Composers and their stage works 


Small Change.

Play. Peter Gill
M2 (young) F2 (middle-age). An open stage.

The play is a study, set mainly on the east side of Cardiff, of the relationships between two boys - their relationship to each other and to their respective mothers, and how these conflicting attachments affect them through life. It is non-naturalistic except for the dialogue, and none of the characters leaves the stage throughout. The 'scenes' are linked by monologues from all four.
ISBN 0 573 01709 3

Small Craft Warnings

Play. Tennessee Williams : M7 (20s, middle-age, 40s) F2 (30s). A bar.

This is an expanded version of the author's one-act play Confessional. The scene is a rundown bar on the Southern California coast, where a group of lonely and disparate individuals, rejected by "normal" society, come together in their need for human contact and understanding. One by one each tells his tale with poetic eloquence and force, revealing the desperate emptiness of his existence, and inspiring a moving compassion of rare dimension. In the final essence, the characters become embodiments of the fears that lurk in all of us, and the frailties that so often make us less than we would wish to be - both in our hearts and in the eyes of others.
ISBN: 0-8112-0461-8

A Small Family Business

Play. Alan Ayckbourn : M7 (20s-40s, 70s) F6 (16, 20s-50s). Composite setting.

When Jack, honest and upright, takes over as managing director of the family furniture business, he finds that his managerial skills are no match for the wholesale fraud, deceit and theft which he uncovers both in the business and amongst his family. He succumbs almost at once to blackmail because of his daughter, but this is only the first in a series of moral compromises he is forced to make.
ISBN 0 573 01669 0

The Small Hours

Play. Francis Durbridge
M5 (young, 30s-50s) F3 (30s). An aircraft, a living-room.

What do a Koala bear, a devious chef, and an emerald necklace have in common? Carl Houston, Sussex hotelier, nearly loses his life finding out in this thriller of international intrigue which bears all the Durbridge hallmarks of suspense, mystery and murder and which enjoyed a successful national tour in 1991 starring Patrick Mower. '... well-crafted with a proper sense of dramatic climaxes and some very good scenes. ' ... It all adds up to a very good evenings theatre ...' Birmingham Post
ISBN 0 573 01897 9 

The Small Hours

Drama. George S. Kaufman and Leueen MacGrath. 7 men, 6 women. Multiple set.

A panoramic spectacle revealing in swiftly moving scenes episodes from the history of a well-to-do family, and its attempt to establish a way of life that nearly ends in tragic failure. The play is a dramatic discourse on the value of standards of happiness and success. 


Comedy. Jeffrey Hatcher. Based on the novel, An Unsocial Socialist by George Bernard Shaw. 5 men, 5 women. Unit Set

The story centers on Sidney Trefusis, a millionaire Socialist who leaves his bride on their wedding day because he fears his passion for her will get in the way of his plans to overthrow the British government. Sidney vanishes "underground" - disguises himself as a common labourer called "Mengels" - and infiltrates Alton College, a girls' school where well-bred young women are "fitted and fatted to be put on the marriage market." His plan: take over the school and plant the seed of radical Socialism into the fertile brains of the future consorts of cabinet ministers and kings. What he doesn't plan on is the presence of one Agatha Wylie, a sixth-form rabble-rouser, who falls hopelessly in love with both Sidney and his politics, and just happens to be his deserted wife's cousin. Love triangles, mistaken identities, Marx, Engels, pistols and the proletariat jostle for position in this adaptation of Shaw's last comic novel, written in 1883.
ISBN: 0-8222-1553-5 

Smelling a Rat

Play. Mike Leigh
M3 (young, 30, middle-age) F2 (young, 30s). A bedroom.

Loathsome nouveau-riche tycoon Rex Weasel returns unexpectedly from holiday. When he hears his underling, the garrulous Vic and his wife, coming in to check on the flat as arranged, Rex hides in a cupboard to eavesdrop on the pair, who later also hide in another cupboard as Rex's near catatonic son and lisping girlfriend arrive in search of sex (which is never realised). Various home truths spill out whilst these 'skeletons' are hiding. 

The Smile Of the World

Play. Garson Kanin. 5 men, 4 women. Interior

A serious and deeply felt drama which is a moving love story and likewise a commentary on human relations.
ISBN: 0-8222-1048-7 

Smirnova's Birthday

(in Cinzano) - Ludmila Petrushevskaya. Trans S. Mulrine
1 m 3f Hour-long comedy/drama. Single interior set.

Three young women, the girlfriends of the men in Cinzano (q.v), listlessly but boozily celebrate the birthday of one of them until interrupted by one of the men ... A companion piece to Cinzano which can be played separately or as part of a double bill.
ISBN 1 85459 106 1 


David Marshall Grant : 3 men, 1 woman. Unit set

A study of modern friendship when put to the test, the play centers on Jonathan and his wife Jennifer while they visit their oldest friend, Michael, at his home in Los Angeles. Jonathan, an actor, is in LA auditioning for a film - his first big break at stardom - and he's dragged Jennifer with him for support. Jennifer is distant because their daughter was left at home with a relative and she's become ill. Michael is distracted since his boyfriend has left him and one of the children he counsels was beaten and put in a hospital where he cannot see her. At first the focus is on the universal questions we all face at one point or another, specifically self doubt, and our selfish need for support. With the arrival of a guest, the play becomes deeper and forces us to see how ugly we can be when we look only at ourselves when we really should remember to look at others - especially those we love.

ISBN: 0-8222-1724-4 

The Sneeze

Plays and stories by Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Michael Frayn
M4 F3, minimum cast. Extras 2M. Various simple settings.

This is a marvellous collection of four one-act comic 'vaudevilles' together with four adapted short stories, with Michael Frayn's fresh, idiomatic and playable translations staying close to the spirit of the original. 'Frayn's well chosen and smoothly translated melange comes from recognising in some of these characters similarities with characters one encounters in the later masterpieces. Daily Telegraph 

Snow Orchid

Drama. Joe Pintauro.
3 men, 2 women. Interior.

Rocco Lazarra has been in an re-hab institution since a suicide attempt uncovered a manic-depressive disorder. Now, medically stabilized and converted to a calm and moral individual, he returns to the family he humiliated and abused for over twenty years. He brings a new hobby with him, too: . orchids. His deeply religious wife, Filumena, who has a fear of leaving the house, is not sure what to expect from him. Sebbie, the older son, is her mainstay but there has always been bad blood between him and Rocco. Blaise, the younger son, the one they call, "the American," doesn't remember the bad days and sympathizes as he uncovers Rocco's lithium and Valium. But Sebbie accuses his father of being "cool" only because of the drugs. Rocco's response is to dump his medication into the tigatoni, and to reveal to Blaise his suicide attempt. He goes on to tell him about orchids and the lessons of hope they can impart. With nothing resolved between Sebbie and Rocco, Filumena fears that Sebbie will now leave home. Sebbie tries to get Filumena to leave with him, but she refuses, and he readies to leave for Texas with Doogan, his boyfriend. Rocco learns of Sebbie's homosexuality and attempts to communicate with him but Sebbie goads his father into a fit of rage before leaving for good. There will be no forgiveness for Rocco now, but in the end, he and Blaise coax Filumena to step out of the door for the first time into a snow white America.
ISBN: 0-8222-1546-2 

Snowing at Delphi

Comedy/Drama. Catherine Butterfield.
3 men, 3 women. Interior.

Allan, a comic example of New Age male sensitivity, brings Brenda, a very young and very pregnant streetwise woman, to spend a non-traditional Christmas at the cabin of his yuppie friends in upstate New York The two couples already there are suffering from grief and collapsing relationships. Nick and Sarah moved to the country for safety's sake. Tragically, their decision to move away from the city cost them the life of their unborn child in a freak accident. Marcy and Gary have been circling each other with arsenals of contempt and mutual infidelity, fueled by intellectual pursuits widely at odds with one another (he's a publisher, she's a puppeteer). Brenda shares the harrowing story of her pregnancy by rape, jolting the two couples away from their obsessive troubles. Through her humour, down-to-earth good sense and survivor's spirit, Brenda acts as the catalyst for a series of heartfelt, wickedly funny turns that result in the romantic shuffling of the couples, sometimes after explosive incidents, and sometimes just spinning out of tender communications they needed to share.
ISBN: 0-8222-1377-X 

So What Do We Do about Henry?

Play. Charlotte Hastings
M3 (30s, 60) F5 ( 25, 30, 50, 60 ). A cottage living-room.

When Henrietta Ellis's companion dies she moves in with her nephew Dino and his girlfriend Elsie. Once Henrietta has settled in at the cottage she starts, in the nicest possible way, to organise the lives of those around her - the old Admiral, the meek new Vicar, Elsie's sister Delia and of course, Dino himself - enabling them all to realise their full potential, and fulfilling her own at the same time.
ISBN 0 573 11407 2 

The Soft September Air

Play. Charlotte Hastings
M4 (21, middle-age) F6 (young, late 20s, 30, 58, 60). A living-room, a bar, a casualty department.

Lindsey takes in boarding students for the local University. Gradually she gets involved in their problems - the solid, practical Chris gives her little trouble; the febrile, father-hating, guitar playing Dickon causes more upheaval, but wins her heart with his warmth and sympathy. Just as she thinks she's free from them all, another student appears at the window, and it looks as if she will be starting all over again.
ISBN 0 573 11423 4 

Solomon's Child

Play Tom Dulack
6 men, 2 women. Interior.

Determined to regain his son, who has joined a religious cult which has come to dominate his mind and soul, Allen Solomon, a medical research scientist, has arranged to have the young man, Shelley, kidnapped and brought to his summer cottage in the Catskills. Once there Shelley is turned over to the not-so-tender mercies of one Nicodemus Balthazar, a cynical, hard-drinking, grandiloquent, failed evangelist who, for a fee of $10,000, has promised to free Shelley from his dangerous obsession. Concerned about the illegality of his actions, Professor Solomon contacts his ex-wife, hoping that she will condone his tactics - but their meeting founders in dispute, and serves only to point up the tense, unhappy relationship which contributed to Shelley's alienation from his self-centered and overly ambitious parents. But the core of the action centres on the fascinating and often outrageous Balthazar and the unorthodox procedures he employs in his tense battle for Shelley's spirit and soul. His ultimate, hard-won victory is a moment of shattering emotional impact, and a moving lesson about both the bogged resiliency - and fragility - of the human psyche.
ISBN: 0-8222-1051-7