Tag Archives: Richard James

The January Lazy Bee Newsletter

I’m working on a new post, but in the meantime, Happy New Year! And here’s the latest news from my publisher, Lazy Bee Scripts:

Miscellaneous Musings

Receipts

When we were able to access the web site again after the January 4th interruption, we finally implemented the “receipts” function (under the Customer menu).  That means that you can get copies of receipts for past orders.  It also does an approximate currency conversion for customers in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Euro zone (particularly useful for teachers who have bought scripts by card and need to claim back from schools who are not familiar with the British Pound).
 

Stitched-up!

We’ve been selling custom-embroidered clothing for a couple of years, and now we’ve finally ordered our own with a stitched version of the Lazy Bee Scripts logo.  (We like it so much we’ve put a picture on the front page of the web site and more on the beewaxing blog.)
 

What’s in a name?

Occasionally authors make changes to scripts after we’ve published them.  We grizzle about this, but we do make changes.  In the case of Giles Black’s murder mystery A Legendary Death we thought it was rather important.  One of his characters is the host of a television archaeology show.  Giles found that he had accidentally used the name of the host of a television history show.  Given that this is a murder mystery, the character is less than wholesome, and we felt that his namesake might consider this libellous.
 

Break a leg?  Be careful what you wish for!

A few months ago, I went to see the opening of Terry Hammond’s black comedy Ten Rods, a show set on an allotment, littered with spades, forks and a wheelbarrow.  Terry popped in to the Lazy Bee Scripts office a couple of days ago to discuss his next projects, and, in passing, told me that during the fight scene, the actor playing Shadbolt, the villain, fell onto the wheelbarrow and cracked a rib.  (Terry had to take over the role for the remaining performances.)
 

What’s a performance?

From time to time, I get into discussions with customers who say “we’re not performing the show, we’re just doing a presentation to parents and friends”.  That’s a performance.  Any show performed in the presence of an audience (people who were not a directly involved in producing the show) other than members of the same class or workshop, counts as a performance for copyright purposes.  So, for example, if you invite an audience to watch your dress rehearsal, then that’s a performance.  For every performance, you need to obtain performance rights from the rights holder.  This is a general point, it applies to all (copyrighted) shows, not just to those licensed by Lazy Bee Scripts.
 

Making Changes

Another cautionary note with respect to copyright is the matter of making changes.  In theory, you cannot make any changes to a script without the permission of the copyright holder (usually the rights agent on behalf of the author).  Making changes without permission is a violation of the author’s copyright.
We take a practical view, and give blanket permission for some minor changes as part of our copyright notice.  (There’s a detailed explanation in the Help section of the web site.)  However, changes that affect plot, character or dialogue need the permission of the author.  If in doubt, ask!
Whilst we were in the process of granting permission for changes to Switched by Frances A Lewis for use in the Scottish Community Drama Association one-act play festivals, David from Carbost Village Drama Group (who used to be David from Selbourne Players) pointed out that last year one group was disqualified from the SCDA finals because they had altered a script and did not have written permission from the rights holder.
 

First Spanish Script

Most of our scripts are written in a recognisable form of English.  However, we have made forays into Latin, French, German and Afrikaans.  We’ve now ventured into Spanish – see below for more about Entre las Lineas.

And now on to the new material which, of course, can be found via the Lazy Bee Scripts web site (from the home page, “What’s New” is a good place to start.)

 

Musicals

  • The Frinton Fryer by Jim Pinnock is really a one-act play, but there are several solo songs that are integral to the piece, hence the musical classification.  Brenda is going for the ‘Silver Star Show’ audition, but Doris thinks she should try a more modern look, name, and song.  Her singing has surprising consequences for her workplace – a Fish ‘n’ Chip shop!
  • We have billed Luke Reilly’s version of Rapunzel as our Version 2.  It’s a full-length family show (rather than a full-blown pantomime treatment).  The original story is embellished, notably with a villain in the form of the evil Dr Grimm.
  • The Spanish script, mentioned above, is Entre las Líneas by Sofía Kin & Pilar Muerza with music by Erica Glenn.  Comedia musical para los niños en un Acto. It’s a translation of Erica Glenn’s ‘Between the Lines’, originally created for a production in Argentina.
  • Richard Cowling’s Zechariah And Elizabeth is a one-act musical based on the story from the first chapter of Luke’s gospel.
  • Working Man by Peter Nuttall was inspired by the paintings of Alexander Millar, set on Tyneside in the heyday of the shipyards.  In addition to backing and vocal CDs, we offer a CD of images of Millar’s paintings, licensed by his publisher, for projection during each scene.  (There’s an example on the script page – well worth a look.)

 

Plays With Music – in this case, all for Children

  • The Alphabet Trip by Sherrill S Cannon does what you’d expect – it takes a trip through every letter of the alphabet in a rhyming script punctuated by (suggested) songs.  Aimed at very young children and very flexible presentation (in principle, 26 characters – for the obvious reason – but they can be shared out in many ways).
  • Debbie Chalmers takes slightly older actors into science fiction territory with A Cloud In Space, a full-length fantasy space adventure for a cast of 20.  (Again, the songs are suggested rather than supplied.)
  • Looking for the Rainbow by Philip Bird (music Isabelle Michalakis) is a fantastical adventure about the meeting of two groups of children living on opposite sides of a mountain.

 

Kids Plays

  • Aliens is a collection of seven short plays for youth theatre by 10 x 10 Writers.  We announced publication of three of the individual plays in our previous newsletter.  Since then, we’ve completed the collection (so you can buy the whole set at a discount) and published the remaining individual scripts.  These are The Landing Party, by Karen Fitzsimmons, Activity Day – Inclusive of Aliens by Dian Donovan, Aliens v Aliens by Sarah Reilly and Tales from the Seventh Galaxy by Mike Plumbley.
  • Nicholas Richards has adapted the Pardoner’s Tale from the Canterbury Tales into a short rhyming play, Hunting Death
  • We’re into a strange dystopia for The Nobodies by Jon Boustead, a twenty-minute play for junior school children.  A place where there are no stories, no reading and no dreaming.
  • Paul Roostercroft – that’s not his name, but his actual name gets his e-mails consigned to my spam folder, so I’m trying to avoid that possibility here – has written Not Another Nativity, a play set in the rehearsals for a more conventional nativity play, and giving the subject a refreshing new slant.  (Written for a cast of 26.)
  • Missing by Sue Bevan is a gritty small-cast one act play for youth theatre, in which Tom has run away from home.
  • Deanna Alisa Ableser also takes us into the world of the homeless (this time with a US setting) for StreetBox, a one act drama.
  • Josh’s Wall is a thought-provoking short play by Ian Elmslie (aimed at GCSE-level students, a comment which will tell you that it’s set in England).  Three boys meet up on Christmas Day to discuss the recent death of their friend.
  • Jeremy Tyburn’s Rhyming Macbeth was originally written as a Reader’s Theatre piece (as an educational introduction to Shakespeare’s play) – on the grounds that the writer wondered whether such a short telling of Shakespeare’s story could be staged.  (It could, but it runs at quite a pace.)
  • For younger children, there’s A Too Naughty Cinderella, by Olivia Arieti.  A short telling of the tale, and not quite the Cinderella we are used to, as this one is so petulant and shallow that her Fairy Godmother has disowned her.

 

Pantomimes

  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (our Version 2 of the story) by Julie Petrucci and Chris Shinn comes complete with a camel called Carmel.  A full action show with a ‘modern take’.
  • Dawn Cairns offers two tales for the price of one in Aladdin and Alisha Baba.  We have all the expected pantomime ingredients, plus differences – including two Dames as the mothers of Aladdin and Alisha Baba, as well as Gordon the camp genie, who helps thwart the evil Abanaza, and Mustafa with his four thieves.
  • There are two new pantos from Luke Reilly.  The first is a very modern Puss in Boots (Version 5 in our canon), the second is A Postmodern Pantomime (going beyond the normal panto convention of breaking the fourth wall and into explorations of the boundaries between story, play, characters, cast and audience.)
  • Our next new version of Puss in Boots (our Version 6) comes from Bob Heather, and takes a much more traditional, family audience, approach to the tale of the magical cat who comes to the aid of the poor Miller’s son.
  • Jillian Riches and Lesley Penketh also take a traditional pantomime subject, but give it a twist to create Snow White and the Eccleston Seven where the dwarves are replaced by an Irish gang of rogues.
  • Venturing onto new ground, Matthew Harper brings us Figaro – The Pantomime.  Like the rest of the new pantos listed here, it’s a full-length show for a large cast, but with a very definite renaissance Spanish setting (give or take a guest appearance from Tesco.)

 

Full-Length Plays

  • For Life Imitating Art, Joan Greening takes us to an art gallery, where Dorothy surprises Pete by mistaking him for her tour guide, an experience that ends up enriching them both.  (A cast of 1M, 1F)
  • Frances A.  Lewis has written two one-act plays, Switched and AKA Charlie (of which more below) with (largely) the same characters.  Whilst they function independently, they are also available (at a discount) as a full-length play, Between Appointments (4M, 4F and optionally two others).
  • How do we describe Chicks and Dogs by Clive Renton?  We’ve got it listed as a full-length comedy drama, with bawdy overtones.  Clashes of views, personality and experience – and, indeed, costume. (3M, 3F)
  • Hilary Mackelden presents The Snow Queen (listed as our Version 4) as a family show, rather than the pantomime treatments we have elsewhere.  A new look at the Hans Christian Andersen tale, with 40 roles, but playable by a cast of 28.
  • The Killing Of Richard by Roger Mathewson is set during the casting of Richard III, a process that begins to mirror Shakespeare’s play.  (6M, 3F)

 

One-Act Plays

  • The Melting Sands by Jim Pinnock is a thriller set in a beach house.  Tables are turned as two seemingly innocent and unconnected women seek revenge.  (4M, 3F)
  • Karen Ankers offers us the rather odd mixture of Red Wine And Ice Cream in a powerful, serious play with a simple single set.  Louise is having a lousy night out, she’s abandoned by her date, and now who’s this in the alley behind the theatre?  (2M, 1F)
  • Fancy making an exhibition of yourself?  Try Joan Greening’s Museum Pieces a comedy in which the museum volunteers are dismayed by the prospect of closure and salvation arrives in a most surprising way.  (6F)
  • We’ve got a (non-matching) pair of new plays from Allan Williams in the form of The Last Visitor (for 2M, 1F, in which a retirement-home resident is surprised by a caller who seems to know a lot about him) and Gerald’s Bench (also for 2M, 1F, in which three visitors to a park are tangled in the same story).
  • As mentioned under full-length plays, Frances A Lewis’s new play AKA Charlie uses several characters from her previous Switched.  It also has the same set, split between a living room and a dentist’s surgery where Veronica has to cope with in her job as Dental Assistant and the arrival of her jailbird brother.  (4M, 3F)
  • We’ve published four new plays by Robin Wilson.  There’s Mrs Noah (1M, 3F) in which the building of the Ark is not helped by Noah’s less-than-understanding wife.  All Washed Up (2M, 2F) has the survivors of a plane crash stranded on a tiny island.  A Dummy Run (1M, 3F) is set in a doctor’s waiting room.  Finally, Alright On The Night? (3M, 4F) has a village hall drama group face a fraught dress rehearsal.
  • In Gentlemen Callers, Pam Mackenzie shows how the elderly Lavinia and her friends spend their afternoons.  (A comedy for 3M, 3F)
  • James P Brosnahan & Joseph S Kubu say It’s About Time, and indeed it is – two different times for the same person, and an exploration of choice.  (2M, 1F)
  • A Stitch In Time by Mark Green is also about time – and much more directly, since Alastair, inspired by his late father, is convinced that he has invented a time machine.  (2M, 2F)
  • The title of Dave Walklett’s Custom Shrunk comes from Measure for Measure, the play that his characters have just been performing in this back-stage drama of manipulation.  (3M, 2F)
  • I probably think too much about theatrical genres.  I see No Occasion To by David Weir as somewhere between a drama and a thriller.  Anyway, a play for a cast of 4M set in a bar where a planned celebration is confronted by a gatecrasher.
  • Bob Tucker presents two new plays.  The first, B & B, is a frantic farce, set in a small guest house whose acceptance of pets is challenged by some of the guests.  (5M, 5F)  The second is The Interview (for 2M, 3F and one either), taking an unusual modern view of a scene from David Copperfield.
  • British people of a certain age will be sent in the wrong direction by the title of Bill & Ben by Richard James.  In this case, the Ben in question is Ben Jonson, and he’s in prison on a murder charge, where he receives a visit from a fellow playwright.  As Richard put it, they do what playwrights do best – they bicker.  (2M)
  • Despite the title, the cast of David Pemberton’s An Indecent Exposure remain clothed throughout.  It’s a comedy drama or, just possibly, a surreal thriller!  (3M, 3F, plus 2 to four more)
  • Cell Mates by Mark Seaman takes place, as one would expect in a prison cell.  The question is what will young Terry learn from the resident old lag, the murderer George?  (3M)

 

Sketches, Skits and Short Plays

  • Lorraine Forrest-Turner seems to be making a bid for the longest title award with her sketch Bank Holiday Mondays and Other Ways to Kill a Marriage (a title that needs more explanation for people outside the British Isles than it is going to get!)  It’s one man and one woman and they’re stuck in a car.
  • Grandmother Rita is reminiscing about her life as she looks through her old photographs in Lynda Bray’s monologue A Thousand Words Speak A Picture
  • There are two new short pieces with religious overtones from Howard Lipson in the form of A Cautionary Tale (for a cast of 3M), retelling the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and Utopian Rhapsody, with a meeting between Charles Dickens and Washington Irving (2M).

 

Interactive Murder Mysteries

  • In A Shotgun Wedding by Andrew Hull, the bride and groom have got as far as the reception before their first major argument.  The assmbled company don’t help, and, later, a shot rings out.  It’s up to the audience to find out whodunnit!  (Ten characters, of which at least 5M and 4F.)
  • Jos Biggs hints at motives from the start of her mystery The Hadleigh Hall Inheritance, but again, it’s up to the audience to sort the clues from the red herrings.  (Nine characters, of which at least 2M and 4F.)

 

Other Things

We are gradually adding to our range of recordings to go with the musical scripts.  In particular, we’re adding a number of vocal recordings (because some people learn songs more easily by singing along!)
As we do this, we’re also putting more recording samples on-line so that you can listen to a snippet before buying.

 

When they are not writing…

…  Some of our writers are writers.  That is to say, people who write plays also write other things – including criticism, blogs, poetry, magazine articles and shopping lists.  Some of them write books.  Recent publications include Bill Siviter’s The Dark Men of Biddulph Moor (summarising Bill’s summary, Dan Brown meets Staffordshire history), Eddie and the Kingdom by Damian Trasler (who seems to be concerned with zombies.  Aren’t we all?)  Julia Lee Dean has recently completed And I Shall Be Healed (about the First World War).  I have no idea what Jim Pinnock’s Sparrows With Vertigo is about.
Other novelists in our ranks include Nigel Holloway (whose sixth should be available soon), John Peel, whose output includes One Man And His Shed and Giles Scott, whose Hook and Peter Pan is a novel for children based on his script for the musical Hook and Peter Pan – How it All Began (which you can find on the Lazy Bee Scripts web site).
(There are many more, but the output is so large that I have lost track!)

 

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.)

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What did I just say?

Nothing on here about my lunch.....

Facebook status lines are weird. Some people use them like Twitter feeds, monitoring their daily activity: “Breakfast! Coffee time! Hey, I bought a doughnut! Lunch! Woo Hoo!”*   Some people use them to keep us all abreast of the news, reposting news articles or good blogs. And some people treat them like they are a portal into their very soul, and they try really hard to make each status update something memorable, something to make you pause and go “Wow! What wisdom! I feel truly blessed.”

So, with the death of Osama bin Laden, we received a bunch of jokes (“Farewell Hide and Seek champion of 2011” being the most repeated, although I laughed when a friend posted that Donald Trump was demanding to see the death certificate….) we heard about someone’s lunch, we had many links to press reports, and we had THAT quote. You know the…er…MLK one:

I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy

It reached us via the status bars of a few friends and we reposted it, wanted to join the legion of super-cool folks, but also agreeing with the sentiment behind the words. Seeing the baying mob outside the White House was disturbing, and we wanted to add our voices to the people saying “He was bad, he was wrong, I’m glad he won’t be influencing any more people (directly, though I’m sure his voice will be used by others) but this carnival over his death isn’t right.” You know what it reminded me of? The guys who danced in the streets burning American flags after 9/11.

So we reposted the words, and later, reading Twitter, I saw Penn Jillette apologising for not checking his quotes thoroughly, and saying he didn’t make it up. He mentioned Martin Luther King, but I didn’t make the connection. Then this morning a friend commented on my status, saying the attribution may have been in error, and sure enough, today I find this post:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/05/the-shy-woman-whose-words-accidentally-became-martin-luther-kings/238309/

(Courtesy of Richard James)

So folks, two points to take away today: The power of well written words, for one. Jessica Dovey thought about her reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden and wrote something simple but heartfelt. I bet she worked hard on those words before pressing that button. Secondly, the power of Social Media. Her friends liked what they read (and okay, maybe they misunderstood where it came from, but I think they’d have taken it up all the same) and they sent it on….and it travelled around the world. JK Rowling became an international sensation with a series of books. Jessica Dovey became a worldwide sensation with a sentence.

Have YOU unintentionally misquoted someone? Who corrected you? Do you have to put people straight when they get a quote wrong? Or better yet, have you said something on Social Media that you later saw reposted by someone you don’t know?

Damian Trasler is a playwright, Script Reader and househusband, though not always in that order. He once wrote something that was quoted by someone else, which was “Yes, but what did you think of the PLAY, Mrs Lincoln?” No one gets it. He wrote a book about writing plays which you can download and buy HERE

*and I’m not saying this is wrong, just…well, before FaceBook, would you have rung up your friends to pass on this information? “Hey, Tanya, I just bought a doughnut! Yeah, it’s frosted and…You’re in a meeting? I’ll call back. And tell you about my sandwich.”

All the latest from Lazy Bee Scripts!

Me, when I used to blow the trumpet (aided by Photoshop...)

It’s considered bad form to blow your own trumpet, at least where I come from, but it’s ok to allow other people to sing your praises. So, sparing my blushes, I’ve decided to reprint the latest Lazy Bee Scripts Newsletter (The Buzz) which happens to include some mention of the latest full-length play by…ahem…well…ME!

Most of the following information can be found via theWhat’s New by Categorypage of the Lazy Bee Scripts web site 
The Royal Shakespeare Company‘s Open Stages Project
Open Stages is a collaboration between the RSC and community theatre groups.  As part of the project, the RSC has teamed-up with the National Drama Festivals Association to introduce a Shakespeare category into one-act and full-length play festivals in the UK.  The category is intended to cover Shakespeare plays and material related to the plays (this could include historical drama with Shakespearean connections, modern language interpretations of the plays or plays commenting on the plays.)
Hang on a minute!  Weren’t all the bard’s plays on the long side?  So where do you find one-act Shakespeare plays?  That, of course, is (one of the places) where we come in.  Bill Tordoff has been working his way through the canon, creating abridgements of the plays  These preserve the original plots, characters and language, but condense the plays to durations of between thirty and fifty minutes – ideal one-act festival length.  We have published 24 plays in this form along with a lot of other material relating to Shakespeare.
As an aide to people searching with this particular purpose, we have created links to summaries of the Shakespeare material.  (From the web site home page, follow the links to the One-Act Plays and Full-Length Plays main pages.)
Why not take Hamlet to a one-act festival?

Scripts for Kids (Schools or Youth Theatre)

  • Geoff Bamber has been busy. More accurately, we have been catching-up with our backlog of his scripts. In the last couple of months, we’ve published The Pied Piper of Hamelin – A Question of Rats, a highwayman romp called Stand and Deliver [Kids Play] (to distinguish it from a pantomime of the same name), Smugglers, and Oh, Mr Shakespeare!, all comedies, and the relatively serious Five Days in May, dealing with the relationship between three secondary school children, one of whom is confide to a wheelchair.
  • A Journey to Oz is Richard Coleman’s rhyming (non-musical) version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
  • Whilst it may seem a little early, we’ve added a couple of pieces to our Christmas selection. Firstly, Bill Siviter offers God’s Messenger Department, an irreverent approach to the nativity (the story is all there, but the perspective is unorthodox and so likely to appeal to older children). A cast of 16 or more.
  • Then there’s A Double-Decker For Santa Claus by Olivia Arieti which leans to the secular side but takes a moral approach along the lines of A Christmas Carol (only without the ghosts!)  A cast of 6.
  • Maria’s Mask by Andrew Weaver is a play with suggested songs (that is to say, we don’t supply music, but the script includes suggestions for appropriate songs). A haunting, lyrical love story overlaid with knock-about comedy! A story of a ghost haunting the theatre where she used to dance.
  • On the more educational side, there’s Sue Russell’s Divali Assembly, a piece for a full junior school class, with a good balance between straight information delivery and drama around the Indian festival of lights. Sue’s Pirates Ahoy! is also surprisingly educational, covering a history of piracy.
  • Peter Bond delivers Androcles and the Lion as a short rhyming fable for a cast of 8 or 9.
  • A Forty-Minute Antony And Cleopatra is Bill Tordoff’s latest Shakespeare abridgement (as discussed above), and comes complete with literature’s second-most famous snake.
  • What would happen if a teacher was supplanted by a fairy with a magic wand? That’s more-or-less the premise of Ambition by Tony Best, a simple, short comedy play for a cast of four or five.
  • Nicholas Richards delivers broad-brush, knock-about comedy set in a restaurant in Everything All Right, Sir?  This is a flexible piece with two alternative ways of staging (and castin) the protest by the kitchen staff!
  • The King’s Spell by Sherrill S. Cannon & Kerry E. Gallagher is a class-sized play for elementary schools, embedding mixed-up versions of well-known nursery songs.
  • According to Louise Arnold, Everybody Wants to be a Cat.  It’s a short play about friendship for a cast of 6 to 9 actors.
  • Finally, in this section, there’s James O’Sullivan’s Once Upon A Time In Fairyland, a comical twisting of some well-known tales.

Musicals

  • Gerald P. Murphy’s The Fish and the Ring – The Musical is a one-act musical fable for kids – that is to say, it is designed to be performed by a school or youth theatre company. A fable about meddling with destiny. (For a company of 17 actors or more.)
  • The Pirate Queen by Tim O’Brien is intended for performance to a audience of children by an older company. A time-travelling musical with a healthy dose of piracy thrown-in! (Requires at least 29 actors.)

Sketches & Very Short Plays

  • I’m Famous is a Gerald P. Murphy adaptation of an Anton Chekhov short story, for anyone who thinks that celebrity culture is a recent invention! (2M, 2F)
  • Carol Kline’s Bud and Jewel – Busted and Bud and Jewel – Predictable could well be the start of a character comedy series. I do hope so. A well-drawn, bickering middle-aged couple.
  • Damian Trasler has produced Looking for Mr Evil (an interview for a galactic dictator) in his own right and, with added puns by David Lovesy, Shakespeare Re-imagined. Each one is a comedy sketch with a cast of two.
  • Every now and again, I tie myself in knots trying to characterise a piece. This is a case in point. What is Jonathan Edgington’s Quanto Sei Bella? A Short drama? A light romantic comedy? A play about relationships with a mild dose of magic realism? An interesting piece for 2M, 1F.
  • Windmills and Millstones by Louise Wade explores the life of fictional characters in the great maybe – before they have been committed to the page. (Minimum of 2M, 2F)
  • Mike Smith has contributed two delightfully odd shorts. There’s Lost and Found where the starting point is a pair of matching ‘small ads’ from a newspaper (1M, 1F), then there’s Point of Departure which sets off from a chance remark as a passenger leaves a car (1M, 1F, 1 Either – the cameo by the passenger who lights the fuse then stands well back.)
  • All Your Future Endeavors is a ten-minute bitter-sweet comedy by Molly McCluskey for a cast of 1M, 1F, in which an employee being ‘downsized’ after 20 years is not going to go quietly.
  • Multilayered is the word for Polytel by Nicholas Richards. We’re watching a couple discussing Polytel, the new revolution in technology… No, wait, we’re watching the filming of a commercial for Polytel, and the actors are rebelling against it… No, wait, we’ve been watching a short film arguing against modern technology… Haven’t we? (3M, 1F)
  • Peter Stallard didn’t think we’d publish Diary Of A Squirrel Hunter on the grounds that the irony is so heavy that it might be mistaken for extremely bad taste!  Essentially it’s a monologue, with an offstage police voice at the end.
  • Coming Home by Roger Woodcock is set in a private room in a nursing home.  A short, poignant drama in which a father’s failing memory throws up some surprises for his son. (2M, 1F)

One-Act Plays

  • At the beginning of March, we published Watch This Space [Comedy Play] by Karrena Dewhurst. (The bit in brackets is to distinguish it from the [Pantomime] with the same title by TLC Creative.) Karrena’s piece is a comedy, set on the bridge of a spaceship. This was followed-up by her friend Leo Finn who added to the comedy with Watch This Space Too, set on the same spaceship and largely using the same set of characters. Six characters in each case, including the voice of FRED the ship’s computer. The first script runs to a shade over 20 minutes, the second to a shade under.
  • George Freek’s Catch As Catch Can is a comedy, which is not what one expects from Othello. An alternative history, playing with our preconceptions of Shakespeare’s characters. (4M, 3F)
  • We published Baby Sparklers some time ago, but it’s listed here as a new script because Frank Gibbons mounted his own production for a drama festival and found that it was running slightly over the 50 minute limit, and therefore he revised it down to 45 minutes. A nostalgic evocation of childhood in the northwest of England. (4M, 4F).
  • Stewart Boston’s Problem In Judaea is an Easter Play, which gives some clue as to who is causing the problem. Three sets, but designed for minimal staging. (Needs 12 or 13 actors.)
  • A Trifle Unwell by Jane Lockyer Willis is difficult to categorise, but offers plenty of scope for characterisation. Set on the periphery of a party. (1M, 3F)
  • Duncan Battman has delivered two new plays. The Substitute is a long but dramatic monologue delivered by Frank, an ex-footballer who is now confined to a wheelchair. As he packs up his room he relates the ups and downs of his life, right up to the startling conclusion. Consequences, by contrast, has a cast of four (3M, 1F). A very theatrical presentation, without being melodramatic. A young policeman and his older sergeant discover a dead body, along with a letter that casts new light on a long-closed case.

Full-Length Plays

  • Geoff Bamber’s The Second Friday Of The Month is a farce in two short acts. Dan meets the psychologist who lives in the flat above him on the second Friday of each month, but their routine is broken by the arrival of some of Dan’s diverse acquaintances. A clever, funny play, exploring some rather unconventional relationships. (3M, 4F)
  • Merely Players is, surprisingly, Damian Trasler‘s first solo full-length play – and it’s brilliant. It morphs from light back-stage romantic comedy into a murder mystery and back again. Starting with a bare stage, under the guise of tidying the theatre’s store of props and costumes, the characters accidentally build the set of a drawing-room murder mystery, which then comes to life. (3M, 2F)
  • The Ghosts Of Halfway House by Richard James is a play for Halloween (or a play for whenever else you want a ghost story) with a single, haunted, set. (4M, 3F)
  • Sarah Reilly’s A Mug’s Game Poses questions of inner versus outward beauty (in the guise of a dinner party with drunken revelations). (3M, 4F)
  • A very dark tone is struck by Jessica McHugh’s Fools Call It Fate in which threads of tangled lives are interwoven with scenes in a form of purgatory. An intriguing, challenging and very well constructed play with lots of depth to the characters. (Needs at least 9 actors, of whom at least 3M, 4F)
  • Nursery Crimes – The Catnap Kidnap Caper is a full-length addition to TLC Creative’s popular Nursery Crimes series. A daft detective story set in the worlds of Fairytale and Nursery Rhymes. Think of it as Charles Perrault meets Raymond Chandler. Not a pantomime, but in the ‘family entertainment’ category. (10 characters, of which 5M, 3F).
  • Likewise, A Taste of the Orient by Vivienne Wilkes is a family show which could fill a similar slot to pantomime in a theatrical season. Includes two optional storytelling sequences (with roles which might be mimed by younger cast members). Large cast (at least 8M, 13F, with lots of chorus roles)

Pantomimes

  • Peter Bond’s The Magic Tinderbox is a panto based on a Hans Christian Andersen story (although the conventions of pantomime means that the story moves quite a way from the original, containing, for example, considerably more pizza.)
  • Rapunzel II – Back To The Tower by Sian Nixon also moves a fair way from the original story, but also contains appropriate dollops of pantomime fun and mayhem.
  • Our latest version of Cinderella comes from Mark Jack, and, because of the distinct period setting, is identified as Cinderella [Sixties] – Groovy!
  • Then there’s Peter Pan – see below

Peter Pan with a new pantomime edition, a few remarks about the Peter Pan range seem to be in order…

  •  Peter Pan (The Panto) is James Barry’s full-length British pantomime treatment of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Whilst it’s done in a modern panto style, the story remains faithful to the original. Includes flying sequences.  (Needs a cast of at least 16)
    In the original professional productions in Aldershot and Winchester, the initial flying sequence was done with the actors behind a gauze onto which a video sequence was projected so that the characters appeared to be flying over and around a London cityscape.   We will shortly be able to offer the video sequence as an optional extra, and I’ll put a demo video (from the Winchester production) on the web site as soon as I can sort the technology out.
  • For companies looking for a version of Peter Pan without the flying, Richard Coleman’s Captain Hook’s Revenge is very popular. (All the flying takes place off-stage, mainly indicated by the sounds of collisions with trees). Richard has also written a short rhyming version called Rhyming Captain Hook
  • Then there are the musical treatments – firstly a musical ‘prequel’, in the form of Hook and Peter Pan – How it All Began (Songs by Helen Dooley and Bob Walsh, book by Giles Scott). This was published in December, and we are just in the process of compiling a backing CD for it.
  • The second musical version is George Douglas Lee’s Stinkerbell which takes a much less reverent approach, and we meet the brother of Captain Hook who also lost a hand, but had it replaced in a slightly different way.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Captain Plunger.
I wanted (this is me again, by the way!) to add links to all these plays individually, but that would be horribly time-consuming and make the page very blue-heavy. Do feel free to use the easy search facility on the Lazy Bee Scripts website to track down any of these fascinating and extremely performable scripts. Remember, they can all be read online, complete and free of charge, then all it takes is a short process to have the complete script downloaded to your computer.

Book! Book! Book!

A new publication by a familiar face.

Saying Richard James is an experienced actor is like saying Orson Welles got a bit tubby. Richard has performed on the Community stage, on the professional stage, on television and in feature films. Indeed, he can be seen in a film that recently picked up an Academy Award*. But that is not the end of his abilities, oh, no. As well as writing many excellent plays, Richard has put down what he’s learned as an actor into a neat e-book that is on sale now at Lazy Bee Scripts

If you’ve ever acted, or you want to act, or you want to direct some actors in any format at all, this book is worth reading. Richard knows his craft, and is both eloquent and down to earth about it. Don’t just take my word for it, go read the book!

Oh, and while you’re there, you might want to take a look at another e-book on sale. It’s just a little something about writing plays for the Community Stage. Some people have been quite pleased with it.

 

 

 

*The Wolf man. Look for him shouting ”Doctor Hoenegger! Doctor!” in the lecture room scene. Marvellous!