Composers and their stage works 


We Found Love and an Exquisite Set of Porcelain Figurines Aboard the SS Farndale Avenue.

Comedy. David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr
M2 (20s, any age) F3 (20s, 40s, 50s). Various simple settings.

Flushed and following on from their previous successes (?), the stalwart veterans of the F.A.H.E.T.G. Dramatic Society are poised to conquer another dramatic idiom. In romantic vein aboard an ocean-going liner for their excursion into the world of thirties' musical comedy à la Noel and Gertie, the ladies prove that the age of elegance, glamour and enchantment is not dead ... well, not quite anyway.
ISBN 0 573 01933 9

We Have Always Lived In the Castle

Melodrama. Hugh Wheeler. Based on the best-selling novel by Shirley Jackson.
2 men, 3 women, 1 boy, 1 girl. Interior.

The home of the Blackwoods near a Vermont village is a lonely, ominous abode, and Constance, the young mistress of the place, carA go out of the house without being insulted and stoned by the villagers. They have also composed a nasty song about her because Constance is looked upon as the local Lizzie Borden, with double the murders attributed to her. Though she has been acquitted, it is believed that she had done away with four of her relatives by feeding them rat poison. There are two of the relatives left, however, and they share her gloomy seclusion. One is a dotty old uncle, who is confined to a wheelchair. He is writing a book on the case, but he can't remember some- of the details. The other is her pretty little sister of 15 who is fiercely protective toward Constance. There is, in addition, a small black boy living in the house, who looks on the eerie events as a game. Then a youthful cousin arrives from abroad, and falls in love with Constance, though there is a suspicion that he is mainly after her money. With the atmosphere of impending doom properly taken care of, the play sets out on the project of unveiling what actually took place that homicidal night in the Blackwood dining room, and I hope it isn't unfair to reveal that all the murders are not those of the lethal family evening.
ISBN: 0-8222-1226-9

Web Of Murder

Mystery/Comedy. Jonathan Troy.
4 men, 5 women. Interior.

Having been confined to a wheelchair for many years, the ailing and irritable Minerva Osterman has turned her isolated mansion into a virtual prison not only for herself but for her spinster daughter, Stephanie; her long-suffering housekeeper, Nora; and her personal physician, Dr. Adler. Fearing that her death may be imminent, Minerva has drawn up her will and summoned her two nieces, Mary and Belle, so that she may confront all her possible heirs in person, and watch their reactions as the will is read. She had asked her nieces to come alone, but they arrive with respective fiancés, whom Minerva grudgingly allows to stay. Before revealing the contents of her will, however, she has the mysterious Dr. Adler put her into a hypnotic trance, during which she picks up a deck of cards and turns over the three of clubs - the card of death. Her prediction is that someone in the room will die before the weekend is over - a prediction which comes true when she herself dies of a spider bite. After that more bodies turn up, and fear and suspicion grows among the remaining. The will disappears, a diabolic plot is revealed and then, at last, the murderer is unmasked - in a chilling, exciting climax which is held off until the final, perilous moments of the play.
ISBN. 0-8222-1227-7


Play. Robert David MacDonald
M 10 F4. A theatre corridor.

Premiered at the Citizens', Glasgow, and revived at the Old Red Lion in London, this Grand Guignol is based on the few known facts of the great Jacobean playwright's life and on conjecture about his lost play The Guise. Trapped and embittered by an appalling family, Webster seeks solace with the attractive boy actors in his company. But then he disagrees with his patron and the theatre manager... 'This brawling, sprawling play makes a wonderfully entertaining evening ... The language is scatalogical and downright.' Financial Times

The Wedding Of the Siamese Twins

Play. Burton Cohen. Based on the true story of Chang and Eng, the famous Siamese twins.
3 men, 3 women. Unit Set

Having amassed a considerable fortune through their world tours, Chang and Eng, the renowned Siamese twins (who were born connected by a band of flesh in the breastbone area) decide to settle in North Carolina, where they buy a prosperous farm. They are also hopeful of finding suitable wives, and when the Yates sisters, Sally and Adelaide, appear on the scene, the two brothers are smitten. Wooing the sisters proves easier than convincing their skeptical parents that the two "freaks" would be suitable husbands, but the lack of other suitors and the fact of Chang and Eng's obvious wealth soon tip the scales - and lead on to an unique double union which produces a total of twenty-one children. The brothers had long since developed an ability to "go away' from each other when privacy demanded, to achieve a state of detached oblivion which gives them as much "separateness" as their physical situation will permit, and this allows their marriages to work. But, in time, Chang and Eng begin to weary of touring and of being constantly together: Chang turns increasingly to drink, and Eng gambles away much of his fortune. Yet, in the end, when Chang contracts a fatal illness which spells death for both of them, the real depth of their closeness and dependency, both physical and spiritual, is made eloquently clear - it, in truth, is what has sustained them through the years and will now do the same for their grieving widows.
ISBN: 0-8222-1228-5

Wedding of the Year

Comedy. Norman Robbins
M4 (20s, 30s, 50, 70s) F6 (20s, 40s, 70s, 80s). A living-room.

Alison Murchison, fat, straight-haired, bespectacled, is the last sort of girl one would visualise as a heroine, but Uncle Frank decides to make her one by entering her as a prospective candidate for a Wedding of the Year competition, selecting a designer to create her wedding dress even before he has found her a suitable husband. His eye falls on Walter Thornton's son, Melvyn, a frustrated inventor and an appallingly clumsy young man. However, the best-laid plans ...
ISBN 0573 11473 0

The Wedding Party

(in Dutch Plays) - Judith Herzberg. Trans D. Couling
7m 7f Drama. Single interior set.

This is no ordinary wedding party: both the betrothed have been previously married and these previous partners are present at the wedding. Through a series of short, interchangeable filmic scenes we gradually find out about the characters and their personal histories, and also about the thoughts they choose not to tell the others ... At a ceremony, symbolic of the joining of souls, we witness the disintegration of relationships and of society as a whole.
ISBN 1 85459 289 0


Comedy: Gore Vidal.
8 men, 6 women (several of the male characters are bit roles). Interior.

The story tells of a Republican Senator who is about to announce his candidacy for his party's nomination for the Presidency when his son returns from a long stay in Europe bringing with him a Negro girl who is his sweetheart and possibly his fiancée. The Senator and his associates are shocked by the news and he thinks of withdrawing from the race. But he boldly decides to acknowledge the inter-racial union, only to have the entire nation hailing his great courage. But not before he has been obliged to deal with his son's attempted blackmail, his black butler's disastrous self-righteousness, and the middle-class prejudices of the girl's very distinguished - and conservative - parents. He remains deftly opportunistic to the end, but it is the simple virtues of fairness and compassion which eventually carry the day - and hopefully always will, despite the calculated manoeuvers of the politicians and the cold-eyed professionals who attend them.
ISBN. 0-8222-1230-7

The Weekend

Play. Michael Palin
M4 (30s, 60s) F5 (teenage, 30s, 50s, 60s). A dog. M 1 voice only. A living/dining-room.

Cantankerous, misanthropic, miserable, world-weary ... think of an adjective synonymous with 'crabby' and it will apply to Stephen Febble. All he wants is to be left alone, but, to his horror, his long-suffering wife Virginia fills the house with guests for the weekend. Stephen responds in the only way he knows how -with a monstrous display of rudeness. A riot of a comedy with an ever-present dark side.

Weekend Breaks

Play. John Godber
M2 (30s, 60s) Fl (60s) A voice. An empty stage.

John Godber's striking, easily staged play explores the complex relationship between a thirty-three year old theatre studies teacher and his elderly parents. Martin Dawson has invited his parents, Joan and Len, to visit him in the Lake District. This 'enjoyable' weekend break evolves into an opportunity for the release of the pent-up frustrations of a lifetime. Godber successfully combines biting humour with serious intent in this thought-provoking comment on age, communication and life in general.
ISBN 0 573 01940 1

Weekends Like Other People

David Blomquist. Play.
1 man, 1 woman. Interior.

Laurie and Dan are an average blue-collar couple, he a warehouse worker, she employed in a restaurant, who have an eleven-year old son; a tacky, cheaply furnished apartment; and an urge to get ahead like "other people." In a series of seemingly inconsequential domestic scenes, separated by the sound of overheard television commercials, the two talk about the books they should be reading (instead of watching TV); the exotic foods they should be trying (in place of frozen meat pies); and the fine wines they should be enjoying (rather than the omnipresent cans of beer). Hungry for the "good life," Dan is buoyed by the prospect of a promotion which has been dangled before him by his dashing new boss. When it falls through he explodes at Laurie and she, fed up with his pretensions, explodes back. But inevitably, and a bit sadly, they accept the truth - that what they have is all they ever will have, and what they hoped for, in fact, only a more affluent version of the bankrupt existence which is already theirs.
ISBN: 0-8222-1229-3

The Weir

Conor McPherson
4m 1f. Drama Single interior set

In a bar in rural Ireland, the landlord and three regulars attempt to spook a young woman who has recently arrived from Dublin. But as the conversation moves on it is Valerie who scares the men ... 'A spellbinder that transfixes you ... No praise in fact is too high' Guardian. Conor McPherson won the 1997 Evening Standard and Critic's Circle Awards for Most Promising Playwright with this play which was commissioned and premiered by the Royal Court Theatre.
ISBN 1 85459 319 6

Wenceslas Square

Play. Larry Shue.
Casting flexible, minimum of 3 men, 1 woman. Unit set

Drawn from the author's own experience, the play tells of the return to Czechoslovakia, in 1974, of a former college drama professor, Vince Corey, who is researching a book (begun during a visit five years earlier) on the explosion of artistic creativity which flowered under the now overthrown, liberal Dubcek government. Accompanied by a young student, Dooley, the professor is shocked to find that the free speech and artistic freedom which he encountered on his earlier visit have been crushed by the Soviet masters who have taken over the country. In a series of vivid, yet often brightly funny scenes, Vince and Dooley look up a succession of Vince's former friends and contacts, including his translator and her husband; a great actor now reduced to doing propaganda films; a shamed but nervously helpful government functionary; and a brilliant writer whose resistance to authority has led to his virtual banishment from society - all, in the New York production, played by the same actor and actress. While humor abounds as the two move from one sharply etched encounter to another, the play also offers a thoughtful and moving comment on the nature of oppression, artistic and otherwise, as the two Americans begin to comprehend the fear and suspicion which their friends must now contend with, and the dreadful grayness which descended on their once promising lives when the famous "Prague Spring" gave way to "Prague Winter."
ISBN: 0-8222-1232-3

The West Side Waltz

Comedy Emest Thompson.
2 men, 3 women. Interior

Holding out indomitably against advancing age, dwindling finances and failing health, Margaret Mary Elderdice, a widow and former concert pianist, resists the attempts of her violin-playing spinster neighbor, Cara Varnum, to move in with her. While she enjoys playing duets with Cara and gossiping about the other tenants in their upper West Side apartment building, Margaret Mary values her independence above the dubious comforts which the constant presence of the priggish Cara might provide. So Cara is shocked when Margaret Mary engages Robin Bird, a rather kooky young would-be actress, as her paid; live-in companion. Relations between the three are strewn with hilarious pitfalls from the start, with additional comic complications being provided by a malaprop-prone Rumanian building superintendent and an eager young lawyer-suitor whom Robin Bird brings home for dinner. Ultimately things do fall into place, and largely so because of the spirited will of Margaret Mary, who goads the others to rise above their problems, to stake a personal claim on life, and to resist, with all their strength, the infirmities and misfortunes that flesh is heir to.
ISBN: 0-8222-1233-1