Composers and their stage works 


The Widow Claire

Play. Horton Foote.
8 men, 2 women. Unit Set

After returning to Harrison, Texas, from his disastrous visit with his mother and sister (and his new stepfather) in Houston, Horace Robedaux has moved into a local boarding house prior to returning to Houston to take a six week business course. During his brief stay at home he falls suddenly and passionately in love with an attractive but rather self-centered young-widow, Claire, who, as it happens, already has several suitors, not to mention two rather overactive small children. From the first it is apparent that Horace's hopes are futile, and the other boarders - mostly cigar smoking, poker players - take delight in ribbing Horace about the Widow Claire's "reputation" and the mischief he can expect from her fault-finding offspring. Their warnings prove to be all too true, and the gentle Horace is even drawn by the widow's young son into a disastrous (for him) fistfight with another of her suitors. As the play ends Horace is reconciled to yet another defeat in his young life. He prepares to depart for Houston a sadder but, hopefully, wiser person. The audience is left with a haunting, eloquent evocation of a time and place where life may have seemed simpler but was, in truth, as filled with compromises, disappointments and the need for strength of mind and spirit as our own, more complex, times.
ISBN: 0-8222-1253-6


Play. Ariel Dorfman, with Tony Kushner
Large, flexible cast, may be played by M6 F8. Various simple settings.

In a war-torn village the men have disappeared. The women-their mothers, wives, daughters wait by the river, hope and mourn. Their anguish is unspoken until bruised and broken bodies begin being washed up on the banks and the women defy the military in the only form of protest left to them. Ariel Dorfman's smouldering political allegory, written in collaboration with Tony Kushner, was given its European premiere by the Traverse Theatre in Cambridge, Oxford, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The Widow's Blind Date

Play. Israel Horovitz.
2 men, 1 woman. Interior.

The scene is the wastepaper processing plant in a blue-collar Massachusetts town. Two workmen, Archie and George, are drinking beer and swapping stories, mostly about their apparently extensive sexual conquests. Archie mentions that Margy, a friend from high school and now a widow, has invited him to join her for a dinner. When she arrives to pick Archie up, the mood of the play shifts. Suddenly, the play's original macho bantering takes on new and dangerous meanings. Margy will subtly set the two men ' against each other while gradually revealing her contempt for her former classmates, whose lives have remained in a rut, she says, while she went on to bigger and better things living in the big city. But this only the beginning of Margy's complaint. Piece by piece Margy reconstructs a night, fifteen years ago, when she was gang-raped after a party by a group of boys who included not only Archie and George, but also her blind brother, whom she's come back to town to visit. In the end, Margy gets what she came for: her revenge, and a violent, breath-stopping exorcism of the guilt and remorse that has plagued them all throughout the years.
ISBN: 0-8222-1254-4

Wife Begins at Forty.

Comedy. Arne Sultan, Earl Barret and Ray Cooney
M4 (16, 40s, 75) F2 (30, 40). 1 dog. A living-room.

This delightful comedy was premiered by Ray Cooney's Theatre of Comedy. Forty is a traumatic age for some people, especially Linda Harper who starts worrying about it three years before the date! Dissatisfied spiritually and physically with marriage to the staid George, Linda decides to leave. George moves out, giving Linda a chance to 'find herself', but returning to discuss maintenance they discover the flames of passion are not quite dead!
ISBN 0 573 01636 4

The Wild Duck.

Play. Henrik Ibsen, translated by Christopher Hampton
M 12 F3. 8M 2F extras. A study, a studio.

Here is the greatest account ever written of the destructiveness of missionary zeal. Gregers Werle enters the house of photographer Ekdal preaching 'the demands of idealism' (a nicely ambiguous phrase in Hampton's translation) and systematically destroys a family's happiness. 'If Ibsen's play is not a masterpiece, then the word is devoid of meaning.' Guardian
ISBN 0 573 61820 8

Wild Goose Chase.

Farce. Derek Benfield
M5 (20s, middle-age) F5 (young, 20s, 40s, middle-age). A baronial hall.

Chester Dreadnought bluffs his way into the crumbling stately home of an impecunious aristocratic family, and even a trigger-happy belted Earl suffering from hallucinations cannot keep at bay the enterprising pair of jewel thieves who are pursuing their loot - not to mention Chester-round the castle. Suits of armour and secret doors, mistaken identities and dotty servants all help to provide the variety of fare that goes to the making of this wild goose chase.
ISBN 0 573 11501 X

Wild Honey.

Play. Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Michael Frayn
M 12 (young to elderly) F4 (young, middle-age). Four settings.

A dazzling version of this dark comedy (sometimes called Platonov) premiered at the National Theatre in 1984 starring Ian McKellen as the complex, but hapless schoolmaster Platonov who lurches from one amorous chaos to the next, until, tormented, self-recriminating and suffering from delirium tremens he dies in the path of an oncoming train. Frayn has subtly cut and remodelled the original six-hour running time whilst staying close to Chekhov's original.

Wild Oats

James McLure : Comedy
23M 6W (doubling possible) Flexible staging

James McLure has transferred O'Keefe's restoration comedy to the American Old West, retaining the basic plot structure of the original play while ingeniously transferring the events and people to the American frontier. Transforming the scheming servants and lustful gentry to music hall girls and cavalrymen, the story follows mistaken identities and long lost reunifications in an increasingly convoluted spin until a happy ending is eventually reached, providing both a field day for performers and sheer delight for audiences.
ISBN: 0 8222 1257 9

Wildest Dreams.

Play. Alan Ayckbourn
M4 (young, middle-age) F4 (young, middle-age), 1M 1F, voices only. Three acting areas.

Four typical Ayckbourn misfits are playing a Dungeons-and-Dragons type game in a suburban living room. The repressed Hazel and Stanley, her meek, sex-starved husband, are joined by emotionally retarded, computer-freak schoolboy, Warren, and Rick, a taciturn lesbian. The game offers the chance for them to be beautiful, wise and heroic-qualities they will never possess in reality. The advent of Marcie, escaping from her violent husband, blows apart their foursome.
ISBN 0 573 01932 0

Will You Still Love Me in the Morning?

Farce. Brian Clemens and Dennis Spooner
M4 (30s-50s) F3 (25-40s), or M3 F4, 1 M voice only. A country cottage.

Jeremy and Celia return early from their honeymoon to find that both Jeremy's working partners have accepted his offer to stay in his house while he is away; unfortunately they have each brought the other's wife with them. Jeremy discovers one illicit couple, Celia the other, and both issue invitations to dinner. Desperate to make a good impression, they then must stage two dinner parties - simultaneously!
ISBN 0 573 01935 5

The Willow and I

Romantic Drama. John Patrick.
5 men, 6 women. Interior.

This is the story of 2 sisters, young in 1900 and in love then with the same tall, young man. One of the sisters is frail and gentle, the other robust and assertive and used to getting what she wants. But it is the gentle girl the young man loves and is about to marry. He never marries because the more violent sister tries to kill herself, and the other, finding her with a revolver and wrestling with her for it, is shocked out of reality when the gun is fired. Her mind cowers back from the violence, runs into hiding in terror, and for 40 years the girl lives in her clock-stopped mind on her summer wedding day. And then, in the violence of a summer storm, she awakens the events of the day; that her lover married the sister and died; that they had a son who is very like the father. You may guess whose face she first sees when she returns to time and what it does to her.
ISBN: 0-8222-1258-7

A Wind Between the Houses

Comedy. Maurice Hill.
4 men, 5 women, 1 boy. Interior, Simplified Exterior

Gracie Martin is a dear little old lady who has found consolation after the death of her beloved husband, Henry, by placing his urn of ashes on the mantelpiece and chattering away to it as though Henry were still with her. This eccentricity is accepted easily by her old ftiend, Amelia, a garrulous neighbour who always says good morning to Henry when she visits. Not so, however, with Gracie's two selfish children, John and Sheila, who fear that gossip about Gracie's fey behaviour will ruin their social and political futures. Matters are brought to a head on a Sunday visit when a little boy passes by to look at the "looney" he's heard lives there. John and Sheila concoct a plot to get rid of the ashes with a shocking act that plunges Gracie into tragic despair. Sheila, brought to her senses by the realisation of the wicked thing she's done, devises a wild but effective scheme to remedy the situation and the final curtain descends on a radiantly happy Gracie.
ISBN: 0-8222-1260-9

The Wind in the Willows.

Family entertainment. John Morley, adapted from the novel by Kenneth Grahame
22 characters, chorus. Doubling possible. Various interior and exterior settings.

John Morley has taken the well-loved characters of Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger from Kenneth Grahame's classic tale and woven their exploits into an exciting adventure story for all the family. Designed to be staged simply or elaborately, the casting is also very flexible with choice of music left up to individual producers. This delightful play will provide an evening of magic and joy for all.
ISBN 0 573 05073 2

The Wind in the Willows.

Kenneth Grahame. Adapted for the stage by Alan Bennett. Music by Jeremy Sams
24 characters. Extras. Various settings.

The characters of Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger have delighted generations of readers. Alan Bennett's version is true to the original and yet carries the distinctive Bennett hallmark. It was first performed at the Royal National Theatre in 1990 and subsequently at the Old Vic Theatre, London, in a shortened version adapted for proscenium staging. This is the version given here. The music by Jeremy Sams is available in a separate songbook.
ISBN 0 573 01930 4

The Wind of Heaven.

Play. Emlyn Williams
M4 (13, 30-50) F4 (20, 30s). A lounge.

Dilys Parry, an inconsolable Crimean War widow, lives in Blestin, a village which has no children, sings no songs, and worships no god since a disaster snatched away all its youth. She is gradually reawakened to life once a Miracle boy's influence begins to permeate her home and the village. A flashy showman turns up intending to exploit the boy but becomes his world-forsaking disciple. The boy restores a dead man to life but dies himself in agony. Period 1856
ISBN 0 573 01653 4


Drama. Mary Gallagher.
5 men, 4 women. Unit Set.

When Marlin Carroll sells the family farm without telling his son, he sets in motion an inexorable trap for his two children - the idealistic Rafe, and the strong, beautiful Ruby, who cling, with equal stubbornness, to their opposing dreams. The sale of the farm brings in two strangers who become catalysts for the events that follow: Evan Brooks, a wealthy young investor and developer, and Dylan, a handsome, lonely drifter who survives by selling people what they want to hear. As Ruby and her desperately unhappy mother, Ceelie, both look to Dylan for magical escape, Rafe determines to buy back the farm at any cost. Dylan falls in love with Ruby, but his longing for a home grows as strong as his need for her. When Brooks - the man with all the money - is also attracted to Ruby, the whole family, along with Dylan, begin to see her as the answer to their prayers. As the characters are entwined in threads of anger and violence, their conflicting dreams and needs converge in a catastrophe that changes them forever.
ISBN: 0-8222-1596-9