Composers and their stage works 



Play. Tom Stoppard
M7 (11, 20s-40s (1 Black), 50s) F1 (38). 1 boy (11). Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Duality is the name of the game in Tom Stoppard's intricate spy thriller, seen at the Aldwych Theatre in 1988, where double agents, duplicity, twins and quantum physics are inextricably bound together. Hapgood runs a British counter-espionage agency in Mayfair and someone is leaking information to Moscow ...
ISBN 0 573 01781 6

The Happiest Days of Your Life

Farce. John Dighton
M7 (12, 20-50s) F6 (14, 20-50s). A masters' common-room.

The masters of Hilary Hall School for Boys are told that St Swithin's, a girls' school, will be billeted upon them. The staff try desperately to conceal the fact that boys and girls are housed together, but in vain, for the parents find out. They are about to remove their offspring when a message arrives: a third school is to share Hilary Hall. Against this common enemy, both staff and parents unite to barricade the gates. Period 1940s
ISBN 0 573 0 1169 9

The Happiest Millionaire

Comedy: Kyle Crichton, suggested by the book My Phaladelphia Father by Cordelia Drexel Biddle and Kyle Crichton.
9 men, 6 women. Interior

Pidgeon returns to the stage after a couple of centuries in Hollywood as Anthony J. Drexel-Biddle, Cordelia's enthusiastic but unpredictable father. He has a fine house at 2104 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, a fortune of one million dollars - not hay in 1917 because Woodrow Wilson had barely got into power - and a great enthusiasm for lunacy. He collects alligators and prize-fighters and rules his family by bluster. Whenever the butler comes in, the butler inquires deferentially, 'You yelled, sir?' Among those Pidgeon rules is this daughter, Cordelia, who falls in love with a southern boy, Angier Duke. Pidgeon tries to take over and run this romance, and for the first time in his noisy career he meets defeat. " Mr. Biddle, who is an ardent amateur boxer, has no use for his prospective son-in-law because that young man knows nothing about boxing - but when Angier suddenly turns to jujitsu and throws a professional prize-fighter, as well as Mr. Biddle, to the floor, Biddle's heart is won and he is resigned to losing his daughter.
ISBN: 0-8222-0496-7

Happy Birthday

Comedy. Marc Camoletti, adapted by Beverley Cross
M2 (30s) F3 (20, 36). A living room.

Bernard invites his mistress, Brigit, to his home on her birthday despite the fact that his wife Jacqueline is present. To lull Jacqueline's suspicions he has also invited his oldest friend, Robert, and asks him to complete the cover-up by pretending that Brigit is his own mistress. Thus are laid the foundations for a shaky edifice of frantic complications, in which identities, plots and bedrooms are changed around with ever-increasing confusion.
ISBN 0 573 11172 3

Happy Event

Comedy. Richard Everett M3 (30) F3 (20, 30). A living-room.

Jane Harbottle is pregnant but fears telling her husband Peter in case it jeopardises his career. But she does tell Stella and Mike. The Harbottles' neighbour Polly confuses the issue by telling Peter that Stella is pregnant. Meanwhile Grigore, an exuberant Greek businessman, arrives. As Grigore gets higher, and Polly dafter, Peter struggles with a sprained ankle and a secret of his own. Small wonder that Jane starts throwing the antique dinner service around. Will the comic chaos ever settle down long enough for the truth to emerge?
ISBN 0573016143

Happy Families

Play. John Godber | M3 (young-70s) F6 (young-70s), may be played by M3 F5. Various simple settings.

Full of warmth, understanding and humour, this is an affectionate and appealing portrait of an ordinary family struggling with change, bereavement and the generation gap. On his graduation day in 1978, John looks back over his teenage years, from 1967-1973, recalling all the embarrassments, tensions, joys and sorrows of family life in West Yorkshire. Older and better educated, he finds himself alienated from his working-class family who cannot understand his growing intellect and theatrical aspirations.
ISBN 0 573 01782 4

Happy Family

Play. Giles Cooper | M2 (39, 40) F2 (35, 40). A living-room.

This darkly-hued comedy concerns a brother and two sisters, and what happens when the elder sister, Susan, introduces her fiancé who becomes attracted to the younger sister Deborah. But the three members of the family are still as emotionally vulnerable and innocent as they were as children. The introduction of a stranger into their midst is the catalyst that exposes their weaknesses to us, but will it be enough to break the family free of their childhood chains?
ISBN 0 573 11278 9

Happy Jack

Play. John Godber | M1 F1. A bare stage.

Written a year after September in the Rain, we here encounter the same two characters, Liz and Jack, addressing the audience about the biographical details of the characters they play, and then slipping into those characters. Small, lovingly detailed extracts from the couple's lives are shown from their early courtship days, through to their retirement, but not in chronological order, so we constanty weave a path through their long life together. The Financial Times described the play as 'Neat, touching and joyously celebratory'.

The Happy Time

Comedy. Samuel Taylor, based on stories by Robert Fontaine. 8 men, 4 women. 2 Interiors.

The "happy time" of the title is the growing up of twelve-year-old Bibi Bonnard, youngest member of a gay, uninhibited French family, living in Ottawa. Bibi's father is a good-humoured, whimsical musician, leader of a vaudeville orchestra, who wants his son to grow up to appreciate the warmth and humour of life, and to understand that "to be truly a man one must know two things: one must know love, one must know truth." The other men of the family are: young, exuberant Uncle Desmonde, bon vivant, travelling salesman, and "Casanova of Canada; Uncle Louis, who drinks wine from a water cooler, and "has not let the thought of work disturb his slumbers in twenty years"; and Grandpere, who believes that one lives only as long as one loves - and is determined to live forever. The quietening influence in this mercurial household is Bibi's mother, Maman, a Scot, among Frenchmen, who tries with amused determination to rule her men with some kind of order and usually fails, though, in so doing, she manages to retain her good-humoured tolerance. It is Maman who warns the men that their carefree ways may someday get Bibi into trouble, but when her prediction comes true and the trouble comes, she has reason to be proud of her, for they really rally like the Three Musketeers, rise to the occasion, and show their true honesty and humanity. They strike a blow for freedom, and in a scene that is warmly humourous and deeply touching, Bibi learns what it is "truly to be a man".
ISBN- 0-8222-0497-5

The Happy Wizard

Satirical Fairy Tale. Kathleen Edleston | M7 F5. Extras. Composite setting. Music printed in the copy

A fairy story with a difference. The hero breaks with tradition in that he has the failings of an ordinary young man; the heroine is a radical; the 'baddie' is a not-unlikeable villain; the fairy is a graduate of a most unusual university. The adventures of these and other characters are slyly manipulated by a wizard whose absentminded magic produces unexpected results. Needless to say, there is a happy ending, but this too has an unforeseen twist.

Hard Feelings

Play. Doug Lucie | M3 F3. A living-room/ kitchen area.

Viv, an unemployed university graduate is looking after the house for her parents and has surrounded herself with Oxford graduate friends/lodgers. As the Brixton riots begin to break out on the streets, four of the inmates are too taken up with their own domestic feuds to notice what is happening in the world outside. Eventually Viv succeeds in getting rid of them but not before the situation has shown the empty lives of these style-crazed people and their lack of human sympathy.

Hard Fruit

Jim Cartwright

From the author of Road and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice comes a new play about life in the North. Sump and Choke are friends who have bonded through martial arts. What happens to their relationship surprises them both. Hard Fruit premiered at The Royal Court Theatre in April 2000.

Hard Times

Play. Stephen Jeffreys, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens M2 F2 (minimum). Various interior and exterior settings.

The wide expanse of Dickens's novel on the riches and hardships of the Industrial Revolution is triumphantly brought to life in this skilful adaptation. The nineteen or so main speaking parts are portrayed by two actors and two actresses, although it can be produced on a larger scale with each role cast individually. 'The strength of this version ... is its preservation of the satiric vitality of Dickens's original, and a real feel for the superb rhetoric of his prose.' Time Out
ISBN 0 573 01659 3