As I often do, I’ve clipped the “New Releases” section of the Lazy bee Scripts newsletter and re-posted it here so you can see the new plays on offer from my publisher. Since these days I run my social media from my lunchbreak, I haven’t got time to add links to all the plays (though I have taken a moment to link to mine : Sorry everyone else!) And here’s a little reminder that you can visit www.lazybeescripts.co.uk anytime and check out their “What’s New?” page.
As I’ve said before (following George Douglas Lee), all plays are in three acts, even one-act plays. This category is based on length (something from 20 to 75 minutes), but the structures are three acts (situation, development, resolution). In some cases, the author has made that structure more obvious, so Ryan Bultrowicz’s play is formally a one-act play in three acts.
- Ryan Bultrowicz’s The Drowning Star (1M, 4F) is a poignant character study of a former child star who, after the death of her father, determines to make amends to the long list of people she has hurt.
- Not enough robotics on this list for your liking? Cyborg With Rosie (2M, 4F) by Troy Banyan will address that. It features a reclusive cybernetics genius and her dog-man hybrid, as a visit from a journalist exposes many secrets.
- Young runaway Poppy takes shelter in a student’s flat, only to encounter the ghostly presence of a former tenant, in Towards the Light (1M, 3F), a spooky supernatural drama by Judith Ezekiel.
- From robots to ghosts to… Leeds Airport. But as Richard Curtis fans know, airports are in fact the perfect place for love. Actually, there’s also friendship, grief, disappointment, comedy and deceit to be found, in Liz Dobson’s Arrivals (1M, 5F).
- If you’re short on actors, Beyond the White Noise (1M, 1F) by Steven A Shapiro is the play for you, focusing on two souls working out their issues as they sit in a therapist’s waiting room.
- Paul Kalburgi took inspiration from Pinter when writing Almost the Birthday Party (2M), in which an eccentric couple are asked to recall details of an absurd first rehearsal – complete with cheesecake, vicar and taxidermied cat!
- Pat Edwards’ Asking For Trouble (5M, 3F, 2 Either) explores some topical issues, as two girls narrowly escape serious assault. As they recount this incident, the play questions whether it’s right to apportion blame to they were dressed.
- Damian Woods’ Deadline (3M, 1F) features a playwright with a serious grudge to bear against a scathing reviewer. Luckily, it’s good, so we’ll never have to find out if Damian would react in the same way.
- Three suspects, all being questioned because of their political beliefs. Three interrogation rooms. Three points in time. Those are just three of the triplets at play in Louise Wade’s Interrogation (here are some more – 3M, 3F).
- If ‘convoluted black comedy inspired by Edward Albee’ sounds like your idea of a nice way to spend half an hour, you’ll want What’s The Time, Virginia Woolf? (2M, 2F) by Doc Watson.
- Special Occasions (3M, 5F) by Roger Hodge, adapted from the middle act of his full-length Eating Out, peers into the lives of three very different couples eating at the same restaurant.
- The revised edition of Paul Bovino’s Elephants (2M, 2F) was published in November. In an oddly decorated (see title) New York apartment, a strange birthday party reveals hidden love…
Again, we are confronted by the question of what is a full-length play. We take the view that anything with a duration of over an hour could legitimately be staged as an evening’s entertainment. On the other hand, something with a duration of less than an hour and fifteen minutes might easily be paired with a shorter piece. Thus Damian Trasler’s 65-minute “Under the Hood” is presented here, but might just as easily fit into the One-act Play category.
- Aliens in the Park (2M, 3F, 1 Either) by Louise Bramley is a sci-fi comedy in which aliens visit Earth to abduct a male human, in order to improve the gender ratio back home. There are suggested video effects as backgrounds, if you’re feeling really ambitious.
- Another comedy from Louise Bramley, Cardigan Coast (2M, 4F) follows the pilot of a reality TV show in which six elderly contestants share a house – and are determined to show the camera they’re up for anything.
- The title character of Ragnhild (6M, 4F, 1 Either) was the daughter of a usurped Viking king who, despite her exile, schemed her way back into power. It’s a fascinating historical tale, and Charles Eades tells it with a slice of brutality appropriate to the period.
- Under the Hood (3M, 1F) by Damian Trasler sees actor Rose rehearsing the title role in a new psychological interpretation of Red Riding Hood, while her husband is torn between his dead-end job and his dreams.
Sketches, Skits and Short Plays
Drama, comedy and satire. In short, all life is here.
- Gerald Murphy has adapted the O Henry short story After Twenty Years (3M, 0F), in which a wanted criminal meets up with an old friend… not knowing that he’s become a cop.
- Live (3M, 1F) by Robin Fusco is a post-apocalyptic short play – but don’t worry if that sounds ambitious, as it’s all set in an underground bunker.
- Olivia Arieti has Tramp Business (3M, 1F) for you to attend to… It’s a heartfelt and lightly comic sketch about the homeless inhabitants of an arrangement of park benches.
- In The Little Cottage (5M, 4F), Gerald Murphy turns his attentions to Irish folklore. The Doyle family have a perfect life, until Margaret’s parents move into their cottage. Father Kelly’s advice only makes things worse.
- Helen Bradley’s A Day at the Vets (3M, 2F) is exactly what it says in the title… well, a pretty bad day, truthfully, as the vet’s three least favourite customers – and their imaginary pets – all show up.
- Love Is Blind by Andrew Bawn sees Gary and April meet on a blind date in a restaurant. There is an age gap between them, and… well, you don’t expect it to go smoothly, do you?
- Three middle-aged friends meet up for a coffee and a natter in Something To Talk About (3F) by Bob Hammond, but it turns out that they all have more exciting lives than each other thought.
- The Vikings meet reality TV – and why not? – in David Dean’s The Alf Factor. They’re as vicious and bloodthirsty as ever – and that’s just the ones judging the cakes!
- Who ever said fairy tales are old hat? Three Billy Goats Cyber by Richard L Sanders is a politically satirical mix of the classic tale with today’s cyber technologies.
- World War II-era Vienna is the setting for The Attic Room (3M, 3F) by Elizabeth Anne Wells, as a young Jewish girl hides from Nazi soldiers in the house of an Austrian family.
At the time of writing, we have 359 pantomimes on our books. (By the time of reading, this may well have changed). We’re always looking for material to diversify the range. This time Sherlock Holmes is given the panto treatment, not for the first time, whereas The Scarlet Pimpernel is given a first panto outing. There’s a novel approach to the genre from Helen Spencer and Puss-in-Boots is rendered in rhyme.
- The game is afoot in Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Pantomime (minimum of 5M, 2F, 11 Either) by Giles Black, which pits Conan Doyle’s great detective against Professor Moriarty in his most, well, goofy case yet.
- The copyright on Baroness Orczy’s works expired in November, and we jumped straight onto that opportunity with Steven J Yeo’s take on The Scarlet Pimpernel (minimum of 3M, 3F, 4 Either). Who knew France’s Reign of Terror had such potential for slapstick?
- Another Cat, Another Hat (minimum of 3M, 3F, 4 Either) by Stuart Ardern is a one-act rhyming take on Puss-in-Boots, purrfect for a one-act production using minimal sets.
- Panto goes meta in Helen Spencer’s Pantomime Academy (minimum of 9M, 16F, 10 Either), which follows poor Maurice, a regular panto actor doomed to always play the back end of the cow.
Plays for Schools and Youth Theatre
This category covers scripts written specifically for schools or youth groups. On this occasion, we’ve made relatively few additions (despite our current catalogue of over 770 pieces for schools and youth productions), although there are probably pieces suitable in some of the other categories…
- February 14th is fast approaching, and Olivia Arieti’s V For Valentine is perfect for teaching children about Valentine’s Day traditions. Alternatively, reading it might keep you occupied if you don’t have a date.
- Howard Does His Best (3M, 10 Either) by Geoff Parker is an offbeat comedy for high school ages. As Howard tries to ask the most beautiful girl in the school for a dance, various parts of his body argue about how to co-ordinate themselves.
- Dip into Pond Life, a one-act play (with a couple of optional songs) by Nettie Baskcomb Brown, populated with (a minimum of 9) ungendered roles of plants and pond creatures.
The structure of whodunnits varies enormously. Angela Lanyon’s approach is definitely along the lines of a play: it’s fully-scripted, with no interaction with the audience. There is, however, the opportunity to put forward suspicions and accusations before the mystery is resolved by the performance of the second act. (Unusually, as well as deciding who did the deed, this mystery requires the audience to work out who was murdered, although I suspect that this becomes obvious when the remainder of the cast assembles for act two.)
- A group of friends make a cup of tea and settle in for a nice peaceful séance in Angela Lanyon’s Séance for Murder (3M, 4F). And then there’s the murder, of course.