Composers and their stage works 


Hocus Focus

Comedy. Jack Popplewell. 4 men, 5 women (of the 4 men; one is doubled). Interior (Divided).

Having come into a small inheritance, Vicar Simon Ross generously decides to spend it all repairing his venerable, but rather tumbledown, church. Not having a head for figures, however, he innocently runs up bills far in excess of his available finances and soon finds himself in a fix. His fiancée, Janet Jones, sees only one way out - Simon's twin brother Peter. The idea does not sit well with Simon, for while he and his brother are identical in appearance (and doubled by the same actor) they are completely different in every other way and, for that matter, they cordially dislike each other. Still, Peter is a successful financier, reputedly a millionaire. The question is whether Peter will cooperate. But it so happens that this worthy is having some business difficulties of his own and Simon's plea comes at an extremely advantageous time. He is only too glad to escape to the country for a while, provided that Simon will agree to impersonate him at a potentially stormy stockholders' meeting which Peter has been dreading. So the switch is made. After Simon's retiring presence the breezy Peter is a revelation to Janet, but then Simon manages to work his own magic with his brother's enamorata, a warmhearted striptease artist named Bella Newell. From then on, the plot thickens uproariously as the two brothers attack each other's problems vigorously- and, by their own devices.
ISBN: 0-8222-0522-X

Hold Me! An Entertainment

Jules Feiffer. 2 men, 3 women. Open Stage

Blending together a series of sketches, skits and vignettes, this delightful revue peoples the stage with the engaging and all-too-human characters made famous through the author's renowned cartoons. The theme is the plight of today's city dweller, and the hang-ups, personality difficulties, identity crises and assorted mishaps which beset those trapped in what may begin as urban confusion but all too often ends as urban anguish. Staged with the utmost simplicity, and with each performer assuming a variety of roles, the play abounds in warmth and humor, and in the sad/funny truths which, in the final essence, are the very stuff of life.
ISBN: 0-8222-0523-8

The Holdup

Play Marsha Norman. 3 men, 1 woman. Exterior

In 1914 in a remote shack on the New Mexico prairie, two young brothers, Archie and Henry Tucker, await the eventual arrival of a wheat threshing crew. Instead they are visited by "The Outlaw," a grizzled, aging gunfighter who has shot his injured horse, They are also joined by Lily, a former dance hall girl who now owns the biggest hotel in town and a new car. Henry, the hot headed older brother, is also an avid student of western lore. After recognizing that The Outlaw is indeed the genuine article, he pumps him for stories of his glory days and then, to his fatal regret, tries to beat him to the draw. After Henry's demise the action moves back and forth from high comedy to affecting sentiment. Lily consoles Archie by indoctrinating him into the rewarding mysteries of sex, as The Outlaw, in a rare fit of repentance, makes a stab at committing suicide. Now with his first flush of manhood, Archie decides to go off to battle in World War I, while The Outlaw - cowed at last - meekly follows Lily off to her shiny Buick and to what promises to be a very different life indeed.
ISBN: 0-8222-0524-6

Holiday Snap

Comedy. Michael Pertwee and John Chapman
M4 (40, 50) F3 (20, 30, 70). Extra 1 F. The living-room of a villa.

A time-share villa has been double booked unbeknown to the company rep, myopic tippler 'Chitto' Chittenden. When Mary and Henry arrive shortly after Eve and Leslie, Chitto manages to remain unaware that there is more than one couple on the scene. The confusion is compounded when each couple mistakes the other for the servants and what follows is a tale of comic predicament and mistaken identity which unfolds with real wit and style.
ISBN 0 573 11284 3

Holiday For Lovers

Romantic Comedy. Ronald Alexander. 4 men, 5 women. Interiors.

This is the carefree story of the Dean family - Father, Mother and 20-year-old, daughter, Betsy - from Minneapolis, who embark on their first European holiday to soak up some old world charm and visit a 23-year-old daughter, Meg, who's been studying music abroad for three years. The situation becomes hysterical when they arrive in Paris and the quick tempered Mr. Dean finds he doesn't speak enough French to make the elevator man understand he wants to get to the lobby. His wife discovers the fabulous fashions; Betsy encounters a handsome American painter - and love - and the plot becomes complicated when beautiful Meg arrives with a charming, suave, French maestro who, Father is certain, has taken romantic advantage of his daughter. We follow the family to Spain where Mr. Dean sees his first bullfight and is booed out of the stadium. We travel with them to Rome where Mr. Dean learns to understand Europe - and his own family! The romance of the two girls in the atmosphere of Latin Europe supplies the chief involvement of the comedy.
ISBN: 0-8222-0525-4


Play. John Harrison | M2 (30s, 40s) F 1 (40s). A stone cottage.

Rose, faced with a further spread of cancer, has come, on her counsellor's advice, to a lonely Yorkshire cottage. For a week she will live alone, without the aid of her smothering husband, and make some decisions about where she is going. Embracing her solitude avidly, she nevertheless reckons without Ralph, a very unusual odd-job man, who proves to be not the solution she seeks but the catalyst to her ultimate decision.
ISBN 0 573 01780 8

The Hollow

Play. Agatha Christie
M6 (38, 40, elderly) F6 (30s, 60). A sitting-room.

Gathered at the home of Sir Henry and Lucy Angkatell are various guests amongst whom is Dr John Cristow, his mistress Veronica, his ex-mistress and his wife. Veronica ardently desires to marry Cristow but he refuses to divorce, and Veronica unwisely declares that if she can't have him no-one else will. Within five minutes he is dead. Nearly everyone had a motive and opportunity to murder Cristow, but who actually committed the deed has to be discovered by Inspector Colquhoun and Sergeant Penny.
ISBN 0 573 01182 6

The Hollow Crown.

Anthology. Devised by John Barton
M3 Fl, 4 Musicians.

A unique entertainment composed of the letters, speeches, poems, songs and music by and about Kings and Queens of England. Against a background of the simplest design four readers, three singers and a pianist can perform this work, which sparkles with the wit of several centuries and demonstrates the vulnerable humanity of those who have worn the crown.
ISBN 0 573 01183 4

Holy Ghosts

Play:. Romulus Linney. - 10 men, 5 women. Interior.

Seeking to retrieve his runaway wife (and the possessions she has taken with her), Coleman Shedman arrives at the rural meeting house of a southern Pentecostal sea with a lawyer in tow. But his wife, Nancy, is unwilling to forsake the love and protection of her new "husband," the Reverend Obediah Buckhorn, and return to the brutal, hard-drinking Coleman. And when the strapping Reverend Buckhorn himself arrives, it is quickly evident that Coleman will not be able to take her back by force. Rich with atmosphere and the feel of southern rural life,' the play blends humour and poignancy as it probes into the circumstances and stories of the various cult members - culminating in a gripping snake-handling scene in which the cynical Coleman, to his own amazement, is himself converted to a true believer.
ISBN: 0-8222-0526-2

The Holy Terror: Melon Revised

Play. Simon Gray
M7 (17, young, middle-age, elderly) F3 (young, 30s-40s), may be played by M4 F3. A platform, the mind.

The original version of this hilarious, coruscatingly witty play was produced as Melon in 1988 with Alan Bates in the lead. The revised version, entitled The Holy Terror, had its stage premiere in the USA in 1991. Mark Melon addresses the Cheltenham W.1. on his career as a successful, ruthless publisher who has suffered a breakdown. The events that he describes then come to life.