Composers and their stage works 


The End of the Food Chain. Play. Tim Firth
M5 (20s) F1 (20s). Composite set: 3 levels of a grocery distribution depot, plus the roof.

Welcome to the 'animal shift' at Kale Moor grocery distribution depot. Under the guidance of Bruce, work here is an endless round of sports and juvenile humour. But a change is due, for their new colleague is not a born games player and is-even worse-a woman. Wildly funny, sharply observed and peopled with vivid, likeable characters, this is another comic gem from the author of Neville's Island.
ISBN 0 573 01755 7

Play. S.N. Behrman. 7 men, 3 women. Interior.

Leonie Frothingham is a rich woman, who cannot see that the old order has been displaced by a new era. Leonie's daughter, Paula, makes an effort to adjust herself to a world in which economic inequality has caused deep unrest. She is engaged to a penniless young radical, Will Dexter. Leonie, estranged from her husband, is captivated by Dr. Rice, a brilliant psychoanalyst. But Paula then reveals to Leonie that Rice made love to her as well. In the end Leonie finds herself alone, realising that her wealth can't give her happiness. Paula is forced to the same conclusion when Will tells her that until he earns a position of his own, he will not marry her. Yet these women are not left entirely without hope, for Leonie will undoubtedly find in the brilliant young Dennis someone to lean upon, and Paula may see her problem through, too. Leonie's estranged husband Sam, who at last gets divorced and marries again, comes into the story showing us the viewpoint of a man who married first for money and then broke away in order to achieve independence and some degree of happiness.

Play. Robert Lowell. Based on stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Thomas Morton. 7 men, 1 woman. Exterior.

The 17th century Massachusetts settlement of Merrymount, led by Thomas Morton, is a place of easy going frivolity which makes it a thorn in the side of its Puritan neighbours. During the wild doings of the May Day celebration Mr. Blackstone, emissary of the English archbishop, attempts to impose some decorum on the unbridled colonists, but he is rebuffed. It is a different story, however, when Governor Endecott arrives at the head of his Puritan troops to punish the settlement for selling guns and liquor to the Indians. Being a reasonable man, Endecott allows Morton and Blackstone to state the case for their defense, and he resists the vindictive urgings of the zealous Elder Palfrey to bring quick and violent retribution to all. But his love of religious and civil liberty and his knowledge of English corruption ultimately bid him take action against a spreading blight. Summoning his resolve, he condemns the settlers to severe punishment and decrees that their houses be burned striking a blow for freedom and honour destined, in time, to be echoed throughout the farming nation.

Play. Arthur Miller, adaptated from the play by Henrik Ibsen. 10 men, 3 women. Simple Interiors.

A small Norwegian town has just begun to win fame and wealth through its medicinal spring waters. Dr. Stockmann, resident physician in charge, discovers that the waters are poisoned. On receiving proof of this, he immediately reports to his associates, the town officials most immediately affected. The Doctor is shocked to find that instead of being thanked, he is looked upon as a dangerous crank, motivated by a desire to prove that his fellow townsmen are wrong, and to bring ruin upon them. As the people who run the local paper and the town officials (among them dose relatives and friends of the Doctor) do their utmost to urge secrecy and compromise, the determined Doctor realizes that the honesty and idealism he has counted upon to make the truth prevail, simply do not exist in the face of selfish "practical" interests. The press will nor report his findings; the officials refuse to give him a hearing; he loses his position and the townspeople boycott him; ultimately his wife and children are cut off from all contact with friends and neighbors. Almost every weapon of offense and abuse is brought to bear against the family - blackmail, slam, der, and eviction from their home. But all the time the Doctor, morally supported by his family, carries on his magnificent fight for the truth. At the end the townspeople, gathered outside the home which the Stockmanns must soon leave, cast stones through the windows.` Stockmann addresses his family: "But remember now, everybody, you are fighting for the truth and that is why you're alone. And that makes you strong."
ISBN. 0-8222-0360-X

Drama. Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer. 9 men, 2 women. Unit Set

Dr. Thomas Stockmann lives with his wife, schoolteacher daughter Petra and two young sons, in a small resort where he is the medical officer at the Baths and his elder brother Peter is Mayor, Chief Constable and Chairman of the Baths' Committee. All the local businessmen and workers are confident that the new Baths are going to put the place on the map and bring them prosperity. Hovstad, Editor of the People's Tribune, and his colleague Billing, are looking forward to publishing a Baths-boosting article by the Doctor. But there is a snag. Stockmann has discovered, for sure, what he had long suspected; there is sewage pollution in the Baths and on the beach, and the chief source is a tannery owned by Morten Kiil, foster father to Mrs. Stockmann. The Doctor, who is self-important and righteous, is not displeased because he had warned that the (economy) water pipes system was likely to be inadequate and now brother Peter and the Council will have to take notice and act, otherwise the invalid trade they were hoping to attract will only get sicker. At first Hovstad is delighted to have a hard-hitting, populist story to replace the previously intended promotional one but Aslaksen, the printer (also Chairman of the Property Owners' Association and the Council of the Temperance Society) counsels caution and quickly switches sides when Mayor Peter wants to suppress any bad-for-business publicity, fudge the whole issue and substitute a fraudulently reassuring story. Hovstad and Billing 'see sense' because for all their ostensibly crusading fervour, they cannot afford to affront the subscribers and lose backing. Denied publication of the truth, Dr. Stockmann takes his case to a public meeting. Shouted down by all the citizens for obvious reasons of greedy expediency and short-term self-interest, the Doctor abandons the argument about pollution and widens his comments to point out that local democracy enables fools and knaves to govern themselves, that liberals are the most insidious enemies of freedom and, in effect, only a paternalistic aristocratic form of government can be trusted. He is branded an enemy of the people and decides to sail with Captain Horster to a (potentially) new life in America but the owner of the boat, outraged that Horster lent his house for the public meeting, sacks Horster. Petra is sacked, Dr. Stockmann is sacked. Morten Kiil, who had initially approved of any action that would embarrass the Council he hates, now buys up shares in the Baths and exerts financial 'blackmail', announcing he will cut Mrs. Stockmann out of his will unless the Doctor recants about the pollution. Hovstad and Aslaksen come round to the Doctor's house to congratulate him on his crafty scheme enabling the family to buy shares cheaply. That does it: Dr. Stockmann drives them away and resolves to stay and fight for right. He feels strong enough to face the corrupt rabble because 'the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone'.
ISBN. 0-413-46340-3

Edward Napier : 1 man, 5 women. Unit set

Three generations of women from a well-known, and for the most part respectable, family of English teachers, live under the same roof in the twin towns of CeredoKenova, West Virginia, in 1960. Polly, a spinster and grand dame of the Huntington Community Players, brings shame to the family after being fired from teaching for allowing one of her students to read from Allen Ginsberg's epic poem, "Howl." Polly's losing her job infuriates her widowed sister, Vic, also an English teacher, since such a scandal may undermine her effort to be elected as the democratic candidate for the sixteenth district seat to the West Virginia House of Delegates. Vic is also concerned about the influence Polly has on her fifteen-year-old daughter, Lib, a baritone-playing misfit of a girl who is madly in love with the handsome boarder, Bobby, a history student at nearby Marshall College, and one of Vies campaign aids. Miss Ruthie, Vic's campaign manager, encourages Vic to distance herself from Polly and tries to lure Lib away from Polly's influence by telling Lib she will end up with an unhappy, manless life. Mary, the self-righteous matriarch of the family, tries her best to keep order and peace in her house. In a moment of desperation, Polly escapes to New York, and, after her brief, failed venture there, turns to Bobby for comfort. Ultimately, Vic wins the election by Miss Ruthie's manipulating shenanigans; Miss Ruthie marries a doctor; Lib becomes a majorette; and Polly ends up working as a, check-out clerk. The play celebrates these women who defy the status-quo in order to pursue their dreams, and the compromises each makes in the realization - or the abandonment of those dreams.
ISBN: 0-8222-1723-6

An Englishman's Home Play. Stephen Mallatratt
M3 (young) F3 (young). A living-room.

Brian, a bit of a snob, has furnished his 'castle' with luxurious trimmings to show off to his relatives. They remain unimpressed, as does his wife, Mandy. After one family gathering, Mandy decides she has had enough and leaves him. The other young members of the group try to effect a reunion; unfortunately their efforts only reveal their own hidden tensions, and the result is worse for Brian than before.
ISBN 0 573 01595 3

Comedy/Fantasy. John Patrick. 3 men, 2 women (3-5 men, 2-4 women). Interior.

Stuart Pearson, a young computer operator, lives in terror of the "tiger" who has moved in with him, but he gets little sympathy from his airline pilot friend, Phil Rittenhouse, the main reason being that the tiger, Elsa, invisible to Stu only. However he fares better with his lovely neighbor, Nora Dall, as she has a similar problem herself - her nemesis being Tarzan, a "gorilla." -again very real to her, but unseen by others. The complications multiply uproariously as the two scheme to get rid of their unwanted companions while, at the same time, "finding" each other. Meanwhile, however, their doubting friend, Phil, ends up with the strangest apparition of all, a small shaggy "enigma" who follows him everywhere - until a desperate, but well-placed, bullet sets him free as well.
ISBN: 0-8222-0361-8

Enjoy. Play. Alan Bennett
M6 (teenage, 20s, middle-age, 60s) M4 (non-speaking) F3 (20s, 60s). A living-room.

Dad thinks everything will be better when the family moves. The social worker who calls to observe their lives turns out to be absent son Terry, idolised by Mam, in drag. Secretary daughter Linda, in reality a prostitute, breezes in, shattering Dad's illusions. The house is dismantled around them to be rebuilt in a park preserving the ideals of family life. Mam will be in a showcase whilst Dad is carted off to the geriatric ward.
ISBN 0 573 11129 4

The Enquiry. Play. Charlotte Hastings
M2 (20s, 50s) F10 (20s-70s). The Governor's office in an open prison.

Kate, a prisoner sentenced for killing her very sick child, has been attacked and driven to attempt suicide. The prison authorities discover that the attack was made by an inmate, Gow, who has a lesbian attachment to another prisoner, Valentine, and who is insanely jealous of Kate's innocent friendship with Valentine. The investigations also reveal that Kate's husband had killed the child and that Kate, herself innocent, is shielding the man she loves.
ISBN 0 573 01114 1

Enter a Free Man. Comedy. Tom Stoppard
M5 (young, 30s, 50s) F3 (18, 20s, 50s). Composite setting.

George Riley refuses unemployment on the grounds that he is employed in inventing; unfortunately his inventions are slightly ahead of their time. Every Saturday he sweeps into his local declaring that he has left home to make his fortune. But this Saturday his long-suffering, pocket-money-providing daughter has had enough, and she too runs away, only to discover that her knight in shining motorcycle gear is already married. Sunday finds them both back at home once again.

The Entertainer. Play. John Osborne M5 (young, middle-age, 50s, 70s) F3 (young, 22, 60s). A living-room, a front cloth.

Archie Rice is a failure as a comedian. News of his son's death while on military service arrives as the family is anticipating his return with a party. Archie tries to stage a comeback for his befuddled, has-been father who, mercifully, dies in the attempt. A prosperous brother offers to send the family to Canada but Archie cannot leave the decaying world of the music hall, where he is at home.
ISBN 0 573 11206 1

Entertaining Mr Sloane. Play. Joe Orton
M3 (young, elderly) F1 (middle-age). A room.

A youth named Sloane comes in search of a room, and is then seduced by the landlady. Along comes her homosexual brother, who sets about capturing the affections of the youth for himself. Their father believes he witnessed the youth murder someone and, to silence him, Sloane kicks the old man to death. The landlady and her brother now have Sloane exactly where they want him: each of them will enjoy his company for six months of the year.

Entertaining Strangers. Play. David Edgar
59 characters. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Sarah Eldridge, a beer-brewing tradeswoman, embodies the free-thinking, bustling spirit of a community beginning to reap the rewards of the Industrial Revolution. The rise to commercial eminence runs parallel to the story of Reverend Henry Moule, a hard-line fundamentalist who believes brewing to be a sinful trade. During the Dorchester cholera epidemic Moule, spiritually intolerant, proves socially altruistic, while self-interest keeps Sarah away from helping the infectious sick. Period Victorian

Epitaph for George Dillon. John Osborne. Copies available on hire only. Please contact Samuel French Ltd for further details.