The LazyBee Scripts newsletter for January 2015

I don’t have any scripts mentioned in this newsletter, because the new writing is still underway, but there are some great plays, sketches and musical pieces to be found here.

From LazyBee Scripts:

As ever, almost everything from this newsletter (and much more) can be found via the Lazy Bee Scripts web site.

This time, because I’ve been promising them for a while, I’ll start with the new murder mysteries…

Murder Mysteries

Murder Mysteries – the interactive ones, where the audience has to work out whodunnit – are responsible for one of the complexities of the web site.  Because some groups run these competitively, with prizes for the best solution from the audience, we don’t display the scripts on-line (we have tasters instead), and they have their own section of the site.  We’ve recently added:-

  • Murder in Hollywood by Giles Black, a scripted scene (on a film set), leading to a murder, followed by audience interrogation of the suspects, plus a smattering of written clues.
  • Let Sleeping Frogs Die, a fully-scripted murder mystery by Patricia G., which still challenges the audience to work out who killed the wealthy victim, Monsieur le Comte d’Avignon.
  • Following the same pattern, Roger Lee’s Death at the Shangri-La is fully scripted.  (It has a core cast of 9 plus three optional roles, with multiple versions of the script to accommodate the different cast sizes.)
  • After the scripted section of Joanne Mercer’s Murder at Rancho Mucho Denaros the audience have the opportunity to interrogate the suspects, and the murder mystery pack even includes a special currency to allow the audience to bribe the cast into revealing additional information!

 

Musicals, Musical Plays and Plays with Music

  • The Wicked Witch & The Magic Shop by William Arnold Ashbrook is a large-cast family show with original songs and opportunities for audience participation (therefore occupying a theatrical space close to British Pantomime).
  • We already have several treatments of Aesop stories on our books, but we felt that Peter Nuttall’s Aesop’s Famous Fables and Twisted Tales was sufficiently different.  It’s intended for performance by children or by adults to an audience of children, and ends with an audience participation song, which should be tremendous fun for small children.
  • Nicholas Richards is a teacher (of languages, I think, but specialising in classics).  He was looking for a treatment of The Labours Of Heracles and couldn’t find one, so wrote his own as a comedy play with four (optional) songs.  Intended for school productions from Year 6 (US Grade 5) upwards.
  • Martin R.  Collin manages to tell a sentimental story about an inspirational and much-loved teacher without straying into mawkishness.  I Love You When It’s Raining, Roy G Biv is a one-act play with suggestions for a couple of public domain songs.
  • It may be a little late to say It’s Christmas Time!, but Sharon Stace-Smith’s musical nativity play (with scores for 9 songs and 8 pieces of incidental music) will still be available at the end of the year.

 

Plays for Schools and Youth Theatre

  • We start with a light comedy for kids in the form of Anything You Say, Your Majesty by Geoff Bamber, in which a queen wishes to be featured in a celebrity gossip magazine, and the queen’s word is law…
  • Sarah Brown gives a knowing treatment of a school class trying to get to grips with the English and Drama syllabus in Shakespeare – It’s All Greek To Me!
  • Opening Doors by Keith Badham is an ensemble piece for a youth theatre company (28 roles played by a minimum of 10 actors).  It’s intended for a aimple set with just one prop: a free-standing doorway.
  • The award-winning Call To Duty by Nettie Baskcomb Brown is an even more multi-layered piece, taking the characters through drama rehearsals and console games into a recreation of the trenches of the First World War.

 

Pantomimes

  • We’ve published two new pantomimes by Luke Reilly, both on themes that are not so common in the pantomime canon.  There’s The Princess and the Pea, built around the Hans Christian Andersen story and Hickory Dickory Dock, a completely original story, created around some familiar nursery rhyme characters and a wicked spider.  A good choice for companies who have already worked through the usual pantomime stories.
  • Peter Pan occupies a unique position in British copyright law, so that we pay half the author’s royalties to Great Ormond Street Hospital on all our derivatives of J M Barrie’s story.  The latest one is Peter Pan – A Pantomime by Stephen and Rachel Humphreys – the usual lost boys, pirates and mermaids, but given a pantomime twist with Smee becoming Mrs Smee, Captain Hook’s Nanny.
  • Bob Tucker’s outlaw story is not the usual family show.  Robin Hood – An Investigation Into His Life And Times is a short, risqué sort of British panto, something of a parody of the genre, rather than a straight retelling of the story.

 

Full-Length Plays

  • Geoff Bamber has a long (and, he assures me, distinguished) history as a member of a pub quiz team.  Some of this experience has been brought into Quizzers, a farce set in the study where Keith Smedley is trying to prepare for just such a quiz.  (4M, 4F)
  • As you might expect from the title, The Prisoners’ Dilemma by Matthew Lynch is set in a cell where a group of strangers are incarcerated for reasons they cannot comprehend…  (3M, 3F, 4 either)
  • Maverick Cop by Paul John Matthews is a comedy caper in which the police force, baffled by a series of murders, decide to recall a rule-breaking detective.  His individual approach is somewhat reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau.  (6M, 5F)
  • Ethan Bortman’s thriller Obvious Guilt opens in a living room where there is plenty of evidence of a crime, but no body…  (A minimum of 4M, 2F)
  • Michael Baulch has created a full-length play from Jane Austen’s Emma.  A well-thought-out staging has three locations created by redressing a single interior set.  (5M, 6F)
  • The Horrific Case Of Mr Valdemar is a story by Edgar Allen Poe, brought to the stage in suitably melodramatic fashion by Richard Layton.  (2M, 1F)

 

One-Act Plays

  • Richard Coleman has embarked on a series of comic verse plays that rearrange familiar stories.  The first of these is Scrooge’s Scruples which gives a major twist to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to show Scrooge as a determined do-gooder.  (A minimum cast of 16.)
  • It’s difficult to classify The Dial Conspiracy by Bob Tucker.  It’s a sort of comedy-farce-crime-caper, set in a remote hotel where weird and wonderful stratagems are used by a succession of unlikely characters vying with National Security officers.  (A cast of 12, of whom at least 4M, 2F)
  • Set on David’s birthday, Fifty! by Archie Wilson is more definitely a farce.  A surprise birthday party thrown by the wife and daughter and interrupted by the mistress.  (5M, 6F)
  • The Pagan Priests by Jim Pinnock is a farce for a cast of 7 (5M, 2F), set, unusually, in a church sacristy where the Bishop’s attempts to overhaul the management of a parish go drastically off the rails.
  • We’ve published two new one-act comedy plays by Cheryl Barrett, both developed from her own shorter plays.  A Matter Of Health and Safety (3M, 4F) is set at a village fete whilst You’ll Suit Just Fine (3M, 1F) is set in a small menswear shop, where Kevin, the new trainee, is trying to come to grips with customer service.
  • A couple with a history of neighbour disputes throw a dinner party in their new home.  What could possibly go wrong?  Find out as John Peel offers the chance to Meet The Neighbours (1M, 4F)
  • Robin Wilson’s Minutes By Air is a short light comedy for a cast of 2M, 3F, set in a meeting awaiting a crucial participant.
  • A different sort of meeting is the focus of Stephen Mercer’s comedy The Coven’s Convention, where the planning of a village fete is thrown off course by the enthusiasm of a new member.  (3M, 5F)
  • In Impatience and Improbability, Nic Dawson performs a neat comedic trick of intertwining 19th century manners with the present day.  It’s set in the gardens of a modern hotel which is running a Jane Austen-themed weekend.  (4M, 4F)
  • Moving from the comedy and on to the drama, Father’s Day by Allan Williams sees an old soldier visited by a young man investigating a gas leak.  Neither is entirely what the other expects.  (2M, 1F)
  • Guernica Goodbye, an award-winning play by William Campbell is a powerful drama in which Spanish refugees living in Chartres find themselves once again embroiled in conflict in the aftermath of the Second World War.  (2M, 1F)
  • Peter Appleton’s Sweet Dreams is a twisted psychological drama, verging on the melodramatic.  Anne has trouble telling reality from her dreams.  Is her fiancé alive or dead?  Is her father helping her, or holding her prisoner?  Can she even trust her oldest friend?  (3M, 2F)
  • All in the Past by Wendy Ash is a revenge drama in which Trevor renews his acquaintance with the men who bullied him years ago when they were all at school.  (3M, 1F)
  • Whilst there are two speaking roles, and a couple of silent dancers in Remember Scarborough by James Baynes, almost all the weight falls on the old man, waiting for his daughter on a park bench, poignantly reminiscing about the Second World War, his best friend and his wife.  (2M, 2F)
  • I saw the Sky Blue Theatre production of Frank Canino’s Nightwalking as part of the Cambridge Theatre Challenge winners’ showcase, and I was knocked-out by it.  A chamber theatre piece – black-box set, with a stepladder as the sole piece of furniture.  The actors communicate through interior monologues and movement.  (1M, 2F)
  • Jennifer Marie Sancho’s Politically Correct was the runner-up in the same competition.  Her drama is set in the ‘common room’ of an asylum where four inmates plan an escape.  And what a collection of rebels – Jane Austen, Margaret Thatcher, Emmeline Pankhurst and Florence Nightingale!  (1M, 4F)
  • The third of the Cambridge Theatre Challenge finalists (in our one act category – there are a couple more amongst the shorter plays) is A Darker Shade Of Closure by Richard Charles.  It’s a thriller set in an apartment where Tina is in a tight spot, blackmailed over her behaviour.  (1M, 2F)
  • Cold Blooded Killer by Geoff Rose-Michael is another award winner, this time of the new writing award from the 2013 Leatherhead Drama Festival.  A thriller that starts with a break-in at the home of the recently widowed Jack and leads to a shocking conclusion.  (Cast of three, of whom 1M, 1F)

 

Sketches, Skits and Short Plays

  • Continuing with the Cambridge Theatre Challenge finalists, we’ve published Brian Coyle’s The Proposition in which Alan has been picked up, but not for the purposes he first assumed.  Leo and Laila have something different in mind – it’s disturbing, but it’s all about art…  (2M, 1F)
  • The last of our CTC finalists (in this set) was Ashley Harris with Baking Bread, set on a park bench by a lake, where Bella is waiting to meet John.  (3M, 1F)
  • Croft & Barnett introduce us to Dr Death, a comedy sketch for 2M, set in the surgery of a doctor with a rather unusual approach to pain.
  • We’ve published a new pair of shorts from Jonathan Edgington.  The Slim Blonde Beauty is a romantic comedy inspired by a short personal ad in a free newspaper (2M, 4F).  She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (1M, 1F) is a surreal comedy in which a chap finds a strange woman in his bath.  (The sort of thing that might happen to anyone.)
  • Next in the multi-publications category, we have three comedy sketches from Robert Black.  The Also-Ran Club (3M, 1F) finds a group of unsuccessful inventors trying to form an organisation.  Message For Sophie will resonate – or possibly ring a bell – with those close to mobile phone addicts (1M, 1F).  Billy Loves Brenda (1M, 1F) finds the hero trying to explain-away a new tattoo.
  • Finally, we have two new comedies from Cheryl Barrett.  Bring Me Sunshine (4M, 2F) was inspired by a real incident – the damage to a statue on Morecambe sea front.  Around The Fridge In Eighty Calories is a monologue for a woman who is larger than she thinks she should be.

 

 

That’s all for now, but, as noted at the start, there’s a cascade of new material coming through.

A Happy New Year to one and all,

Stuart Ardern
Lazy Bee Scripts

To read these scripts online, go to http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk and use the “search title” function to bring up the script you’re looking for. Remember, these scripts are free to READ, not free to USE.

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