Most of the details behind the information in this newsletter can be found via the “What’s New by Category” page of the Lazy Bee Scripts web site – http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/Whats_New.htm
Scripts for Kids (Schools or Youth Theatre)
- We Have Character by Sherrill S. Cannon & Kerry E. Gallagher is a performance piece for young children, giving a rhyming exploration of well-known children’s books, with simple parables drawn from the characters.
- Geoff Bamber’s The Willow Tree is a humorous one-act play for kids, based on the legend of The Willow Pattern Plate (one of the few stories in which the hero is an accountant). Geoff has also written a version of King Lear with a plot entirely recognisable from Shakespeare’s tragedy, but also with a lot more laughs. Written for kids, but could also be fun for grown-ups. (A cast of 9M, 3F and 2 of Either.)
- Meanwhile, Richard Coleman serves up a comic compilation of chivalric characters in Camelot – The Knights of the Square Table – a rhyming romp round the realm.
- Whilst Nicholas Richards wrote his two short pieces specifically for this year, the subject matter has lasted a long time and will continue, so we are happy to present A Brief History Of The Ancient Olympic Games and, for those with only fifteen minutes to spare, A Briefer History Of The Ancient Olympic Games.
- Murder at the Music Hall by Laura Sanderson is a melodramatic spoof of a country house murder mystery for a youth theatre company. (The forty-minute show might be extended by interspersing Music Hall acts with the action.)
- Linda Stephenson’s Bradley No Mates is a one-act play for a school company on the theme of bullying.
- The Editing Room by Christine Harvey takes place in a TV studio where a group of production staff are editing and manipulating the participants in a reality TV show, whilst the staff themselves are being manipulated by the studio boss…
- In addition to the script for The Not-so Ordinaries, Jon Boustead has created workshop material – games and exercises – as an optional extra to help the acting company develop their performances.
- Herb Hasler’s Full Circle is an intriguing short comedy set in an American high school – an ideal vehicle for school or youth theatre. The long-suffering school principal is left to resolve a dispute amongst five students.
- Doing Shakespeare by Louise Wade is set in a high-school drama studio in which a disruptive student is brought into a Shakespeare production.
- Crossing The Line by Pete Benson is a drama either for a youth theatre or a mixed company (two of the characters are grown up). A group of children discover a wounded criminal in a barn. He has a very specific need for help. (At least 5M, 3F)
- As might be guessed from the title, Tony Best’s play Amy’s Brief Visit To The Garden Of Earthly Delight is aimed at actors of high-school age. A bold play, dealing with peer-pressure, and teenage bravado.
Shorter Shakespeare (Bill Tordoff’s abridgements of Shakespeare plays – the original plays in the original language, reduced to one-act play length.)
- A Forty-Minute Henry VI Part 1 is an adaptation, rather than an abridgement – in this case Bill felt that it worked better with the verse form used throughout. The content is summarised by the subtitle: ‘The Wars Of Henry VI And Joan Of Arc’.
- We’re back to abridgements for A Fifty-Minute Henry VI Part 2. This time the subtitle is ‘Cade’s Rebellion’ and after the wars with France are over, Henry encounters trouble within his own court and without.
- A Fifty-Minute Henry VI Part 3 takes us into the Wars of the Roses with the Duke of York rebelling against the weak Henry VI.
Sketches & Very Short Plays (with casts of more than one character)
- Life Goes On by Frank Gibbons is a Collection of 19 comedy sketches (ranging in duration from 4 minutes to 9 minutes and encompassing 44 characters, though just about playable by 3M and 3F). Sketches about life, love, work and cream cakes (in no particular order, though with a few common themes). All of the sketches are available individually. (As usual, the collection allows the set to be purchased at a discount to the sum of the individual components.)
- TLC Creative are usually Damian Trasler, David Lovesy and Steve Clark. This time they’re joined by Brian Two for a collection of ten short comedy sketches with theatrical themes, ranging from show selection to first night nerves. The Talky Bits was originally created to be part of a dance or drama showcase (usually the part done front-of-curtain whilst the main set is being changed!) Nine of the sketches are available individually. (The collection has 37 roles – play able by a cast of 7 – at least one of which is female.)
- Theatre is also the theme of The Accident by Herb Hasler is a play within a play for which the props and costumes have been lost and the actors stage the play using other actors and their stagehands as scenery… (4M, 2F, 2 Either)
- Unearthed is a very short ghoulish mystery by Alan Robinson involving Andrew, his sister and a hole in the ground.
- For the full effect of the comedy, Tom Jensen’s Mr Perkins needs to be played very straight. A cast of four or five, one of whom is the beneficiary of a will.
- In complete contrast, Close Family by Iris Winston is a powerful short drama for a cast of 1M, 3F. (The sensitive subject can be deduced from the title.)
- Robert Black’s Underneath At Archie’s is a short domestic drama for 1M, 1F in which household renovations are the trigger for a couple to find out things they hadn’t previously realised.
- We’re back to the comedy for Hunting Yetis by Andy Haynes, a ten-minute play for a cast of two, only one of whom is a yeti.
- Peter Zurek’s Name for a Baby is a wicked comedy sketch for a cast of 2M, 1F (not including the baby).
- Camelia is a young artist, anxious to sell her work in Sophie Chapman’s ten-minute comedy Desperate Gallery (1F, 2M, 2 Either)
- Charles Stott’s Cholesterol is a short for three men in a pub, contemplating life and especially diet.
Short Monologues and Monodies
Monologues come in a variety of forms, from simple recitations to Monodies (plays for a cast of one, usually with more in the way of set or props). Here we have several variants…
- Cheryl Barrett demonstrates two different approaches to solo pieces. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? is a short, bitter-sweet piece for a cast of one lady in her sixties. Then there’s Best Foot Forward, Darling, a rhyming monologue for a choreographer whose protegees, Monica and Jasper, have just gone on stage. (He addresses his acid remarks to the dancers and to an unseen companion in the wings.)
- Best Served Cold by Alan Robinson is a ten-minute play for a gastronome, so the set is simply a table, chair and napkin.
One-Act Plays (by length; not necessarily by structure)
- There aren’t many stage realisations of the zombie apocalypse. There may be good reasons for this, but Damian Trasler takes an unexpected approach with Love in the Time of Zombies a relatively serious treatment for a cast of 2M, 1F
- Amy Sutton’s A Human Write is a fascinating one act drama that uses mime and rhyme to take us into the mind of a struggling writer. (Somewhere between 11 and 25 actors.)
- George Freek’s It’s a Farce does exactly what it says on the label, with a plot of mistaken intentions, clever dialogue and physical comedy. (2M, 4F)
- Elsewhere on the web site we have a range of serious and not-so-serious nativity plays for children. Archie Wilson’s approach in Hollingsborough Children’s School Nativity Play is a send-up of the genre, intended to have grown-ups taking the roles of the children performing the play (plus the exasperated teacher and an offstage voice). (5M, 4F, 3 or 4 Either.)
- The Wound by Graham Jones is a one-act thriller set in a newly-opened small hotel where one of the guests appears to pose a threat. (2M, 3F)
- Alan Robinson’s Red Card is a short play for three young women looking for Mr. Right – and expecting to spend Valentine’s Day not finding him!
- A different approach to the same search can be found in Profound Moments by Johnny Grim which features a quartet of modern single ladies who gather in a pub for a night out.
- A young actor finds an unexpected and disturbing visitor in his dressing room after a triumphal performance in Julia Lee Dean’s Mirror Image (2M, 2F and a stage hand)
- The People’s Act of Literature by Rupert Haigh has life imitating art and art imitating life as two men in a cafe grapple with the nature of theatre. (2M, 2F)
- Louise Wade’s Duffy’s Law is an exploration of childhood relationships and their later echoes (2M, 2F).
- Roger Woodcock presents a comedy play in a funereal shade of black in the form of Darra’s Coffin which takes place following the death of the proprietor of a traditional undertaker’s. (4M, 2F)
- In addition to the monologues somewhere above, we’ve published two new plays by Cheryl Barrett. Trapped In The Web is a one-act comedy structured as four monologues in which the participants (1M, 3F) discuss their various Internet obsessions. For My Final Act is a character comedy set in a retirement home for stars of stage and screen. (2M 6F)
- A Spy With A View is a comedy thriller by Robert Scott in which holidaymakers David and Vicky are trapped in their hotel room by the weather. The monotony is broken by the delivery of a mysterious briefcase… (1M, 1F, 1 Either)
- In the previous newsletter, I announced the publication of Albert and His Women by Richard Hills. This time it’s Albert and More Women (which is an independent piece, but features the same middle-aged son and his old reprobate of a father). (2M, 3F)
- There’s a different Albert in Janice Sampson’s comedy drama of that name, and he’s being mourned by his family who watch his last address to them on video. (2M, 3F)
- Joan Greening’s The Book Club of Little Witterington is a comedy featuring the four female members of the club whose regular meeting is disrupted by the arrival of a village newcomer.
- We’ve been catching-up with Liz Dobson’s output by publishing five new plays. In Going Places we meet Melanie in her kitchen on the day of her divorce from Simon. (2M 4F) Setting The Record Straight is more serious fare, set in a day room at a nursing home where Stuart is visiting his Aunt. (1M 3F) A Relaxing Night In turns out to be anything but, when an unexpected visitor brings news of an accident. (2M, 3F) Watch Your Back is a comedy for 1M, 4F (and an offstage voice), set in an office typing pool in the early 1970s. Finally, Neighbourhood Watch features a committee with an unexpected approach to their public-spirited calling. (2M, 3F, 1 Either)
- Paper Trail by Seán Lang is a moving one-act drama, split between two eras (with the stage likewise split). Angie has travelled to the UK, hoping to research the circumstances the left her in an orphanage in Australia.
- Family history is also the topic of Day of Days, a drama by Allan Williams. Maggie has some news for Tom. Unexpected news. News of his long-distant past. (2M, 1F)
- An American hospital ward is the setting for Jonathan Goodson’s comedy, The Spy On Ward Four which concerns itself not so much with Oswald’s recovery from his heart operation, but on what is going on around him. (2M, 2F)
- Peter Ayre’s drama For Your Tomorrow sees a slice of 20th century history (going back to the Second World war) through the eyes of the aging, forgetful Albert and his family. (Up to 9 actors; minimum 3M, 3F)
- Different echoes of the WW2 can be found in The Box by Alan Tibbles, a comedy with a single kitchen setting for a cast of 3M, 4F, which reveals the contents of a mysterious box hidden in Granddad’s shed.
- The Volunteers of Hilary Mackelden’s comedy of that name, work in a charity shop. Sorting through the donated clothes and bric-a-brac, something unexpected turns up. (Eleven characters, of which 2M, 8F, 1 Either)
- Taking the retail experience further upmarket, Customer Service, by Avis & Herb Hasler takes place in a department store where the staff and customers deliver mildly surreal comedy, bordering on farce, with lots of prop gags. (Twenty-nine roles, but playable by 3M, 3F.)
- Reasonable Doubt by Angelic McMurray is a courtroom and crime drama in two acts, played backwards, so the audience see it the way the jury sees it, and then the way it actually happened. (Seven or eight actors of whom at least 3M, 3F)
- Beware of the Agapanthus is a well-crafted comedy from Robert Brown which starts gently and gathers pace as the chaotic situation develops. (3M, 6F)
- Written in response to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages Project, Sally Kinnell’s A May Dream sees a collection of Shakespeare’s Rustics pursuing their own plotlines outside their plays, leading to the unmasking of a villain. (A large-cast piece, but plenty of opportunities for doubling.)
British panto tends to use a core of staple stories. Around that there are shows on well-known themes and then others where writers use the pantomime form woven into original stories. Our new publications include excellent examples of all three.
- Frumps-a-Daisy by Susan Vesey is a sparkling one-act pantomime with familiar panto tropes set inside an original story.
- Archie Wilson treads the familiar ground of Arthurian romance to bring us King Arthur – The Panto with lots of audience participation, slapstick, corny jokes, heroes and villains.
- Bob Hammond gives us another version (our eighth) of the rags-to-Lord-Mayor-of-London saga (whose innocent title we can’t mention because it gets blocked by school e-mail filters). This one gives prominence to the (often adversarial) relationship between cats and rats.
- Another title we can’t mention is Mark Seaman’s rip-roaring fast paced panto in which Robin Hood has to rescue a couple of orphans from the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham
- Scot Todd brings another twist to Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood and the Knights of the Flatpack Table. It has the usual heroes, villains and kidnappings, but with the added bonus of a witch and a couple of imps.
- A later and more heroic incarnation of the law officer is brought to us Wild West-style in Hilary Mackelden’s original panto The Sheriff Of Council Flats
- Andrew Yates takes a familiar story on to its next episode – it should have been happily ever after, but what really happened next? Find out in Cinderella Two – The Sisters Strike Back
- The Four Musketeers by Pat Wollaston brings the pantomime treatment to Dumas’s French romp. All of the essential ingredients of panto are here with a knockabout Dame as D’Artagnan’s mother, plenty of slapstick and corny jokes and the all important opportunities for audience participation.
- Lorraine Mason delivers our fourth version of Beauty and the Beast which, whilst maintaining the flow of the plot, introduces lots of opportunities for audience involvement and hilarity.
- We are taken into the Italian Renaissance for another original pantomime in the form of Leonardo da Panto by Simon Nunan, featuring the scheming Machiavelli and villainous Cesare Borgia, amongst others!
- Occasionally, we publish scripts that would fit in the pantomime slot in a theatrical calendar, whilst not quite being pantomimes (usually missing some of the staple pantomime characters). So we’re talking about family shows which will entertain all generations. One such is Ian McCutcheon’s Windy Hollow, a wonderfully enchanting tale of woodland folk who allow us humans a glimpse into their world.
- The latest in our line of interactive Murder Mysteries is Cold-Blooded Murder by Ian McCutcheon.
(By the way, we’re working on making the Murder Mysteries easier to find and sort on the web site. More of that in the next newsletter.)
And that’s it for now – but as usual there’s plenty of material coming along.