Composers and their stage works 



Play. Doug Lucie
M6 F3. An office, a kitchen/dining area.

By the author of Progress and Hard Feelings: this play opened to critical acclaim at the RSC's The Other Place in April 1987, transferring to The Pit, London, in the same year. It starred Brian Cox as Cash, the successful advertising agent in Thatcherite Britain trying to land theTory Party account.

Fat Men In Skirts

Comedy. 2 men, 2 women (flexible casting). Unit set

After their plane crashes, Phyllis, and her son, Bishop, are stranded on a desert island for five years. During their stay, Bishop is transformed from a stuttering, Katherine Hepburn-obsessed little boy, in to a feral savage who eventually rapes his mother. Phyllis devolves from a glib, callused sophisticate to a helpless, addled shell. Left to fend for themselves, they dine on the bodies of those less fortunate and eventually become lovers. At home, we see Howard, Phyllis' husband and famous movie director, continuing life with his somewhat loopy, ex-pornstar mistress, Pam. Pam moves in with Howard and becomes pregnant. In Act Two, Bishop and Phyllis return to civilization, but their savage lifestyle is not easily shed. All four characters live together, walking on eggshells around Bishop, who now is barbarous beyond reason and has amassed an incredible shoe collection to impress his mother. Pam is reduced to pretending she is the domestic help and is rapidly growing tired of it. Howard is too burdened with guilt to act on anyone's behalf. Phyllis reaches out to Pam and confides that she and Bishop are lovers, but before Pam can convey this to Howard, she is killed by Bishop, who proceeds to eat her. When Howard discovers this, he too pays the price and becomes dinner for Bishop and Phyllis. In Act Three, Bishop is being treated in a hospital for the criminally insane. He is haunted by his mother's ghost and pursued by a demonically cheerful fellow inmate. He refuses to accept what the doctors know to be true, that he killed Phyllis. Finally; as the walls between past and present break down in Bishop's mind, he confesses to his matricide. We see the scene where Phyllis asks Bishop to murder her. Bishop remembers his mother's recurring dream about a three-hundred-pound transvestite. This monstrosity multiplied in her dreams and became several fat men in skirts, in cages. It is the acceptance of this memory, that may allow Bishop to heal, moving forward and understanding the relationship between love and harm.
ISBN: 0-8222-1399-0

Fatal Attraction

Thriller. Bernard Slade
M3 (35-50s) F3 (30s, 40s). A living-room.

Blair is a famous actress about to be divorced from her second husband Morgan who has called at Blair's hideaway Nantucket beach-house to collect some of his paintings. A second visitor is Tony Lombardi, a photo journalist who has dogged Blair for fifteen years and whom she has sued for harassment. His obsession with Blair certainly goes beyond professional interest but what motive does he have for murdering Morgan?
ISBN 0 573 69009 X

The Father

Tragedy 3 Acts. August Strindberg. Freely adapted by Oliver Haíley. 5 men, 3 women. Interior.

One of Strindbergs most famous works, the play deals with a brilliant but erratic military officer and scientist who clashes with his wife on the question of whether their daughter should be sent away for her schooling or kept at home. A renowned misogynist, Strindberg used the play to dramatise what he considered to be the weaknesses and failings of women, and the diabolical way in which they sought to poison the hearts and minds of the men who had the misfortune to love them. But while Strindberg's view of the female set may have been somewhat lopsided, in the present adaptation the mother - her thoughts, and feelings, and aspirations - is given equal attention. While the laws of the time gave a father unreasonable control over his children and the mother was forced to use her wiles to fight against this, the-present version makes it clear that this was not always done with the sinister reasons in mind which Strindberg ascribed. Here the father and the mother are given equal voice - making, at last, for a fair fight, and conveying a heightened theatricality which brings added power to one of the modern theatre's truly great plays.
ISBN: 0-8222-0387-1

The Father

Tragedy 3 Acts. August Strindberg, translated by Michael Meyer. 5 men, 3 women. Unit Set.

A vicious and cunning Swedish bourgeois wife, Laura, sets out to wrest control over the upbringing of her daughter from her husband, the amiable Capt. Adolph. By planting in the Captain's mind the notion that he is not the child's father and by deft innuendo amongst their mutual friends and relations, Laura goads her husband into a display of violent temper in order to justify her accusation that he is insane. With the help of a credulous doctor and an old and trusted family nurse, she inveigles the Captain into a straitjacket. Thus restrained and overwhelmed by her betrayal, the Captain suffers a stroke and Laura wins sole control over their daughter. The intensity of the relations between husband and wife is so narrowly the focus of the play's action that it may be set in any typical bourgeois home.
ISBN: 0-413-52160-5

The Father.

Play. August Strindberg. Adapted by John Osborne
M4 (20s, middle-age, 50) F3 (17, 40s, elderly). A living-room.

John Osborne's adaptation of Strindberg's portrayal of the battle of the sexes presents a moving, incisive examination of marriage and parenthood. The Captain and his wife Laura struggle over the heart and mind of their only daughter, until Laura decides that she must completely destroy her husband in order to raise her child according to her own wishes. ' ... a scathing adaptation by John Osborne ... a natural Strindbergian for our times.' Punch. Period late nineteenth century

Father Dreams

Play. Mary Gallagher. 2 men, 2 women. Unit set

Described by the author as "the waking and sleeping dreams of Paul Hogan, the son, on a Sunday afternoon," the play is comprised of flashbacks and fantasies which illuminate the steady disintegration of a family dogged by the father's growing madness. A failed lawyer, desperately trying to maintain appearances with Irish braggadocio, the father withdraws steadily from reality, leaving his wife and children impoverished and embittered. The action takes place largely in the mind of the son, Paul, as he drifts in and out of sleep, while debating whether to visit his father in the institution where he has been confined. Memories are interspersed with interludes of vaudeville humor, where past and present are distorted into scenes of wild, cartoon-like fantasy. But guilt - and terror - cannot be laughed away and, as the line between sanity and madness grows thinner, we are made movingly aware that the son, while fighting to avoid the fate of his father, may, inevitably, come to share it.
ISBN: 0-8222-0388-X

Father's Day

Comedy. Oliver Hailey. 3 men, 3 women. Exterior

Left with their alimony, their children, and neighbouring apartments on New York's posh upper East Side, three divorcees share their loneliness, their often hilarious thoughts on sex and marriage, and their bitter memories of lost trust and closeness. When their ex-husbands arrive for a Father's Day reunion they are all, at first, as civilized and sophisticated as the situation demands - but then the veneer begins to crack, and beneath the fusillade of funny lines their aching emptiness, and hurt, show through. In the end they face the truth about themselves and the rejection which they must accept, as the biting humour of the play gives way to a moment of touching, revealing, yet quietly shattering resignation.
ISBN: 0-8222-0393-6

Father Uxbridge Wants To Marry

Play Frank Gagliano. 3 men, 4 women, 1 girl (non-speaking role). Area Staging.

The story begins on an elevator, where the operator is about to lose his job through automation and is appealing to his passenger, who happens to own the apartment house where he is employed. It then turns to his memories, which are chiefly preoccupied with his mother, his wife, the women he is living with after the marital split-up and his mute daughter, until he starts thinking of the two priests who are important to him. Father Uxbridge is actually the less important of the pair, a somewhat casual cleric who believes the celibacy of the clergy will soon be a thing of the past. But Father Ongar is a much more dynamic figure. He is really a sardonic, darkly Satanic type, who sees no mercy nor love-kindness in God, no goodness in mankind. It is he, with his savage bitterness, who has the important influence over the mind and soul of the troubled, simple-minded elevator operator. And it is an influence which, unhappily, fails to provide the solace and guidance so needed to achieve purposeful understanding of this world and resigned acceptance of the next. So the "little man: is crucified in the name of the modern humanity-defiant in the face of forces he cannot comprehend, but powerless to avert their pernicious control of his destiny.
ISBN: 0-8222-0391-X

Fathers and Sons

Play. Brian Friel from the original novel by Ivan Turgenev
M 10 (16, 19, 22, 40s, 60s) F5 (18, 20s, 50s, 70s). Various interior and exterior settings.

Adapted from Turgenev's socio-political novel of rural Russia of the mid-nineteenth century, this passionate and powerful play's central topic is the confrontation of the old and the young, of liberals and radicals, romanticism and revolution.