Composers and their stage works 


Caramba's Revenge

Play. William Norfolk
M1 (late 30s) F6 (20, late 60s, 70s). A living-room.

A highly entertaining and ingenious black comedy. Four elderly ladies have been sharing their lives in Violet's rented house, pooling their pension books and sharing chores. After a mugging Violet dies, but Marge, Lottie and Doris omit to tell the authorities and leave Violet's body peacefully in the cemetery. However, Violet's granddaughter, Ronnie, arrives from Australia in search of her relative ...
ISBN 0 573 01771 9


Play. Helen Blakeman
M2 (20, 50) F3 (15, 19, 45) A caravan park.

Fifteen-year-old Kim brings twenty-year-old Mick back to the family caravan where he rapes her and leaves her pregnant. Her older sister Kelly falls for the same man, and rushes into marriage when she too becomes pregnant, only to miscarry. The girls' widowed mother, Josie, is involved with striking docker, Bruce. Whilst Bruce faces redundancy, Mick seizes the job opportunity and is labelled a 'scab'. Lives and loves become increasingly entangled in this desperate search for a place to go. Period 1994-1996
ISBN 0 573 01770 0

Carbondale Dreams

Play -Tragicomedy. Steven Sater. 4 men, 4 women. Unit Set

The setting is Carbondale, Illinois, where the Bader family has set down roots and prospered. The youngest (and still unmarried) son, David, a poet who now lives in New York, has come home for Thanksgiving. At first the reunion seems to be a typical Jewish family get-together, with much discussion of food and the problems of providing for growing children. But David's arrival also serves as a catalyst which provokes the explosive airing of deeper tensions and animosities, apparently ready to burst forth at the slightest provocation. The father, Arnie, regrets that his long hours at his store, making money for his family's benefit, cut him off from really knowing his children. And while his wife, Barone, professes to derive great joy from her offspring, it is soon evident that she has never really understood or appreciated them. As for the children, daughter Beth is a compulsive eater trapped in a loveless marriage with a self-indulgent husband, Barry, who berates her for weakness while denying nothing to himself and son Bradley is a would-be rock musician who works for his father but dreams of the "big hit" which will rescue him from Carbondale. Meanwhile he and his alcoholic wife, Cindi, find solace in cocaine and compulsive over-spending. And while they all turn to David, the one who has "escaped" to a supposedly better life, to help them find a purpose in their own, it is apparent that he is as helpless to save them from themselves as they are to understand the tangled motives which have brought them to where - and what - they are.
ISBN: 0-8222-0181-X

Cards on the Table

Play. Dramatized by Leslie Darbon from the novel by Agatha Christie
M7 (30s-50s) F7 (20s, 30s, middle-age, 63) or M5 F7, with doubling. Two drawing-rooms, a surgery, a patio, a flat.

A dramatization, first presented at London's Vaudeville Theatre starring Gordon Jackson and Margaret Courtenay, of a classic Agatha Christie tale of murder and mystery, involving a wealthy collector, four murderers and two crime specialists, Superintendent Battle of the Yard and Mrs Oliver the novelist.
ISBN 0 573 11540 0


(in Spanish Plays) : Sergi Belbel. Trans J. London
6m SE Drama. Flexible staging.

This acclaimed Catalan drama creates a disturbing picture of contemporary Western society set against a background of urban alienation and violence. Inspired by Schnitzler's La Ronde each of the ten scenes presents a pair of characters in a confused and contradictory relationship. Caresses was released as a film in September 1998.
ISBN 1854594184

The Caretaker

Play. Harold Pinter
M3 (25, 35, old). A shabby room.

Into his derelict household shrine Aston brings Davies, a tramp - but a tramp with pretensions, even if to the world he may be a a pathetic old creature. All that is left of his past now is the existence in Sidcup of some papers, papers that will prove exactly who he is and enable him to start again. Aston, too, has his dreams: he has always been good with his hands and there is so much to do in the house. Aston's hopes are tied to his flash brother Mick's; he has aspirations to live in a luxurious apartment. Human nature is a great spoiler of plans, however ...
ISBN 0 573 04002 8

The Caretaker

Comedy/Drama. Harold Pinter. 3 men. Interior.

An old bum receives shelter in a cluttered room of an abandoned house. His samaritan is a gentle young man whose kindness is so casual that he seems almost indifferent. Dirty, tattered, unkempt, itching and scratching, the tramp is by turns wheedling, truculent and full of bravado ... He speaks the proud lingo of those who have untold resources awaiting them at near-by havens. He pronounces his meager phrases with the exaggerated precision of one unaccustomed to being heeded. He flails a fist into a palm or into the air with the belligerence of a fighter no one will ever corner. He associates himself with fastidious practices like soap as if they were his daily habit. He is very funny - at first. But the laughter shades increasingly into pity. Like a cornered animal, he cannot believe that anyone means to be kind to him ... He hates foreigners. He trusts no one, and fears everyone. He alienates the two brothers who separately have offered him a job as caretaker of the premises. Their offers and the job itself become themes with subtle overtones. Aston, the samaritan, lives in personal and emotional isolation, tinkering with gadgets and dreaming of building a shed out in the yard. And Mick, who carries on like a man of affairs, inhabits a dream world that resembles an extrovert's nightmares. Mr. Pinter has been vehement in his assertions that his play is no more than the story it tells. But he cannot prevent his audiences from finding in it a modern parable to derisive scorn and bitter sorrow.
ISBN: 0-8222-0184-4

Carnel Knowledge

Play. Jules Feiffer. 2 men,.5 women. Unit Set

Childhood buddies and then college roommates, Sandy and Jonathan seem more concerned with mysteries of women than with their respective studies in medicine and law. Sandy has been dating Susan, and as he reports on his "progress" to date the intrigued Jonathan decides to find out for himself just how available Susan might be. Although he never tells his friend, he is the first to succeed with her; but while Susan is strongly attracted to Jonathan it is Sandy she decides to marry - a rejection which is deeply disturbing to Jonathan and which sets a pattern he follows for the rest of his life. Choosing sex over love, while failing to realize his need for both, Jonathan embarks on a Long and varied series of liaisons which, to Sandy, seem to embody a sexual freedom and excitement which far outstrips what married life can provide. Eventually his marriage to Susan founders, and he emulates his friend by seeking fulfillment in a series of affairs. But, like Jonathan, he also finds that fantasies are no substitute for stable commitment, and that while chasing money and women may seem enough when you are very young it can become shallow and even pitiful as you grow older. Told in a series of brief, fast-paced scenes, filled with the sharp, satiric dialogue for which the author is so justly famous, the play, in the end, moves from biting humour to poignant self-realisation as Sandy and Jonathan become aware that what they really need and want they have never found - and that their long and tumultuous odyssey, for all its indulgent excesses, has left them both feeling empty and embittered.
ISBN: 0-8222-0185-2

The Carpenters

Play. Steve Tesich. 3 men, 2 women. Unit set

The story is concerned with a family living in a decaying house that is about to tumble down. The fumbling, inept father tries to "communicate" with his children, but settles for listening to tape recordings of the childish games of happier, simpler days; the mother barely thinks or feels anymore, and devotes her days to preparing food; the older son makes listless plans to kill his father; the younger son, slightly retarded, dreams of escaping to the unspoiled wilds of Oregon; and the daughter, a college drop-out, becomes, in an oddly gentle way, the sex object of both father and brother. In the end there are discoveries, and compassion, but also a sense of aching loss of the relentlessness of the fate which the Carpenters have, like betrayed innocents, ordained for themselves.
ISBN: 0-8222-0186-0

Carving a Statue

Play. Graham Greene
M3 (teenage, middle-age, elderly) F2 (young). A studio.

An untalented sculptor, Father has spent many years working on an enormous statue of God the Father, modelling the face on that of his own parent. Meanwhile life goes on at the base of the statue. He is looked after by his teenage son who becomes briefly involved with a sexy young girl, later seduced by the father. The son then brings a gentle deaf and dumb girl to the studio with tragic consequences.