Composers and their stage works 


Rough Crossing.

Comedy. Tom Stoppard, from an original play by Ferenc Molnar
M5 (25, middle-age) F 1 (35-40). Extras. A pre-war, ocean liner.

This hilarious play, freely adapted from Molnar's classic farce Játék a Kastélyban. was seen at the National Theatre in 1984 starring Michael Kitchen, John Standing and Sheila Gish. Two playwrights and collaborators, the composer and most of the cast of a musical comedy destined for Broadway are trying to finish and rehearse the play while crossing from Southampton via Cherbourg, to New York. With music by André Previn, Tom Stoppard wittily parodies thirties' musicals.

Rough Justice

Play. Terence Frisby
M5 F3. Number One Court at the Central Criminal Court, a cell.

James Highwood is on the stand for the murder of his severely handicapped child. He refuses his solicitor's plea to obtain legal representation, and conducts his own defence, admitting responsibility but pleading manslaughter. The battle to have his intentions understood brings him into conflict with the Prosecutor, Margaret Casely, QC, a well-known Catholic and pro-lifer. Then there's the question of whether Highwood killed his child after all ...
ISBN 0 573 01882 0


(in Spanish Plays) - Lluisa Cunillé, Trans. O.Cebballos & M. Peate
2m 5f Drama Flexible staging.

A fascinating study of everyday mania, obsession and delusion, conversations left unfinished and people incapable of change. Premiered at the Royal Court, 1998.
ISBN 1854594184

Roundheads and Peakheads (Rich and Rich)

Play. Bertolt Brecht
Translations: N. Goold-Verschoyle, music by Harms Eisler
Alan Brown and Kyra Dietz
M12 F6. Children. Extras. Interior and exterior settings.

This play is described by the author as a 'horror tale' in blank verse. Though the basic plot loosely follows that of Shakespeare's Measure For Measure, the play in fact is an allegory of the rise of Hitler (Angelo Iberin), a Roundhead who is appointed temporary ruler when the Regent leaves the country. Towards the end of the play the Regent returns and tells Angelo to prepare for war against a threatening distant country; the people are subdued and the revolutionaries executed. Period 1930s

The Rover

Aphra Behn
8m 7f extras. Restoration Comedy. Multipurpose set.

Arriving in Naples at Carnival time, a group of exiled Spanish cavaliers determine to enjoy themselves. They are repeatedly tempted and tricked by various prostitutes and their pimps,; until their leader, 'The Rover', is finally forced to give up his wild behaviour when he falls in love with a single-minded, wealthy virgin. Written in 1677 this classic comedy is by England's first woman playwright.
ISBN 185459 178 9

A Royal Affair

Comedy Luis Santeiro.
3 men, 4 women (flexible casting). Unit Set

Hilda, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, finds work cleaning for retired history teacher, Edna, a serious person with a big heart. Hilda misses her children and works hard to earn enough money to send them things: high profile shoes, electronics, etc., all essentials in the ever-popular world of status. How will her neighbours know she is good to her children if they don't receive these things? Hilda seeks escape in her fantasies of one day meeting royalty, and even perhaps serving tea to Queen Elizabeth. Hilda diligently reads Hola! magazine to keep up with the goings on with royal families around the world. Her fantasies escalate, until Rene, Edna's gardener who has fallen in love with Hilda, puts her in touch with Luz, a medium (in love with Rene) who can help. Hilda meet her royals. With Luz's help, Hilda calls upon Marie Antoinette and her lover, Axel Fersen, who appear and take over the lives of Hilda, Edna and Rene. The problems that arise with royalty in the house add to the confusion and the hilarity as Hilda must make a decision about what to do with her life. She must decide whether to stay in the U.S. and marry Rene or else be deported, since Luz, hoping to win Rene back, has reported Hilda, Antoinette and Axel to the immigration authorities, or to go back home on her own after receiving word that her children are acting like "adults" - the kind she does not want them to imitate. In the end, Hilda's experience with royalty, fantasy and love help her decide to go back home on her own to be loved by those for whom she wanted so much. After living with Hilda, Edna makes new strides to enjoy her life, and Rene finds he is re-attracted to Luz, who is ready and waiting.
ISBN: 0-8222-1491-1

The Royal Baccarat Scandal

Play. Royce Ryton
M9 (20s-elderly) F4 (20s-50). Extras. Composite setting.

Based on the book by Michael Havers and Edward Grayson, and first seen at Chichester and subsequently at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, in 1989, the play dramatises the Victorian scandal of 1890 in which Sir William Gordon Cumming, a baronet and personal friend of the Prince of Wales, was accused by his mistress's husband of cheating at baccarat.
ISBN 0 573 11374 2

The Royal Hunt of the Sun

Play. Peter Shaffer
M21 F2.

This is the story of the conquest of Peru, the defeat by 167 men of a highly organised, communistic empire of over ten million people. It is also the story of two men, Francisco Pizarro, the embittered, defiant commander of the invading Spanish forces, and Atahuallpa, the young king, Sun god-upon-earth, ruler of a vast empire. Between the two, both illegitimate usurpers, there grows a deep and understanding friendship. ISBN 0 573 01388 8

The Royal Pardon, or The Soldier Who Became an Actor

Play. John Arden and Margaretta D' Arcy
M13 F5, doubling possible. An open stage.

A company of strolling players hounded out of a village by a zealous constable is joined by a vagrant soldier, also on the run. When the company is selected by the King of England to perform at the French Court their performance is almost sabotaged by the jealous French actors and the constable. But the soldier's performance is so brilliant that the company wins the French King's prize while the constable is turned to stone.

The Ruffian on the Stair

Play. Joe Orton
M2 (young) Fl (young). A kitchen/living-room.

One day a strange man appears asking for a room. He begins taunting the woman and comes close to viciousness. The next day he returns, but this time Mike is there too. We can now piece things together- Mike has killed the homosexual lover and brother of Wilson. So Wilson pretends to ravish Joyce and forces Mike to shoot him - 'The heart is situated just below this badge on my pullover. Don't miss, will you?'

Rum and Vodka

(in This Lime Tree Bower) - Conor McPherson
1m. Hour-long monologue. Minimal set.

A young Irishman with a drink problem tells of three momentous days in his life when his drab nine-to-five existence is obliterated in an escapist binge which threatens to engulf him. By the multi-award-winning author of The Weir.
ISBN 1 85459 299 8

Rumours (The British Version)

Farce. Neil Simon
M4 (40, 50) F5 (30s, 40s). A living-room.

Ken and Chris have found their host Charley, a prominent Government official, in his bedroom, too dazed to speak, with a bullet wound in his ear lobe! Len and Claire arrive, themselves injured in a car crash, and are soon joined by Ernest and Cookie, Glenn and Cassie, each with their own problems. A second, accidental, gunshot leaves Ken temporarily deaf, the police arrive and Len has to pretend he is Charley, concocting a touching and fantastic explanation ...
ISBN 0 573 01884 7


Play. Norman Robbins
M9 or 10 F2 or 3. Extras. Various simple settings.

In this adaptation of the Grimms' story some children are discovered playing 'Ladder-words', a word game to change one word to another. Gretel says she can change 'flax' into 'gold'. The King hears this, mistakes it for an actual boast and orders Gretel to work the change. The gnome, Rumpelstiltzkin, offers to help her-at a price. The play then follows the story of the gnome's defeat by the guessing of his secret name.
ISBN 0 573 06459 8

Run for Your Wife

Comedy. Ray Cooney
M6 (young, middle-age) F2 (20s). Composite setting: two living-rooms.

John Smith is a London cabbie with his own taxi, a wife in Streatham, a wife in Wimbledon and a knife-edge schedule! He has been a successful, if tired, bigamist for three years, but one day he is taken to hospital with mild concussion. In the ensuing complications, aided by an unwilling Stanley, John tries bravely to cope with a succession of well-meaning but prying policemen, two increasingly irate wives, and others, until he manfully confesses the truth.
ISBN 0 573 11383 1

The Runner Stumbles

Play. Milan Stitt. 5 men, 4 women. Unit Set

A young nun has died under mysterious circumstances in a remote parish in northern Michigan, and her superior, Father Rivard, has been charged with her murder. The action alternates between interrogations, testimony, and scenes from the past which reveal that Father Rivard, who had been banished to the small, up-country parish, fell in love with Sister Rita and when circumstances forced her to move into the rectory with him his anguish became unbearable. Their relationship, inevitably, spelt tragedy, but not until the explosive, and surprising, climax of the play is the full extent of their sacrifice made clear, and the identity of the murderer revealed.
ISBN: 0-8222-0975-6

Running on Empty

Play. Jack Heifner. 3 men, 2 women. Interior

As the play begins, Lilly is pondering which of her designer dresses to burn in the fireplace of her chic if sparsely furnished penthouse apartment. The problem is that it is wintertime, the United States has long since used up its fuel reserves, and if Lilly and her husband Stephen are to keep warm there is no alternative. Down in the streets below people are fighting birds, for berries, cutting down trees in the parks for fuel, and waiting in endless lines for meager government food handouts. Lilly and Stephen are also preparing for a party, albeit one in which both food and drink will be imagined rather than real. The guest of honor is to be their old friend, David, with whom both once had romantic involvement. When David arrives he is accompanied by his latest conquests, Chloe (a flower child) and Jonathan (a committed Catholic), who, like their predecessors, are competing for David's amoral favors. As the pretend party progresses the antic mood of the play grows increasingly more probing and serious, as questions are raised about the barren platonic relationship which Lilly and Stephen have settled for; David's continued failure to commit himself, sexually or otherwise; and Chloe and Jonathan's obsession with the evils of materialism (her) and gnawing personal guilt (him). In the end human frailty is pitilessly excoriated but, at the same time, hopes are raised that the bitter lessons of the past, and present, will somehow be heeded, and that mankind may yet bring some semblance of order to the chaos and misfortune which his baser instincts have engendered.
ISBN; 0-8222-0976-4

Running Riot

Farce. Derek Benfield
M5 (30s, 40s) F4 (young, 19, 30s, 40s). A small hotel.

Humphrey Podmore, mistaken for the British champion runner at the Olympic Games, is accepted as such by a surprising number of people including a beautiful Russian spy and the fearsome woman trainer. When the real champion turns up he is locked in a cellar by a punter who has placed a bet believing that Humphrey will represent England - needless to say he walks away with the race.
ISBN 0 573 11393 9

Rush Limbaugh in Night School

Comedy. Charlie Varon. :
1M - Interior

Right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh seems unstoppable. His daily audience has risen to 6 million listeners, or 1 percent of the world's population. But Rush's manager, the fictional Barry Granatour, has disturbing news: Limbaugh faces a serious ratings battle with radio rival J. Neil Rodriguez, a Latino commentator. Granatour suggests Spanish lessons. Donning pseudonym and disguise, Rush attends language classes at the New School for Social Research in Greenwich Village, New York City. There he encounters, in the flesh, all the people he has enjoyed mocking on the air: feminists, leftists, environmentalists. And there he also meets Nina Eggly, a fellow middle-aged student who awakens Rush's dormant romantic urges. Mutual passion flares. What Rush doesn't know is that Nina is really a former Weather Undergrounder, long since chased into hiding by the FBI. There is a Byzantine web of additional plotlines, including a New York Shakespeare Festival production in which Limbaugh is cast as Othello opposite Garrison Keillor's lago and Jackie Mason's Roderigo, all under the direction of Spalding Gray. The play, framed as a public television documentary, is studded with political and social satire and builds to a wildly farcical conclusion.
ISBN: 0-8222-1534-9

Rutherford and Son

Play. Githa Sowerby
M4 (20s, 40s, 60) F4 (26, 36, middle age, 60). A living-room.

Written in 1912 during the upsurge of the British feminist movement, this powerful play deals with the oppressive patriarchal system of the industrial North at that time. Rutherford is the hard tyrannical master of both his glassworks and his family who attacks, degrades and rejects each of his children in turn. To his daughter Janet, her banishment is a release, and she forcefully condemns her father and his values.