Tag Archives: scripts

Gallery

Waiting for Twist Stiffly – RPI Players

This gallery contains 7 photos.

I was delighted to get a Tweet from the RPI Players this week, telling me they had completed their run of “Waiting for Twist Stiffly” and enjoyed the play very much. They had the very talented Demetrius Green (photographybydegrees.com/) on … Continue reading

It’s not the end of the world….

Missing lynxAccording to the stats page of this blog, someone has been looking for the script to my sketch “It’s not the end of the world”, but the page they looked at included an old link that doesn’t work anymore. Rather than contact me (or, I guess, Lazy Bee Scripts), the person has come back a few times to check if the link has been fixed.

Since it takes a while for me to get a hint, I’ve finally fixed the link today. It works on the original page and here too.

If you spot any other missing lynx…er….links, please let me know so can fix them!

New sketches available (at last!)

Frog Man's mild-mannered alter-ego, the millionaire playfrog....

Frog Man’s mild-mannered alter-ego, the millionaire playfrog….

The Amazing Adventures of Frog Man and Amphibian Boy

The Non-Emergency Call

Minimum Security Holiday

For all my talk earlier this year about knuckling down and producing more stuff, I feel like I’ve been running behind. April was the month for editing “Eddie and the Kingdom 2”, and while I’ve done the proofreading part, I haven’t managed the re-writing, or finding a cover artist. Should be publishing it, actually am not…yet.

But this week I got a welcome series of emails from Stuart at Lazy Bee Scripts saying that three of my most recent sketches have been published, giving me the necessary kick up the ambition to get on and complete my latest one act play idea this month.

Yes, I may be building a stormtrooper helmet too….

It will look better when it's finished, obviously...

It will look better when it’s finished, obviously…

…but I’ll be knuckling down to work on “Under the Hood” any day now.

Ooh! Something shiny!

New Sketches on Lazy Bee Scripts

Lazy Bee LogoLike New York, it sometimes seems that my Publisher Lazy Bee Scripts never sleeps. It’s been a busy few weeks, with a whole bunch of scripts that I sent in coming to light online. Normally I wait for the Lazy Bee Scripts Newsletter – The Buzz – to come out, and paste it in this blog, but today I thought I would blow my own trumpet a little.

TLC Creative, of which I have the honour to be one third (and occasionally a quarter, since we have a new collaborator these days) has been on a creative kick after two years of resting on our laurels. Although we haven’t produced a new pantomime (yet!) we have been writing sketches and some one-act plays. Most of the sketches are appearing first, with the two plays coming soon. They’ll probably get their own blog post, especially as one ties in with an e-book I have already published.

So, here’s a list of the sketches available NOW and links to their online location so you can read them INSTANTLY and FOR FREE (and then Tweet about them in ALL CAPS!)

Finding Miranda

Miranda’s not happy being Miranda, and she wants to go and find herself.

School for Fashion

Learn how to Fashion, now that it’s a verb, with Lapita.

The Uncomfortable Announcer

Don’t let your kids read this one. A store announcer has to say some things she’d really rather rephrase.

Two Authors

The latest in a long line of collections of bad jokes, Two Authors meet and chat about their work.

I sold my Soul to Santa

It’s a shame Billy’s so bad at spelling : His letter to Santa went to the wrong entity…

The Four Yorkshiremen of the Apocalypse

Four very familiar figure contend verbally with tales of who has created the most misery, destruction and death.

The Spa

Brian isn’t keen about attending the Spa, but it turns out to be completely different to what he was expecting.

Parents Evening at Magic School

I don’t remember writing this one, and it’s funny, so I think it’s David’s. Parents of a kid at Magic school receive an unexpected report on “Meet the Teacher” night.

A Brand New Ancient Tradition

The President of the newly-free country of Sovazni will be arriving soon, and there must be a demonstration of traditional dancing. But no one knows any traditional dances… Time to “Extrapolate from known sources”

We interrupt this Revolution

It’s time for the President’s address to the newly-free people of Sovazni, but the sponsors of the revolution would like to have a quick word….

To see the very latest published scripts, visit the Lazy Bee “What’s New” page

Love in a Time of Zombies – Vagabond Alley Productions

The flyer for the show - you can still get tickets!

The flyer for the show – you can still get tickets!

On Saturday I drove Mrs Dim down to Seattle. For the first time in years, a play of mine was being produced within driving distance, and I was determined to see it in person. Despite having over eighty scripts available, and those plays being bought and produced somewhere in the world every month, it’s rare to get a chance to see a production.

Susan (D'Arcy Harrison) nearly brains Brian (Jason Sharp) as he comes home from foraging.

Susan (D’Arcy Harrison) nearly brains Brian (Jason Sharp) as he comes home from foraging.

D’Arcy Harrison, the Producer and one of the actors in the show, had been in touch a number of times to check details. Since the script was very British, there had to be a number of adaptations for the North American setting D’Arcy planned to use. I was keen to see how this turned out. Mrs Dim was keen to spend a night in a hotel and get the chance to visit Seattle.

When we were checked into our hotel and were dressed for Seattle nightlife, Mrs Dim and I met a couple of friends in a place opposite the venue. We shared a great meal and a lot of talk – one of the friends was at school with me, and his wife is great fun and a Seattle native. They came to the show with us, and we took seats in the front row.

sexymessyheart

The performance space is downstairs, provided by Pocket Theater. It was black walls and bare lighting bar, with the simple set only separated from the audience by a couple of feet – no raised stage. The whole thing felt very intimate. There looked to be seating for about forty people, and the seats were already half full. The director, Amelia Meckler, came over to shake hands and say hello. She was very excited and a little nervous, which made two of us.

It’s been a few years since I wrote the script, and I haven’t re-read it recently, so I was interested to see how much I would remember, and whether the little changes that had been made would stand out for me. But the lights went down, and the soundtrack started up, and I forgot all about comparing the script with the show. The soundtrack was a mish-mash of radio broadcasts showing the spread of the Zombie Apocalypse. Not something I’d written, but a device concocted by VAP, and it worked brilliantly. The mood was set, and when a hand came through the blinds of the window at the back of the set, the audience was hooked.

Brian isn't as pleased as Susan when a handsome and apparently NOT dead visitor (Robert Hankins) comes to call.

Brian isn’t as pleased as Susan when a handsome and apparently NOT dead visitor (Robert Hankins) comes to call.

VAP used a simple set, just the sofa, a suspended window, a table and chairs and a stairway behind a curtain. The entrance to the house was a blocked off door, but the door wasn’t there – just the heavy chest that blocked it. Everything was neat and spare and worked very well. Jason Sharp opened the play as Brian, entering after another day’s hard foraging and fending off zombies, and he was welcomed home by D’Arcy Harrison as his terrified wife, convinced he’s either a zombie or a hostile survivor.

The dialogue flowed brilliantly, with the pair communicating as much through their expressions and body language as with their words. They were clearly a long-married couple with many unresolved issues. Those issues were already a problem before the handsome stranger, Harry (played wonderfully by Robert Hankins) arrives and pushes things over the top.

It was a terrific evening. The show was captivating, and came with the bonus of enthralling Mrs Dim. She has never seen a play of mine that I wasn’t acting in. It’s one thing to say to people “My husband is a playwright.” and to see the royalties come in from time to time, but it’s quite another to see people cheering an applauding a production that he wrote, to hear from the actors how much they loved the script, how much fun they had.

For me, it was what I imagine authors feel when they see their novels in the bookstore. This is what my scripts are for. Although I write them, they aren’t complete until they are performed, and it’s the actors and directors who bring the words to life. For that, I will be forever grateful to them.

The show is still running, playing on the 14th, 21st and 28th of June at 2220 NW Market Street, Seattle. See the rave press reviews here: 

http://www.dramainthehood.net/2014/06/love-time-zombies/

http://www.heedthehedonist.com/this-one-act-zombie-apocalyptic-romance-not-to-miss

http://www.thehorrorhoneys.com/2014/06/love-undead-style.html

For more information, check out Vagabond Alley Productions or see the online trailer.

More new releases from Lazy Bee Scripts!

As ever, I’m reprinting the newsletter from Lazy Bee about new scripts on their site because this month it includes one from me: “For Sale – Baby Shoes – Never Worn” , the play I mentioned in this previous post. But there are lots of other great scripts to see on the site, and they’re all FREE TO READ!

What’s New?

We’ve published 40 new scripts since our last newsletter, plus revisions of a couple of previous publications.
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.)

 Kids Plays

  • In Hood – The Sequel, Geoff Bamber imagines (in his usual comic style) what happened to the characters from the Robin Hood legends when Robin had stopped being an outlaw – the sheriff has been deposed, but Prince John is back as King.
  • Simpleton and the Queen Bee is Olivia Arieti’s telling of one of the lesser-known of the Grimm brother’s fairy tales.
  • Caroline Spencer’s Unbitten is a short drama for a secondary school age-group: a vampire allegory.
  • Rings Around The World by Keith Badham has already won awards for its original production.  Young Mark is autistic and we are swept into his world in this moving and satirical picture of his short life.
  • Gem and Katy, in different social circles at school, are horrified to discover that their parents are dating.  Mary Stone’s short play The Game shows how they tackle the situation.
  • As you might expect from the title, Keep Smiling Through by Suzan Holder is a school play set in Britain during the Second World War, punctuated by the songs of that time.
  • Elsewhere on the junior school history curriculum, we have The Not-So-Vicious Viking by Vic Talecks dramatising the Viking invasion of north-east England.
  • Aaron Warren’s Frank Sent This… is a novel addition to our stock of nativity plays, genuinely funny, despite a serious core, and with the unusual twist of time travel.
  • Toil and Trouble by Karina Fernandez is a one-act comedy, set backstage at a school production of ‘The Scottish Play’.  Tensions mount as the young actors ready themselves for the impending curtain up.
  • Who on earth would turn The Hound Of The Baskervilles into a rhyming comedy ‘pantocrime‘?  Well, Richard Coleman, obviously.  Sticks reasonably well to the original story, give or take humour and verse!
  • Jonathan Caldicot’s The Delphi Dilemma is a one act play for a high school cast, set at an archaeological dig in Greece at which a schoolboy prank goes badly wrong.

Musicals and Musical Plays

  • An Heir for the King by Wesley A. Knoch is a one-act musical (probably for secondary school students or older juniors), portraying rich and poor, generosity and meanness.

 Pantomimes

  • We try to distinguish between multiple scripts with the same title by using a version number, thus Adrian Barradell’s panto treatment of A Christmas Carol is our Version 2.  A large cast piece, as you might expect from Dickens sweep of Victorian London, with 32 roles plus chorus.
  • Similarly, Suzan Holder’s Cinderella is our Version 6.  For 18 characters plus chorus.
  • Red Riding Hood [Version 3] comes from Luke Reilly, a modern, edgy retelling of the tale for a cast of 13 plus chorus.
  • Vicky Orman gives us our second version of Robin Hood (although we have plenty of other appearances of Robin Hood with variations on the title).
  • Getting around the version numbering problem with his title, Andrew O’Leary offers Sinbad – The Final Voyage.  Traditional in style, though the content of Sinbad stories tends to be more fluid that the core stories of the panto repertoire.
  • There was a race to published two new pantos by Dawn Cairns.  Pinocchio (our Version 2) just got his nose in front.  The other one is Alice in Pantoland with characters from the Lewis Carroll book plus a few extras on a quest to find who has stolen the jam tarts.
  • Bob Heather and Cheryl Barrett are running a series of pantomime workshops.  Their next scheduled event is at the Plaza Theatre in Romsey on August 31st.  (They are open for bookings elsewhere and elsewhen.) Meanwhile, they have been shortening some of their longer scripts (because some of them were getting a bit long for modern taste in family shows), so we have recently republished their Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (our version 4) and Cheryl’s rags-to-Lord-Mayor-of-London Whittington (our Version 7).

Full-Length Plays

  • Nigel Holloway has set a series of comedies amongst the members of the Off-The-Wall Theatre Group.  The latest is Blackmailing Butterflies, which sees the company preparing for a production of The Beggar’s Opera, tackling mid-life crises and dealing with an ambitious blackmailer.
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Vanishing Author is Peter John Cooper’s clever exploration of the relationship between Arthur Conan Doyle and his most famous creation.  A cast of 2M, 1F playing multiple roles.

 One-Act Plays

  • For Sale – Baby Shoes – Never Worn is a complete story in six words attributed to Ernest Hemingway.  Damian Trasler has taken each element of the phrase to make three linked short plays following the life of a young couple.  (Requires 2 to 4 actors to play 2M, 2F)
  • According to Jonathan Edgington, We’re All Dead.  This is a one act ghostly drama with time shifting between the present day and 1973, and some strong language.
  • David John Manning’s Race To The Wheelchair is a comedy for a couple of old buffers, Catchpole and Rees, long-standing friends, despite their very different characters.  (2M)
  • The Spasm is Tony Best’s adaptation of a short story by Guy de Maupassant.  It could be performed by a youth theatre group or older company, and uses a group of demons as a sort of Greek chorus.  (Consequently very flexible numbers, from 8 upwards, of whom 4M, 2F.)
  • More comedy from Michael Pearcy in The Class (1M, 5F) set in a church hall where we join Melanie’s self defence for ladies class, and we wonder about Brian’s interest.
  • A charity (second-hand) emporium is The Shop, the venue for a drama by Allan Williams (2M, 5F)
  • Frances A. Lewis’s farce Switched has a single set split between a living room and a dentist’s waiting room.  Jeffrey gets himself into a tangle when his girlfriend and wife end up with identical handbags.  (Minimum of 2M, 3F)
  • Mum’s the Word by Damian Woods is a one act comedy with a single domestic set wherein David and Janet try to solve their money worries with the aid of David’s mother.   (2M 3F)
  • We’re not sure where to place Of Edible Houses, Risky Bargains, and Other Grimm Happenings.  Steven Stack has created two one-act Grimm adaptations firstly in the form of Hansel and Gretel…  and Sadie and secondly Ted.  These might be done separately or put together as a full evening’s entertainment.  They could be done by kids, or they could be performed by an older company to a family audience.  Anyway, the tales are very neatly twisted into off-beat comedy.
  • Impisi by Clive Essame is also difficult to classify.  There are 22 named roles, although there could be many more, but in the original professional production, these were all played by two actors.  We’re not even sure how long it is.  The script itself is short, but it is essential a physical theatre piece, with the actors playing a variety of animals and recreating the African bush with movement and sound.  Unusually, we’ve put a link on the web site to a video of extracts from the original production to give a feel for the possibilities of this startling piece of theatre.

Abridgements

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.  This time it’s Webster’s turn.

  • A Fifty-Minute Duchess of Malfi cuts John Webster’s original text down to 50 minutes or so.  The eponymous heroine is a rich widow.  Her brothers – a duke and a cardinal – want control of her wealth and so have forbidden her from marrying.  This being Webster, it’s not going to have a happy ending for anyone.
  • A Fifty-Minute White Devil combines politics, power, marriage and murder.  This is Grand Guignol; don’t bother to ask who dies, it’s just a matter of where, when and how.

Sketches, Skits and Short Plays

  • The Perfect Couple compare their idyllic marriage with those of their friends in Jonathan Edgington’s comedy sketch (1M, 1F).
  • Telephone (and romantic) etiquette is the theme of The Hang-Up by Helen Gent, a very short sketch for a cast of two, each blessed with a cell-phone.
  • Keith Badham’s Well-Read was probably written for a pair of high school students, but would also be suitable for a slightly older cast (1M, 1F).
  • We’ve published a couple of new comedy sketches by Cheryl Barrett – there’s The Ice Cream Man Cometh (3M), set alongside an ice cream van and First Impressions (2F) set in an (invisible) art gallery.
  • In Biter Bit by Mo Foster, two women sit back-to-back on stage – but they are not in the same place; what they are sharing is a phone call.

Other Things

We’ve added to our catalogue of recordings

  • We have vocal and backing CDs available for An Heir for the King, Wesley Knoch’s new musical play (see above).
  • We’ve added backing tracks (as MP3 files) for two of the pieces for Nigel Holloway’s Blackmailing Butterflies (see above).  The show includes a few more musical pieces, for which we supply scores with the Producer’s Copy of the script, but these are intended to be sung unaccompanied.
  • At the request of a customer, we’ve created a vocal CD for Sue Gordon’s kids’ musical The Point of the Pyramid (an educational musical comedy mystery!)

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.)

Nothing to see here….

I'm thinking....I'm thinking...Aren't I?

I find this more than a little ironic. Last year I put a lot of time and energy into blogging. I tried to blog at least twice a week, and tried to find subjects that were connected to my business interests (writing, plays, theatre) and would also catch the attention of people surfing the web.

I was waving a big sign saying “Come read my stuff! Find out how interesting I am and then buy my plays/books/t-shirts!”*

After six months I had radically improved my readership stats. It was hellishly impressive. On the other hand, I hadn’t written any new plays. Or anything else. Sales of the plays already published were slack. I hadn’t improved my situation at all. I had lots of readers who enjoyed my blog, which was nice, but….not a lot of use in terms of my business model.

Since February began I’ve been running this new system, and it’s working. I have produced a full length play, and a one act play that I’ve been MEANING to write since August last year. I’ve also moved on with other writing projects and gained significant confidence about taking on new challenges.

What I haven’t been doing, is blogging. I realised this the other day when I was updating my “Books I read in March” list, and found that I had only blogged once since posting the list from February.

This is my apology, if you’re a regular reader. I enjoy having a blog, and I like the fact that some people have found it a useful conduit. I love being able to talk directly with people about writing, or discussing points raised in the posts. But I’m not a blogger who writes plays, I’m a playwright who blogs. I know it’s important to have an author platform, and be approachable, and interact synergistically with your readership, but hey, I’m on G+ and Facebook and Twitter too.

I’m not going to feel guilty about intermittent blogging when the alternative is reviewing the recipes I’ve used for lunch, or how I prefer Tim Horton’s to Starbucks. I hope you’ll still read what I post, when I post, but if not, I’ll understand.

 

 

 

*Nobody EVER bought the t-shirts.

Heading into Fall…

Getting to grips with Autumn…

Autumn is typically a time of looking back, of hunching shoulders and preparing to draw down for the Winter. But this year, I’m feeling unusually optimistic about the coming months. The Appraisal Service has been busier than ever, and I beta read the fun “A Mystic Romance” and the challenging “Jump Drive“. Both of these last were projects I picked up through the social network G+, an invaluable source of advice and interesting information.

As you can see from the drop down menus at the top of the page, I have also dived back into Circus Skills workshops, reaching out to local school and the Parks and Recreation programmes in my local area. Circus Skills are easier to pick up than you might think, and there’s quite a range of things to learn. I have a trunk full of kit from my days as a semi-professional juggler, and I spent several years in the UK running workshops and Adult Education classes in juggling and circus skills.

One of my early workshops at Winchester, UK. See anyone you know?

If you have any questions about my proofreading services, or about Circus Skills, or you just want to learn more about G+, then drop me a line at dtrasler@shaw.ca, or leave a message in the comments.

Now I have to go and rake up the leaves. What have YOU got going on this Autumn?

The New Releases from Lazy Bee Scripts

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…

Shorter Shakespeare
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.

One-Act Plays

  • 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)

Full-Length Plays

  • 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)

Pantomimes
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).

Murder Mysteries
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…..

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.