Since one of my most popular posts (or the best “search engine snare”, I guess) has been the one that contained an update on Lazy Bee releases, here’s another. The fact that it contains details of my latest published sketch is NOT coincidence – I’m blowing my own trumpet these days, remember?
Most of the details behind the information in this post can be found via the “What’s New by Category” page of the Lazy Bee Scripts web site
Scripts for Kids (Schools or Youth Theatre)
- We’ve published two new kids’ plays by Geoff Bamber. What’s Up, Icarus? is a comic rendition of an Ancient Greek myth, telling the tale of how King Minos tried to turn Crete into a successful holiday destination with a maze and resident monster as tourist attractions. Puss in Boots [Short Version] is more familiar as a pantomime, but this treatment is straightforward comedy without the panto baggage (or Dame, as she is usually called). Anyway, it has the usual ingredients of the tale – a miller’s son, a talking cat, a princess and an ogre. At least two live happily ever after.
- Rabbie Burns’ Night by Olivia Arieti is a children’s introduction to the celebration of the Scottish bard. No set or props required, but the odd display of tartan wouldn’t go amiss. (Seven characters.)
- Don Lowry’s Alvin And The Queen is a (US) High School play, set in the school cafe. Alvin is your typical high school nerd, and he’s desperately in love with Barbie, the homecoming queen and beauty, who is just not the academic type…
- We’re a bit late in the year publishing Reindeer Games by Martin R. Collin – or perhaps we’re very early. Anyway, as you might expect, it’s a Christmas pageant (a compilation of many old (largely secular) Christmas traditions, including carolling and mummers’ plays, with a modern quiz show thrown in for good measure). A cast from large (we think the minimum is 22 players) to huge with a choir thrown-in for good measure.
- Despite what you might expect from the title, Dance Story by Frank Gibbons is not a musical, but the backdrop is a dance competition, so dance could be a major element. A cast of at least 11, of whom at least 8 girls.
- On the other hand, Hamelin is a definitely a musical play – Philip Bird’s variation on the Pied Piper story with songs by Isabelle Michalakis. Written for a cast of 21.
- The Frog Princess [Version 2] by Tim O’Brien is our second musical version of the time-honoured tale of the culture clash between royalty and amphibians. A minimum cast of 23, but plenty of room for more courtiers and pond-life.
- Timothy Hallett and Nicholas Richards take us completely into musical territory with The Lambton Worm. It is accompanied by music throughout, with the tale told in a mixture of song and spoken verse. The Lambton Worm is an old folk tale from North-East England. ‘Worm’ is used in the old sense of ‘serpent‘ – so this is a story of knights fighting dragons.
- Hannah Thomas’s Romeo and Juliet – Sped Up! is a ten-minute reduction of Shakespeare’s play (in modern English and occasional noises) for a cast of 8 or more. No set requirements, just a few props, love and death. Written for school children, whereas…
I’m never quite sure whether to group Bill Tordoff’s abridgements of Shakespeare plays in with the school plays (because they’re designed so that they can be read/performed within the bounds of one lesson) or to group them with the one-act plays because performance isn’t restricted to children.
This is the compromise – a separate category!
- A Forty-Minute Timon of Athens is a reduction of one of the lesser-known plays. In addition to the Greek setting, it has the air of a Greek tragedy, with the central character brought down by his own behaviour. (As usual, the plot, language and characters are preserved, but the text is cut to a one-act length.)
Sketches & Very Short Plays
- Diamond Jubilee 2012 is a sketch show by Ray Lawrence (with ‘an assist’ from Gary Diamond) written, as you may of guessed, in celebration of the sixtieth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s a revue covering the last sixty years in a series of monologues and short sketches. (Add songs to taste for the perfect jubilee celebration.) Many of the sketches are available separately. We’ve also published another of Ray’s rhyming monologues, this time it’s The Clock Mender a tale of the typical tinkerer with timepieces.
- According to Damian Trasler, It’s Not the End of the World though it does involve a surprising number of zombies. A short comedy sketch for a cast of three.
- Lorelei by Jonathan Edgington is a dramatic monologue for a young woman. Single set (three pieces of furniture) and a few props. Lorelei’s story is a sad one, of a life gone wrong and a struggle to cope with a new identity and the loss of the past.
- The reception area for a TV studio is the setting for Bob Tucker’s Searching, a fifteen-minute comedy about the preparations for a dating show (2M, 1F)
- The typical Writers’ Group is the subject of Tom Jensen’s comedy sketch for 2M, 2F. Will’s just had a play reading, but the news isn’t good. They think his play needs lightening-up…
- Wally Smith has delivered a couple of serious short plays. The first, Imperfect Speakers, is a 20-minute political thriller for a cast of four, whilst Holding Up A Mirror (for 2M, 1F) explores the nature of drama and the relationship between actors and audience in fifteen minutes.
- Nicholas Richards also presents a new pair of scripts, but these are light comedy sketches in the form of Doctor Sleep (2F, 1M), set in a doctor’s surgery and A New Job For The Wicked One (1M, 1 either) featuring a regular day in the Little Noddingsbury Jobcentre.
- Colin Calvert’s Café Society is a romantic comedy of an unexpected kind for a cast of 3 (2M, 1F), set in a somewhat run-down Cafe where Pauline is looking for no more than quiet contemplation and lunch.
- What would result from M C Escher writing plays? Our reviewer reckoned it would be something like Seven Ages of Love by Robert Burns. (No, not that Burns, another one.) The history of a failed romance is explained in reverse order which, at least, gives it a happy ending. (2M, 2F)
- Establishing Relations by David Craig Smith is a one-act drama with a single domestic set in which a young man introduces his girlfriend to his parents and is dismayed by his father’s reaction. (2M, 2F)
- Reading Between The Lines by Geoff Bamber is a farce set on the fringes of a small literary festival. The characters (3M, 5F) include an academic, a gambler, a vicar, a housekeeper, a French lady… No stereotypes here, oh dear me, no.
- We stay in village festival territory for A Fete Worse Than Death by Richard James. This time it’s a fully fledged whodunnit, but with a distinctly comic edge. (4M, 3F and a very large marrow.)
- Archie Wilson’s The Séance, on the other hand, is a different animal entirely – a ghostly horror story (with lots of fun for the special effects crew) set in the attic of a house where a murder had been committed. (4M, 3F)
Unusually, we haven’t published any new pantomimes in the last couple of months. (However, there are plenty more in the pipeline, and we already have over 200 to choose from).
We treat these in a different way from conventional scripts (for a start, they’re in a different part of the web site). They come in a variety of formats from fully scripted to fully improvised.
We’ve got one new one this time, but there are more in the pipeline…
- They Never See It Coming by Die Laughing Murder Mysteries is the sort of piece where we provide a scenario, character briefs and ancillary materials, and the cast improvise the dialogue.
Other Things for Your Show
What else can we offer you to spice up your show?
- We now have the third CD of spoof adverts and theatre announcements from TLC Creative – Four and Twenty Advertisements – The Third and Youngest! (I particularly like the parody that is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.)
- How about kitting-out your cast in polo shirts, sweaters or hoodies emblazoned with your show logo? On the clothing front, our supplier of fleeces has chosen to but an elegant stripe down the front of a popular ladies’ fleece. It looks great, but it means we would have to stitch logos over a seam, which would tend to mess-up the stitching, so we’ve withdrawn that item. (We’re looking for a replacement.) We’ve also done some successful trial runs embroidering logos onto school book bags. We’ll get those onto the web site eventually. (Meanwhile if you’re desperate for an embroidered book bag, give us a call!)
- Or how about “good luck” or “thanks” cards for your cast and helpers?
For those and many more gems of theatrical paraphernalia, see the links from our home page.
And that’s it for now – but, as usual, there’s plenty more in the pipeline.
Please remember, although I’ve provided the links so you can see all these plays for yourself, if you wish to perform or present them, even in a classroom setting, you need a performance licence from Lazy Bee Scripts. These are not extortionate, and the rates are proportional to the setting, so please enquire through www.lazybeescripts.co.uk . You’ll be pleasantly surprised! And you won’t be hunted down by rabid playwrights, eager to rend your living flesh and stake you out in the garden with blunt pencils…..