I recently received the latest newsletter from Stuart Ardern at Lazy bee, showcasing the new scripts available:
“As usual, you can find all the scripts (and all the rest of the items detailed in this newsletter) on the Lazy Bee Scripts web site.
(If you’re looking for new scripts, the “What’s New By Category” page is a good place to start.)
Since the last newsletter, we have published around 70 new scripts, so, without further ado, on with the motley…
- We’ve gone some way to catching up on Geoff Bamber’s output of humorous plays for children by publishing Two Gentlemen of Verona, a retelling of Shakespeare’s story as a modern-language one-act play, then there’s Nellie’s Cottage, a battle between an old lady and a railway, and finally Sherlock Holmes and The Book of Secret Secrets, a good-natured send-up of the great detective.
- Following the success of his comic adaptation of Jane Eyre as a one-act musical farce, Gerald P. Murphy brings Wuthering Heights to the stage as a one-act comedy with minimal settings. All of the important characters are there, with the exception of Heathcliff who unfortunately was not available. His last minute replacement is another familiar taciturn character…
- Bill Tordoff has finished his short adaptations of Shakespeare, Webster and (see below) Jonson and has now dipped his toe (or possibly his pen) into the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. The Story Of Eklavya (the skilled peasant who wants to be the world’s best archer) and The Story Of Karna (who became a mighty warrior before cruel twists of fate led to his death at the hands of his own brothers) are presented as short one-act rhyming plays.
- Take Me To Your Leader by Caroline Spencer is our first publication from a series of short plays about aliens. In this case it’s a small-cast piece set in a school headteacher’s office.
- Loosely based on the ‘Princess and the Pea’ fairytale, Jon Boustead’s Happily Ever After, a short play for Junior or Elementary School ages, unfolds through a newsroom and outside broadcasts, as the Prince and his true Princess are united.
- Same, But Different by Pat Edwards has two fans of opposing football teams making friends, and then having to face their fellow supporters.
- An old magical carousel takes the protagonists of Round, Round by Linda Stephenson and Alison Hudson back in time to 1919. A fantasy adventure.
- Robot Heart by Patrick Derksen is a romantic comedy set in the 1980’s in a Canadian High School (a venue that also crops up in the musical plays category). Nerdish Frankie, who longs to be one of the cool kids, decides to use his considerable scientific skills to build a robot…
Musical Plays and Plays With Music
- Kate Goddard’s A Breath Of Fresh Air is a one-act junior school play with an environmental theme (and a French super-hero) and plenty of options for music and dance.
- The Phantom Of The Talent Factor by Robin Bailes, as you might expect, combines a parody of TV talent shows with a flavour of Gaston Leroux’s most famous creation. (Again, suggested songs rather than original music.)
- Set in a Canadian High School, Len Cuthbert’s Saving Grace is a one-act drama with optional music inspired by the life of John Newton, the writer of ‘Amazing Grace’.
- Theseus – The Journey To Athens is the first part of a two-part exploration of the legendary Greek hero by Nicholas Richards. It’s a one-act play aimed at a school class-sized cast, and comes with sheet music for an optional finishing song. The journey to Athens was, of course, a major tour, so you can guess what’s coming in the second part of Theseus’s story (which we’ll publish shortly).
- Sian Nixon’s Cinderella is, more-or-less, our seventh pantomime version of the rags-to-riches fairy tale. This one’s a full-length version for a cast of at least 20, amongst whom there is an erudite giant rat!
- Peter Bond was going to call his simplified version of the story ‘A Cheap Cinderella’ but his family persuaded him that this gave the wrong impression, so his one-act rendering for a cast of 15 is called A Budget Cinderella.
- On similar lines, Bob Hammond has created a mid-length panto in the form of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, aimed at groups who need simple staging. (We’ve already published Bob’s longer, more elaborate version.)
- A longer, more traditional approach to Robin Hood is provided by Dave Jeanes. (The full title of his show is omitted because it uses an innocent word for infants that will trip some e-mail filtering systems!)
- Sticking with traditional themes, there’s Luke Reilly’s Jack and the Beanstalk [our Version 7], although this one shakes up many of the elements of the original story (for example, it has more chickens and a female giant).
- Sleeping Beauty [Version 6] by Bob Heather and Cheryl Barrett is a full-length panto for a cast of at least 21. It follows the traditional story, but adds a few panto twists.
- Mark Seaman puts inverted commas around his dwarves in Snow White and the Jealous Queen, another new look at the old favourite.
- We’ve published two new versions of Pinocchio. First there’s our version 3 by Andrew O’Leary for a cast of at least 16, running to around an hour and twenty-five minutes…
- … then there’s Version 4 by Joshua Dixon for a marginally larger cast, and running a little longer (our estimate is one hour, fifty minutes).
- Following the success of their Sleeping Beauty, we’ve published Robinson Crusoe And The Pirate Treasure by Julie Petrucci and Chris Shinn. As you might expect there’s an element of being cast away, but, since this is a pantomime, Robinson Crusoe is never alone for very long.
- Continuing with the piratical spin-offs, there’s Long John Silver by Andrew Yates, bringing Stephenson’s larger-than-life character to the pantomime stage.
- Going further back in time, Sharon Hulm presents Percy and The Holy Grail, an Arthurian fable with the knights of the round table in pantomime form
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream The Pantomime is Matthew Harper’s novel treatment of Shakespeare’s characters, making the original tale easily accessible without losing the essence of the story.
- Arawen’s Dragon is a completely original storyline by Martin Hailey. Everyone thinks that the unseasonably cold weather is odd, but they don’t suspect it’s a wicked spell until Arawen, the Baron’s daughter, is given a magical dragon as a birthday present…
- Another completely original panto story is told by David Churchyard in The Great Gold Dust Conspiracy, though in this case he brings in traditional characters such as Aladdin, Beanstalk Jack, the Pied Piper and Goldilocks who seek out the magic gold dust which gives them their panto powers.
- Shah Jahan is Subrata Das’s modern translation and adaptation of D.L.Roy’s epic saga of the Mughal Empire. The retelling of last turbulent years of Shah Jahan’s reign (complete with the Taj Mahal and the scheming sons) are brought to life in this powerful and gripping play, written in the spirit of a Shakespearean tragedy.
- When not writing comedy for kids, Geoff Bamber writes grown-up farce. Art for Art’s Sake is the latest, centring on a wedding and a work of art. A single living room set and a cast of seven.
- We move from the living room to the kitchen for another farce in the form of The Finish Line by Paul A J Rudelhoff & Jane Hilliard – a group of old Olympic athletes are brought together at a decaying mansion where the celebrations get decidedly confused. (5M, 7F)
- Still with farce, Robert Scott subverts a familiar trope of murder mysteries with A Butler Did It! in which the funeral of Aunt Francesca has finally brought the Butler brothers together. Shockingly, she is not dead – well, not at first…
- Liz Dobson’s drama You Just Never Know (2M, 2F and 1 or 2 others) is set in a living room where a surprise party delivers more surprise than anticipated.
- Henry V Revisited is David Baldwin’s revised version of Shakespeare’s play which contains much of the original, but also has a chorus who reveal a more accurate version of the history.
- From time-to-time, authors revise their plays. Lynn Snyder’s Blackmail has undergone a revision after a public rehearsed reading by a professional group in the San Francisco Bay area. Consequently we have published the revised edition, a tense drama with political, and moral themes, with a congressman under investigation over the disappearance of an intern.
- John Mee is another playwright who has revised a script, in this case his riotous staffroom comedy, What I Did At School Today. The result is a sharper edition of the story of a supply teacher introduced to a struggling school.
- When we publish scripts, we go through a reviewing process. As a result, we sometimes ask the author for small changes. In the case of Not In My Lunch Hour by Amir Rahimzadeh, this caused a delay because Amir was in Jordan, playing a small role in Jon Stewart’s feature film “Rosewater”. Anyway, his script is now open for business – a comedy set on a park bench, where Lewis is trying to eat his lunch… (2M, 1F)
- Good For Something by George Freek is a play for 1M, 1F, set in an establishment for the retired where Lizzie and Max meet regularly for a game of checkers.
- Paul Mathews plays with the eccentricities of community theatre groups in Murder at Dress Rehearsal in which real-life tensions spill over onto the stage. (2M, 4F)
- Much Ado About W… by Leo Finn sits on the boundary between panto and farce. An entertainment of quickfire gags and mistaken identities.
- We’ve published two new one-act plays by Jim Pinnock. There’s The Clever Clogs Gang (for a cast of 12 to 14) set in a scientific laboratory, and there’s the thriller A Second Chance (6M, 2F, 1 Either), set in a bank where an unexpected event puts staff and customers through psychological torment.
- Whatever Happened To Old Miss Weere by Richard Hills is a drama set in a public bar where Miss Weere is a regular, except that nobody has seen her for some time… (2M, 5F)
- Liz Dobson offers a mix of comedy and serious drama. Representing comedy (with drama mixed in) there’s Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention (2M, 2F) and there’s Revenge (1M, 4F). The former presents a surprise for a couple renovating an old cottage, the latter a tale of the unexpected set in a museum. Representing the more serious side, there’s More Sinned Against Than Sinning? (1M, 1F, 3 either) Set in a condemned cell in 1936 in which Marianne spends her last hours reliving the events leading up to her conviction with her conscience, which takes the form of the three characters Anger, Fear, and Joy.
- There is a maxim for authors: “Write about what you know”. I’m not sure if Horry Parsons has ever refurbished a library, but his knowledge of the construction industry shows up in The Big Event (3M, 3F), a comedy of the chaos of working within a building project.
- We’re in a more sedate library for Mari, an emotive monologue from Jackie Carreira who has also delivered Regret Rien, a drama set in Paris, where a family has gathered to fulfil their late father’s last wishes. (2M, 1F)
- In addition to the his short plays, we’ve published a couple of new one-acters by Charles Alverson. In Vino Veritas (1M, 5F) is a comedy of reminiscences and home truths, whilst Curtain Calls (2M, 5F) is set in a retirement home for entertainers.
- Where would you set a romantic comedy? Jo West has set her play A Little Extra Help in a supermarket. Well it’s a place where you can meet people, and there’s a friendly manager on hand to help. (4M, 4F, 2 Either)
- Mathilde Dratwa’s Escape From Garden Grove is set at a bus stop, where Sophie has paused with her grandmother, having just kidnapped her. Contains comedy, pathos and (appropriately) strong language.
- Birthright is an original story by Christine Steenfeldt that sets up a dispute over Shakespeare’s birthplace. (1M, 1F, 1 Either).
- Sandra Horn’s Cissie Encountering The Gods is another (female) monologue. Cissie tells us of her strange neighbour Thea and the big effect she has had on Cissie’s life.
- The Pursuit Of Perfection is a dystopian vision by Anna Tyrie of a world where genetic engineering is used to create perfect people. (A cast of 14 to 17.)
- A PTA committee meeting descends into chaos in Tea and Biscuits by Paul West a comedy which, if it were a novel, would be described as magic realism! (5M, 6F)
- Margaret Thatcher meets Brian Clough in the afterlife. Not the start of a joke, but the basic premise of Rising Blue by Jason Jawando.
Abridgements and Adaptations
Having completed his one-act abridgements of all of Shakespeare’s plays, Bill Tordoff has turned his attention to other parts of the 17th century. Having done a couple of Webster’s this time it’s Ben Jonson’s turn.
- A Forty-Minute Volpone is an abridgement of Jonson’s tale of a miser and his servant tricking all their neighbours, with the original text cut down to 40 minutes or so.
- By contrast, A Fifty-Minute Alchemist is an adaptation. It uses mostly Jonson’s language, but Bill found it necessary to rewrite in order to keep the sense of the original in a shorter edition. Three con-artists set up a series of swindles starting with the pretext of an alchemist who can create charms and turn base metal into gold. The result is the 17th century equivalent of a multi-door farce, with a different problem lurking behind each door.
Sketches, Skits and Short Plays
- Starting off on a serious note, For The Greater Good is a short, powerful play about the holocaust by Canadian actress Aviva Philipp-Muller. Charles and Jonah share their memories of a single day, a day they experienced in very different ways. (2M)
- Tom Jensen’s Baggage is set on a railway station platform. A short tale with a surprising final twist. Bruce finds Kathy, alone and crying and takes pity on her… (A minimum of 1M, 2F)
- Someday I’ll Find You and Gerri and the Attrics are two short comedy plays by Charles Alverson, the former set in the reception room of a retirement village where Jack and Helen meet by chance after some forty years (1M, 2F), the latter a tale of a group of ageing entertainers (2M, 4F).
- A tailor’s shop is the setting for Cheryl Barrett’s short comedy You’ll Suit Just Fine where trainee Kevin has to deal with a difficult customer (3M). Meanwhile according to Cheryl, on the nearest park bench, Everything’s Coming Up Roses for a short, off-beat romantic comedy (1M, 1F)
- Moving on to shorter sketches, Robert Scott presents us with Audition Anxiety, a wry look at the theatrical process (1M, 1F).
- Graham Jones has delivered a couple of very silly sketches in the form of Golfer (for a cast of 3M) and Thesaurians (2M), the latter an interview for an editorial post, job, vacancy, position, employment opportunity…
- A Night At The Movies by Peter Keel is a comedy sketch about cinema etiquette (3M, 2F).
Next year marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War. If you’re looking for commemorative scripts, then take a look at
- Leaving Tommy, an award-winning one-act play by Mark Seaman.
- The Wakefields at War, a full-length family saga by Tom Mather
Half-Price Sale of Greetings Cards – Ends September 20th
That’s all I’m saying here. See the web site for more!
Say It With Shirts
The Autumn and Winter season approaches – now is the time to organise clothing embroidered with your logo in time for your winter shows.
A recent price review left our competitive prices alone and to make these even more attractive we are pleased to offer a 10% discount on all orders (15 items or above, all the same or mixed) placed before Christmas this year.
So, set the ball in motion now and send in your logo using the link on the website.
The website offers just a snapshot of the range of items we can supply. If you would like more information, just ask (via the contacts listed on the embroidery pages.)
That’s all for now, but as ever there will be more along soon.
(Follow us on Twitter – @LazyBeeScripts – to receive updates whenever we publish new scripts.)