4. Extras. Doubling possible. Unit setting.

The play follows the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, from shortly before the former's return to Scotland, through her marriage to Darnley, Rizzio's death, the scandal over Bothwell, Mary's imprisonment, Catholic plots, until her execution, closing as Spain's Armada is in active preparation.
ISBN 0 573 01489 2

A Voice Of My Own

Play formerly titled The Other Half : Elinor Jones.
Casting flexible, minimum of 5 women. Open Stage.

Covering a broad spectrum from Sappho to writers of the present day, the play points up not only the triumphs of women in literature, but also the discouragement, derision and disbelief to which they were too often subjected. Spanning 26 centuries, the play evokes the words and feelings of women who were frequently obliged to hide behind anonymity or male names in order to practice their art, and from whom fantastic strength of character and indomitability were required. That they succeeded so brilliantly in their efforts is not only a tribute to these talented women in particular but, in a more general sense, to the irrepressible spirit of the entire "other half" of humanity, whose voice would not be denied.
ISBN: 0-8222-1212-9

The Voice of the Turtle

Comedy. John van Druten.
1 man, 2 women. Interior.

Although the plot is contrived with the artful ingenuity which is to be expected in any van Druten play, the interest here centers largely upon a most attractive and charming young man and an equally attractive young woman who, by gradual stages, fall in love with each other.
ISBN: 0-8222-1213-7

Voir Dire

Drama. Joe Sutton.
1 man, 5 women; flexible casting. Unit Set

A prominent black man is arrested for buying crack. His lawyer says he was framed, set up by a racist white cop. It is left to a jury of six (as is the case in misdemeanors and many civil cases in New York State), a racially mixed group of five women and one man, to decide who is telling the truth. This they do over three brutal, often explosive days of harrowing deliberation, as we take a peek behind the one door that will always remain closed to us - the door to the jury room.
ISBN: 0-8222-1524-1


Ben Jonson
12m 12f. Comedy. Multipurpose set.

Volpone is a Venetian aristocrat, a lovable rogue who enjoys the cunning pursuit of his wealth more than the money itself. Pretending to be mortally ill, he watches as his greedy neighbours swarm around him with expensive gifts in an attempt to inherit his fortune. 'There can be few comedies as harsh yet as enthralling in their depicition of greed and deceit as Ben Jonson's Volpone ... Actors let rip on the playwright's uncompromising, blackly comic vision of humanity's darkest side' Evening Standard. Michael Gambon played the irrepressible Volpone in the National's recent revival. First performed in 1606.
ISBN 1 85459 194 0

A Voyage Round My Father

Play. John Mortimer
M10 (boys, middle-age, 60s) F6 (girl, 50s), with doubling.

The author traces his life from the point of view of his relationship with his father. Near the start of the action the latter is blinded by an accident and the play ends with his death. The story is presented with humour, affection and, finally, deep pathos. The setting is a bare stage, with properties brought on and off by cast or stage management, and changes of milieu indicated, where necessary, by alterations in the lighting.
ISBN 0 573 01481 7