Samuel French London

Samuel French Latest Plays


Samuel French
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52 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5JR, UK.
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+ 44 (0) 20 7387 9373
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Plays - click on covers to see full Publisher's details

Lily Bevan
Pheasant Plucker
Samuel french London:

Is laughter really the best medicine? Isn't medicine the best medicine? Yoga? Scandinavian design? Buns? Sticking to your guns? Plucking pheasants till the pheasant pluckings done? Imaginative. Not about Tinder. Worth a look.

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Robert Alan Evans
Kappa
Samuel french London:

When Kappa loses his mum he finds himself caught up with a gang that seem to provide a surrogate family. However, gang leader 'Z' has darker plans in mind and Kappa finds himself choosing between his love for the gang and his love for his mum. a one man play set in a dystopian future.

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Robert Alan Evans
Sleeping Beauties, The
Samuel french London:

A twist on the classic tale filled with friendship, action and adventure for the whole family this Christmas. As with the classic story, there is a Queen, a King, a spinning wheel, a curse that entraps the beauties to fall asleep for a long long time and of course a Prince. But the biggest adventure is will their friendship survive when they awake in a different time.

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Nick Newman, Ian Hislop
Wipers Times, The
Samuel french London:

The true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme, interspersed with comic sketches and spoofs from the vivid imagination of those on the front line. In a bombed out building during the First World War in the French town of Ypres (mispronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops. Far from being a sombre journal about life in the trenches, they produced a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of the men on the front line.

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Tim Whitnall
Morecambe
Samuel french London:

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of his untimely final curtain, Morecambe celebrates the extraordinary life of Eric Morecambe, Comedian of the Century. From humble beginnings as a child-performer on Morecambe Pier to the glitz and glamour of international stardom and the mantle of Britain's best loved comic; from tumbleweed to Glenda Jackson; it's a glorious, moving portrait of the affectionate lad with funny bones, born entertainer, big hearted perfectionist. . . the tall one with glasses. So come laugh, come cry, and remember the man who had a twinkle in his eye and shared it with us all. . . the man what brought us sunshine. Featuring the multi-talented Bob Golding, penned by the brilliant Tim Whitnall and directed by solo-maestro Guy Masterson, this is a must see for all fans of classic British comedy.

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John Fitzpatrick
This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)
Samuel french London:

Gar cant decide between the man who plays games and the man on one knee with a ring. In fact, Gar cant decide on anything because every choice seems like a compromise. Everyone wants answers but nothing lives up to the image he has in his head. Facades start crumbling as his world implodes around him but Gar. . .Gar just wants to dance with his friends. This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage) is a play about how we define ourselves; through objects, clothes, traditions and other people.

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Steve Harper
L for Lily
Samuel french London:

It is 1941 and L for Lily a Lancaster heavy bomber is on her 11th mission. All seven of her crew have their own fears and anxieties. Can Skipper the pilot complete the raid and get his crew safely home? The crew: Eric the nose gunner wants to end the war with a profit. Norman the flight engineer dreams of using his basic flight training to fly Lily home on a wing and a prayer. Joe the radio operator has been recommended for officer training, and worries about the youth and inexperience of his fellow crewmen. Arthur is just out of flight training, and this is his first mission. Taff is the mid-upper gunner. He may appear to be the clown of the crew, but there is a bit more to Taff than that. Finally, there is Tony in the rear turret with his movie-star good looks. Tony has a lot on his mind, he is in trouble, and he cant even tell his friends why. So apart from that, the flack and the Luftwaffe, everything should be Tickety Boo. Bon Chance Lily.

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Sarah Page
Sweethearts, The
Samuel french London:

The Sweethearts are a manufactured girl band, rarely off the front page of the tabloids. In need of some positive publicity, they travel to Afghanistan to do a special gig for the troops at Camp Bastion before the base is handed over to Afghan officials. A group of battle weary soldiers, chosen to protect these three beautiful celebrities, eagerly await their arrival. But when theres an attack on the base, The Sweethearts and the soldiers are thrown together and forced to wait it out in very close quarters. Sarah Pages The Sweethearts is a play about the people we choose to make into our heroes and how we tear them back down.

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Gillian Plowman
Tonight. . .Charlie Chaplin
Samuel french London:

Charlie Chaplin was the very first icon of the silver screen and is one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood. But what of the man behind the moustache? The director holding the camera as well as acting in front of it? The cockney boy beneath the stage make-up? Born into poverty and hardship and in the absence of his father, he spent most of his childhood in and out of orphanages and workhouses. Charlie survived by making himself invulnerable. This exuberance later became part of his screen persona. The Little Tramp always picks himself up and walks jauntily into the distance.

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Rachel Wagstaff
Birdsong
Samuel french London:

As a young man, Stephen Wraysford was caught up in an all-consuming love affair in Amiens, France. As the First World War unfolds, Stephen finds himself pulled closer and closer back to Amiens, back to the Valley of the Somme. This is a tale of one mans quest to understand how far mankind can go and still call itself human. This powerful and compelling story about courage, love, friendship and loss is brought to the stage for the first time in a version by Rachel Wagstaff.

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Selma Dimitrijevic
Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone
Samuel french London:

What happens when we discover that our parents are flawed human beings, and that at some point, sooner than we think, they are suddenly going to disappear from our lives? Intimate and funny, this play presents a lifetime of conversations, condensed into four versions of the same moment.

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Giuliano Crispini
Lotty's War
Samuel french London:

With the last boat to England gone, Lotty is housed in close quarters with the enemy. As loyalties waver amidst the temptations of forbidden love and the politics of war, does Lotty dare to tread a passionate and dangerous path to save a friend? A mesmerising story of passion, courage, and sacrifice, Lottys War is set on the enemy occupied Channel Islands during World War Two.

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Alison Carr
Iris
Samuel french London:

No one's touched the buffet, there's a big gap on the wall where a mirror's fallen off and something is stinking the place out. Julie and Ruby are sisters coming to terms with the death of formidable matriarch Iris who still manages to control their lives from beyond the grave. On the night of the funeral, Julie gets off with Gerry, the crime scene cleaner. Maybe that'll help. It doesn't. When their mother's unusual bequest unearths a story that leaves some indelible marks, something more than a deep clean is needed.

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Moira Buffini
Loveplay
Samuel french London:

Together ten chronologically organised scenes offer a vision of love and sex in england across two millennia, from classical times to the present day via the Renaissance anf the Swinging 60's.

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Moira Buffini
Vampire Story, A
Samuel french London:

Two young women arrive in a nameless British smalltown. their names are not their own. they don't declare their ages. their relationship with each other is not clear. are they sisters, as their assumed identities declare? Or are they mother and daughter? the eldest, Claire, takes a job in a pub. the youngest, eleanor, goes to school. During a truth exercise in her Drama class, eleanor confesses that she has been alive for over two hundred yeas and has survived by drinking human blood. Her classmates think she is utterly crazy and Mint, her teacher, puts her in touch with the school counsellor. She makes one friend, Frank, a boy who has been home educated and is as much of an oddity as eleanor. He tries to get to the bottom of her vampire delusion, thinking it an epic and compelling psychosis. Why would anyone want to be undead? Frank's parents believe that Ella is an anorexic - why does she never eat? eleanor has started to write her life story as a play. She describes Claire's background as a prostitute in 19th century London and her own as a child in a private orphanage. Meanwhile, things are falling apart. People are disappearing. are eleanor and Claire vampires? Or are they troubled young women on the run?

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Moira Buffini
Welcome To Thebes
Samuel french London:

He put this gun into my hand and Made me human once again. Faced with an impoverished population, a shattered infrastructure and a volatile army, the first democratic president of thebes, eurydice, promises peace to her nation. Without the aid of theseus, the leader of the vastly wealthy state of athens, she doesn't stand a chance. But theseus is arrogant, mercurial and motivated by profit. I've always been susceptible to handsome egomaniacs. You get in there. exploit his weaknesses as he would exploit yours. Will eurydice and her government get what they need for their fledgling state - on terms that they can live with? a swaggering opposition circles, impatient for insurrection. the body of the former dictator lies unburied. a boy soldier is carelessly murdered. You're only old enough to kill, not vote. Set in the present day, but inspired by ancient myth, Moira Buffini's Welcome to thebes offers a passionate exploration of an encounter between the world's richest and the world's poorest countries set in the aftermath of a brutal war.

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Douglas Adams, James Goss, Arvind Ethan David
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Samuel french London:

After The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams went on to create Dirk Gently, a detective with a belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, a unique relationship with the laws of probability, and a love of cats and pizza. In Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency, Dirk finds himself on the trail of a gruesome murderer who is somehow involved with the works of Coleridge, quantum physics, and the enigmatic study of the Cambridge Professor of Chronology. Ultimately, the stakes of the case are far greater than a single murder, but go to the fate of life on Earth. Confused? Dont be  everything is connected.

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Charlotte Jones
Airswimming
in Charlotte Jones Plays 1, Faber and Faber, London, 2004
Samuel french London
:

Set in 1920s England, Airswimming is based on the true story of two women (Miss Kitson and Miss Baker), who have been incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane for having borne illegitimate children. Forgotten by their families and not released until the 1970s, Dora and Persephone adopt alter-egos, Dorph and Porph, to enact their fantasies and survive the silence of incarceration. By turns very funny and moving, Airswimming reminds us of the forgotten women of these generations in both Britain and Ireland.

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Oscar Wilde, John O'Connor, Merlin Holland
Picture of Dorian Gray, The
Samuel french London:

Set in the decadent world of Victorian London, a beautiful young man called Dorian Gray becomes infatuated by the exquisite portrait that Basil Hallward has painted of him. He makes a Faustian pact that he will remain forever young while the picture grows old. Oscar Wilde's only novel caused an immediate scandal when it was first published in 1890 and its themes of youth and decay, innocence and corruption, art and reality are even more relevant to us in the 21st century than in the 19th. Adapted by Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland and John O'Connor, this delightfully witty version of Wilde's story incorporates material suppressed from the original manuscript.

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Phil Willmott, Mark Collins
Princess Caraboo
Samuel french London:

The extraordinary true story of a beautiful young woman who tricked her way from vagrancy to wealth and power in Regency England by pretending to be a shipwrecked Princess. Maintaining the deception becomes imperative as the stakes get higher and higher and what begins as a desperate ploy by a petty criminal to evade the law escalates into a national scandal threatening to ruin anyone whose compassion, lust or ambition has blinded them to the truth. As 'Princess Caraboo' becomes the superstar of her day she discovers the price to be paid for living a lie and the cost of drawing the man she loves into her deceit. We all of us tell little lies; to make life run smoother, to land the perfect job, to win and keep the ones we love. This entertaining, glamorous and romantic story invites us all to consider the impact of life's embellishments in defining who we really are and who we would like to be.

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Andrew Payne
Meeting, The
Samuel french London:

Stratton and Cole are waiting to meet Jack so they can seal the deal that will make or break their careers. But Jack isn't coming to the meeting, he's been dragged out of the building by security following an 'incident' with a female colleague. Now they have to negotiate with his deputy - a woman. The men can't quite believe their luck. But far from being a soft touch, Jack's stand-in proves a much tougher nut to crack. Andrew Payne's Hampstead debut is a biting comedy about the battle of the sexes in the boardroom and how perceptions can be deeply misleading.

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Emma Whipday
Shakespeare's Sister
Samuel french London:

Judith Shakespeare has one ambition: to be a playwright. When her debt-ridden father forces her into an engagement, she runs away with the help of dashing actor Ned Alleyn, hoping to join her brother in London. But when Judith arrives in the plague-stricken capital, she finds her brother gone, Ned engaged to another, and her play refused. Judith and the players confront poverty in the midst of economic depression, in a society where women's freedoms are curtailed, under a government confronting religious extremism in a climate of fear. Judith must choose between succumbing to social pressures, and following her dream, no matter what the cost.

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Elton Townend Jones
Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe, The
Samuel french London:

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe, recognises and investigates the truth behind the make-up to reveal a Marilyn never before seen: alone in only her dressing gown; no glitz, no glamour, no masks. Overdosed on pills, the woman behind the icon drifts back through her life and the memories of those she loved the most. Revealing a frustrated intelligence, she exposes the truth behind her legend, leading us, in real time, to the centre of her psyche, the truth of her being, and the moment of her demise.

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Peter Quilter
4000 Days
Samuel french London:

What would you do if you forgot the last decade of your life? After a blood clot unexpectedly formed in his brain, Michael has been in a coma for three weeks. Watching over him in hospital is his bitter mother Carol and his dull but well-meaning partner Paul. They are united in their grief over Michael, and in their intense dislike of each other. When Michael wakes, they realize that 11 years of his memory have been completely erased. He remembers nothing of the last 4000 days. He remembers nothing of Paul. It is as though the relationship never existed. Paul must now fight to bring Michaels memory back while Carol fights to remove him from their lives completely. Michael, still charming and witty, concentrates his recovery on creating a giant mural on the back wall of his hospital room. An expression of his loss, his hopes, and his desire to live his life as the man he was 11 years ago. Not the man he has become.

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Jessica Swale
Thomas Tallis
Samuel french London:

A specially commissioned piece about the celebrated English composer Thomas Tallis, following his life through the four Tudor monarchies of the Reformation. These bespoke performances will feature an interwoven musical score of Tallis's most luminous works sung by select members of The Sixteen. Tallis thrived as a composer within the most famously tumultuous chapter in English history, and successfully adapted his music to the rapidly changing religious winds of his royal patrons from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. Tallis' religious and political convictions remain obscure and his astonishing works offer the only insight.

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Patrick Barlow
Christmas Carol, A
Samuel french London:

Patrick Barlow, writer of the Tony winning hit The 39 Steps, has retold Charles Dickens' holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. This thrilling adaptation uses only five actors to bring some of Dickens' most beloved characters to life. From Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig, Barlow's A Christmas Carol uses nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality, and the power of imagination to convey this timeless story of redemption. Witness Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long, in this highly theatrical adaptation.

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Anton Burge
Mrs Pat
Samuel french London:

Legendary nineteenth-century actress Mrs Patrick Campbell has seen it, and been it, all. From her ground-breaking Hedda Gabler on the London stage, to leads on Broadway and heroines in Hollywood, Mrs Pat has travelled the globe playing the most passionate and rebellious roles. And it was not just on the stage she was witty, wilful and wild. Her off-stage life was equally dramatic. As flame, muse and equal to George Bernard Shaw, she inspired, and played, the very first Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion. Financial hardship, artistic rejection, romantic loss and the agonising trials of aging, could not defeat this brave bohemian. But now, facing Europe's darkest hours, and with the Nazi Party closing in on Paris, Mrs Pat and her beloved dog, Moonbeam, stand before the unknown. As she waits to escape to rural France, this remarkable artist is determined not to go out lightly, as she recalls, for one last time, the highs and lows of a defiant and daring life.

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Michael Morpurgo, Simon Reade
Private Peaceful
Samuel french London:

Available both as a play for one actor and for an ensemble. Private Peaceful relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night, he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon: his exciting first days at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; his adventures with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line.

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Jaki McCarrick
Leopoldville
Samuel french London:

Leopoldville is a dark Irish play set in 1990, at the tail-end of the last recession. Based on the story of a real-life crime that happened at the tail-end of the longest recession in Irelands history, Leopoldville is a play about a gang of young men who rob a pub in a border town. Damaged lives are revealed and friendships profoundly tested as their crime spirals horrifically out of control.

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Jaki McCarrick
Mushroom Pickers, The
Samuel french London:

Set in the border bandit country of County Monaghan, The Mushroom Pickers tells the story of Laura, an accomplished actor who leaves her career in London when her life unexpectedly changes course. A self-confessed square peg in a round hole, she returns home to join her father, Philip, to work in the local mushroom tunnels. Here Frank McElroy, manager of the family-run business and proponent of the wilder variety of mushroom, takes a shine to Laura and shares with her his dream of wooing the restaurateurs of Ireland and beyond. But Frank has a secret  and so does Laura.

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Mike Poulton
Three Sisters
Samuel french London:

Stranded in a remote provincial town, three sisters dream of returning to the Moscow of their youth. When a military garrison arrives nearby,the officers become their guests and suddenly a new life seems to be within reach. Liaisons develop, love is in the air and hopes run high - but the sisters reckon without the weakness of their brother, the grasping ambitions of his wife, and the strange eccentricities of a certain lieutenant. An explosion is brewing and matters come to a head on a frantic night of fire.

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Jethro Compton
Frontier Trilogy, The
Samuel french London:

VOL. I: BLOOD RED MOON - Follow the brothers as they journey west to California. Gold and fortune await, but so too does the blood moon - an omen warning death follows close behind. Brotherhood has kept them together; jealousy threatens to tear them apart. VOL. II: THE CLOCK STRIKES NOON - Trapped, guns near empty, the clock is ticking. Walker must make the choice: to do what's easy, or to do what's right. The railroad shines like a beacon of the modern age; for the people of Cooper's Ridge, it brings only darkness. VOL. III: THE RATTLESNAKE'S KISS - Hidden deep in the dust of the American West, the outlaw comes face to face with the lawman in search of justice. His life of murder is far behind, but can he ever escape the man he was born to become? This book also includes two short stories - San Sebastian and Noche de Sangre - which expand the world of the plays.

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Philip Meeks
Edith In the Dark
Samuel french London:

Celebrated children's author Edith Nesbit escapes her annual Christmas Eve soiree and finds herself in her attic writing room with a young male guest and Biddy Thricefold, her loyal housekeeper. the trio decide to observe the festive tradition of reading scary stories to help ward off wicked spirits, choosing the stories penned by Nesbit herself. Yet as they breathe life into these terrifying creations, all is not as it seems. . . One of the people in the attic is hiding a deadly secret.

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Paddy Campbell
Day of the Flymo
Samuel french London:

What do you do when the state decides its going to take over from your Mam? Day of the Flymo looks at the lives of young people deemed to be chaotic. The mechanisms that swing into action when social services step in. And a brother and sister struggling to cover up the cracks.

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Tim Firth
Neville's Island
Samuel french London:

a comedic exploration of the benefits of the business outward bound course and how relationships can be changed forever by a weekend away in the country. Four out-of-condition, middle-aged businessmen sent off on a team building exercise in the Lake District succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked on an island on Derwentwater. Bound in fog, menaced by wildlife and cut off from the world, this perfunctory middle-class exercise turns into a carnival of recreminations, French cricket and sausages. What should have been a bonding process for Gordon, angus, Roy and Neville turns into a muddy, bloody fight for survival. Because when night settles in, strange things happen out in the wilds. and what took place on Neville's Island that foggy November weekend none of this particular middle-management team would ever forget.

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Sam H Freeman
Scarlet
Samuel french London:

This morning Scarlet went viral. In a video she doesn't remember making. With 10 men she doesn't remember meeting. And now no one's looking at anyone but her. Four women tell the bleak yet comic tale of Scarlet; a young woman has her sexual history exposed, shamed and scrutinized on social media while she can only sit and watch.

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Patrick Hamilton
Governess, The
Samuel french London:

A new governess, Miss Ethel Fry, is appointed in the Drew household. Sinister and manipulative, she deceives all around her. When the Drews' infant vanishes, the house is thrown into turmoil. Patrick Hamiltons lesser known thriller features Detective Rough, a character later made famous by the authors best known play Gaslight.

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Ross Howard
Picture Ourselves In Latvia
Samuel french London:

A contemporary comedy on contemporary England. Desires are suppressed and aspirations thwarted for both the staff and patients of a psychiatric ward. Orderly Oliver pines for Margaret Thatcher. Dr Rupert wants Nurse Whitehall who wants Dr Rupert. But Dr Rupert and his wife are trying for a baby and Nurse Whitehall, who is also married, has just returned from maternity leave. As for the patients, Duncan secretly loves Anna who secretly loves Martin who openly loves no one. Both a love story and a modern allegory of the state, Picture Ourselves in Latvia confronts the impossibility of categorising people as either sane or insane.

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Mark Jagasia
Clarion
Samuel french London:

The Clarion is Britain's worst newspaper. Morris Honeyspoon, its egomaniacal editor, spends his weekends dressed as Julius Caesar, and daily life at his beloved tabloid is a masterclass in incompetence and deceit. But the Clarion's attention-seeking headlines have real-world consequences. As political storm clouds gather over an uneasy country, it seems the paper's worst crimes are about to be exposed. While Morris frantically searches for a traitor in his midst, the once-great foreign correspondent Verity Stokes masterminds a murderous day of reckoning. . .Clarion is an urgent black comedy about free speech, nationalism and the state of the British media. Written by former journalist Mark Jagasia, who has worked for some of the UK's leading newspapers, it shines a dazzling light on the dark heart of our democracy. Following two years of development at Arcola, Clarion premieres in an explosive production from Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen.

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Jaki McCarrick
Belfast Girls
Samuel french London:

about five young women travelling to Australia in 1850 draws a chilling parallel between the Irish Famine and todays continuing banking crisis. the story of the so-called orphan girls on board, for whom the voyage provides a fresh start  and also time to come to terms with the disaster they have left behind  is a savage attack on the policy (then and now) of laissez-faire.

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Philip Meeks
Murder, Margaret and Me
Samuel french London:

Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie didn't want Margaret Rutherford to bring her fabled spinster to life. And Margaret Rutherford was mortified at the prospects of sullying her reputation with something as sordid as murder. . .This is the story of the real reason why the acting legend and "the funniest woman alive" didn't want to take on the role that made her celebrated across the world. Margaret and Agatha form an unlikely friendship filled with high tea, brandy snaps and gossip. Meanwhile Agatha turns detective herself and she's on a mission. She's determined to unearth Rutherford's tragic and shocking secret.

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Simon Moss
Merry Widower, The
Samuel french London:

Richard works in advertising and lives in a ground floor flat in South West London with his wife Harriet. He never really got on with his mother and after her death his dad decides to pay them both a rare visit. Not thrilled with the idea of him coming to stay, Richard is taken aback when his father arrives and discusses the contents of his mother's will and it's not what he wants to hear. Together with this and his father's bad habits and womanising, tension mounts in the couple's home, whilst his father decides to embrace his life as a merry widower.

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Bernard Pomerance
Elephant Man, The
Samuel french London:

he Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, victim of rare skin and bone diseases, he has become the star freak attraction in traveling side shows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to London's prestigious Whitechapel hospital. Under the care of celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati only to be denied his ultimate dream, to become a man like any other.

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Jessica Swale
Far From The Madding Crowd
Samuel french London:

Hardys much loved tale is both a thrilling romance and a joyous celebration of English rural life. When Bathsheba Everdene inherits a farm from her uncle, no-one expects her to take on its management herself. But our spirited young heroine will not be deterred and takes up the mantle with vigour. Yet, whilst she rises impressively to the challenges of sheep farming, it is the trials of the heart that threaten to undo her. Caught between a pair of suitors, the kind and dependable shepherd Gabriel Oak and the prosperous eligible bachelor William Boldwood, her choice seems hard enough, then the dashing Sergeant Troy appears over the horizon, with a swagger in his step and a dangerous secret in his past. Who will she choose? And will she realise the disastrous consequences of a wrong choice before tis too late?

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Jessica Swale
Secret Garden, The
Samuel french London:

When a garden's kept proper, all weeded and neat, that chases the wild away. But when it's left alone, for nature, who knows what secret things'd grow there.... In Jessica Swale's richly imagined adaptation of Hodgson Burnett's much loved classic, we follow the fortunes of Mary as her ice begins to that and her curiosity leads her on one of the greatest adventures in popular literature. It's 1910, and life for the spoiled young Mary Lennox is pretty easy. She spends her days luxuriating in the Indian sunshine whilst her aristocratic parents rule the Indian Raj. But when an unexpected twist of fate leaves Mary orphaned, she finds herself on her way to England to live with her distant Uncle in Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire Moors. Misselthwaite is no place for children. Full of dark corners and strange night-time noises, Mary is certain there is more to Misselthwaite than meets the eye. But although she can't solve the mysteries alone, when her maid Martha offers the hand of friendship, Mary won't have it. Mistresses can't be friends with their servants. . .or can they? Will Martha melt Mary's frosty exterior? Will Mary uncover the source of the cries in the night? And will her curiosity lead her to solve the greatest mystery of Misselthwaite, the legend of the Secret Garden?

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Gail Young
Bothered and Bewildered
Samuel french London:

This is a comedy drama about one woman's struggle with Alzheimer's. The play follows Irene and her two daughters Louise and Beth as the girls lose their mum in spirit but not in body. As her family struggle to come to terms with her Alzheimer's, Irene's past passion for romantic literature blurs with reality. She spends hours discussing how best to write her 'memory book' with her imaginary friend and favourite author Barbara Cartland (the deceased world famous romantic novelist), disclosing long kept family secrets that she would never divulge to her daughters. This tragi-comedy is about memory, loss, secrets and, above all, love.

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Camilla Whitehill
Where Do Little Birds Go?
Samuel french London:

It's 1966. Lucy Fuller is 18 years old. She lives musicals and make up, and her job at Winston's Nightclub. One night Lucy is kidnapped by the Kray Twins and locked in a flat with an escaped murderer. This is the terrifying story of Lucy's time with Ronnie, Reggie and Frank 'The Mad Axeman' Mitchell. Where Do Little Birds Go? is a colourful and poignant tale of crime, kidnap and lost innocence in the heart of the 1960s East End.

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Mick Martin
Flame-Haired Dynamo, The
Samuel french London:

Go on, Titch; hit it! We're in injury time, and the chairman's dying wish was to win that cup. . . . . .GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL!' When Chris McCann was thirteen his world seemed to be falling apart. His parents were splitting up, his granddad ill, and girls were a total mystery. . . but there was one man he could rely on to always be there - his favourite comic character, Titch McCreavie, aka the Flame-Haired Dynamo! Titch was constant; dependable. He never changed. Now Chris is fat, fed-up and forty-five. His kids don't understand him, his boss doesn't want to know  and his wife's at her wit's end. Rather than chuck himself off the Humber Bridge, however, he turns to the old Christmas annuals, the old stories. . . and Titch. But what if the stories started to change? What if Titch McCreavie's world of perfect goals, flared jeans and fondue parties suddenly became more than ink and paper?

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Ade Morris
Boadicea of Britannia Street, The
Samuel french London:

Fran Lamb is a journalist close to retirement on the local rag; eccentric, recently bereaved, she starts a creative writing group- trying to do something challenging for a change. Joining the group are Annie, a put-upon housewife, Penny a PE teacher and Janet the local librarian. they decide, perhaps disastrously, to devise a performance about Queen Boadicea. A touching, hilarious and feisty look at life, death and love through the eyes of the four women. From the team behind the Edinburgh hit sell-out play Dust.

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Jimmy Murphy
What's Left Of the Flag
Samuel french London:

New recruit Yossi, has just graduated from the Mossad training academy in Tel Aviv, the Midrasha, and is sent to Dublin on his first mission. In Dublin he is teamed up with veteran agent, and soon to be retired field agent, Jacob, who is on his last mission. As the minutes tick away and the target nears, Yossi discovers that a conscience is a luxury he can no longer afford.

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Amanda Whittington
Amateur Girl
Samuel french London:

Julie is an auxiliary nurse, working long hours for a low wage in a Nottingham hospital. She cares for the elderly and feels her own life is passing her by. Clubbing with the girls breaks the routine but Julie longs for some real excitment and a bit of spare cash. When her new boyfriend buys a camcorder, Julie sees a lucrative new career on the horizon. She's drawn into the world of amateur girls: the so-called stars of home-made pornography on satellite TV and the internet. Yet Julie's new life can't stay secret for long. What begins as a bit of fun becomes anything but. Based on real stories, Amateur Girl is a hard-hitting, wry yet poignant one-woman play about the reality behind the fantasy business.

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Amanda Whittington
Dug Out, The
Samuel french London:

Park Street, 1944: A black GI is shot dead. Park Street, 1974: An IRA bomb explodes. Tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock-tick. One more hour you'll never get back. One more night passes and nothing has changed. the future is now, man, it's now, man, it's now. And what are you doing with it, 'ey? An exciting, original play inspired by the legendary Bristol nightclub, the Dug Out. Based on real-life events, this is an uplifting tale of black and white teenage clubbers in the 1970s, set against a classic love story of thirty years earlier.

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Michael Green
Art of Coarse Acting, The
Samuel french London:

For almost 50 years The Art of Coarse Acting has been a standard work in the theatre, both professional and amateur. An outrageous spoof which ridicules pretentiousness, pokes fun at incompetence and disaster, and generally lays bare life backstage. As Michael Green writes, however much the theatre may change, Coarse Actors and Actresses don't. No single definition fits all of them but nobody has come up with one to better the original: "One who can remember their lines but not the order in which they come."

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Peter Souter
Hello/Goodbye
Samuel french London:

It's a new year and Juliet, young, smart, and sassy, has got herself a fresh start in a new flat. But amidst the boxes, there's a strange guy and he is also moving in. He says her agency has messed up and her flat is actually his flat - and he's not leaving. And the real problem is that, well, he's rather gorgeous. . .

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Mike Poulton
Ghosts
Samuel french London:

Classic drama about a woman's struggle against prejudice and fear written in 1881. On her country estate, Mrs Alving is building an orphanage in memory of her dead husband. As her son Oswald, a successful artist living in Paris, returns home and the Pastor arrives to dedicate the orphanage, it seems she can finally bury the painful memories of her past. But over the course of one day, the dark secrets and unresolved tensions of the past are brutally exposed. The strange and complex relationships that bind Mrs Alving and her son to their maid Regina, her father Engstrand and to the priest Manders come to light - and we discover the shocking truth about her dead husband.

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Brian Martin
Be Infants in Evil
Samuel french London:

Fr. Patrick is newly appointed to a parish in Dublin. In his sacristy one morning he decides he has to face the inevitable. But two of his parishioners have other ideas. There is Noleen, a blind widow who knows more than she lets on to know, and Jacinta, an unmarried mother and recent Muslim convert who wants it in writing thats shes left the church. Then there is Henry, a thirteen year-old boy who decides that this is the time to visit his old friend. At once playfully comic and uncompromisingly savage, Be Infants in Evil is an outstanding debut that complicates the story of modern Ireland, just when we thought we had it all figured out.

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Paddy Campbell
Wet House
Samuel french London:

How do you keep your head when everyone else is off theirs? "So what brings you to the care industry? And please don't say you want to make a difference." When Andy, an idealistic young graduate, gets a job in a Wet House, a homeless hostel where residents can drink alcohol, he is plunged into a twilight world where the rules about what is right and what is normal have become a little blurred. And that's just among the other staff. A comedy tinged with sadness and tragedy, Wet House tells the story of how to keep your head when everyone else is off theirs. Based on his own first-hand experience working in a wet house, Paddy Campbell's startlingly original first full length play asks who will look after the people that no one else will look after?

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Noel Coward
This Was A Man
Harper, NY, 1926
Samuel french London
:

I loathe this age and everything to do with it. Men of my sort are the products of over-civilisation. All the red- blooded honest-to-God emotions have been squeezed out of us Banned by the Lord Chamberlain for its facetious and irreverent treatment of adultery, This Was A Man, a previously unseen play by Noel Coward, directed by actress Belinda Lang, opens for its long overdue UK professional premiere in a strictly limited three week season at the Finborough Theatre on Tuesday, 15 July 2014. Edward Churt is a successful painter. His wife Carol has a "vivid personality composed of a minimum of intellect and a maximum of sex". Increasingly aware of her infidelity, Edward defends himself with a veneer of sophisticated insouciance. But his best friend and army comrade is determined to avenge him. . .This Was A Man explores some of Coward's lifelong and enduring themes of social mores, jealousy and the futility of a life with no moral compass. Can good manners emasculate us? What happens when we repress our inner caveman? Is it more courageous to look away or to face our demons and fight? What, indeed, does it mean to be a "man"? ?Written in 1925 and immediately banned by the censor, This Was A Man opened on Broadway in 1926, and was subsequently produced across Europe, but has never been seen professionally in the UK until now.

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Merlin Holland, John O'Connor
Trials of Oscar Wilde, The
Samuel french London:

'I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws.' - Oscar Wilde. Thursday 14 February 1895 was the triumphant opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest and the zenith of Wilde's career. Less than 100 days later, he found himself a common prisoner sentenced to two years hard labour. So what happened during the trials and what did Wilde say? Was he harshly treated or the author of his own downfall? The play is based on the original words spoken in court.

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Peter Quilter
Actress, The
Samuel french London:

The Actress dramatises the events backstage as a colourful, complicated actress makes her emotional farewell performance. Various people from her life invade her dressing room to say their goodbyes, declare their love, roar with laughter, spit insults, grab a final embrace, and renew old battles.

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Thornton Wilder
Our Town
Samuel french London:

In an important publishing event, Samuel French, in cooperation with the Thornton Wilder estate is pleased to release the playwright's definitive version of Our Town. This edition of the play differs only slightly from previous acting editions, yet it presents Our Town as Thornton Wilder wished it to be performed. Described by Edward Albee as "...the greatest American play ever written," the story follows the small town of Grover's Corners through three acts: "Daily Life," "Love and Marriage," and "Death and Eternity." Narrated by a stage manager and performed with minimal props and sets, audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventuallyin one of the most famous scenes in American theatredie. Thornton Wilder's final word on how he wanted his play performed is an invaluable addition to the American stage and to the libraries of theatre lovers internationally.

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Emlyn Williams
Accolade
Samuel french London:

William Trenting, a successful novelist and Nobel Prize winner, encountered early criticism of his works which were labelled 'indecent'. Now accepted as an enfant terrible he is knighted in the 1950's Honours List. But his sordid past, on which his novels were based, comes back to haunt him on the day of his investiture and he finds himself facing a very serious charge.

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Peter Brammer
House of Fog, The
Samuel french London:

Timothy Rackonsfield is taking his northern fiancee Lucy Lackenspiel to Rackonsfield house to meet his parents. His mother tells Timothy about his father's fate and the curse placed on the house when he was a young boy. She then introduces him to the mysterious Count Silvio who claims he can remove the curse and set the ghost of his father and the other spirits to rest. What evil scheme is Count Silvio planning to hatch? Why is the ghost of Timothy's father so mean, and just a voiceover? Why has nobody heard of Lackenspiels' famous cow and hippo farm? Why is Timothy oblivious to Lucy's very pronounced accent? Why is the gardener feral? Why is he Hungarian? Why is there so much bloody smoke everywhere? These are all questions you will ask when you enter THE HOUSE OF FOG&Not to be mist.

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David Wood, Michelle Magorian
Goodnight Mister Tom
Samuel french London:

One of the most uplifting stories ever written, Michelle Magorians stunning Goodnight Mister Tom is brought gloriously to life in this stage adaptation by David Wood  the UKs National Childrens Dramatist (The Times). Set during the dark and dangerous build-up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows sad young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and builds a remarkable and moving friendship with the elderly recluse Tom Oakley. All seems perfect until William is devastatingly summoned by his mother back to London. Goodnight Mister Tom is a tale of two broken souls at very different ends of the age scale that celebrates the value of love and proves that friendship knows no barriers.

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Ross Howard
No One Loves Us Here
Samuel french London:

Central Valley, California. When the Native American Washington is invited to stay in the Beaumonts' guest house, Mr. Beaumont thinks he'll get one thing from the arrangement. But just as Mrs. Beaumont avidly tends to her front yard, so Washington decides to do some pruning himself. A contest for territory, No One Loves Us Here is a black comic portrait of love and obsession, the aspiration of displaced youth and a crumbling white collar class.

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Jenifer Toksvig, David Perkins
Nutcracker, The
Samuel french London:

It's Christmas: the best time of year for toys and stories. But all over the world, the magic of Make Believe is fading. Only the toys know the truth: the Queen and King of mouses have stolen the Christmas Star and used its magic to turn the Prince of Make Believe into a wooden Nutcracker. Can Clara and her brother Fritz bring the Nutcracker back to life, help him defeat the House of Mouse, and restore him to the throne? First, they must believe. . .

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Terence Rattigan
Variation On A Theme
Samuel french London:

Rattigans retelling of the story of Camille, in which Marguerite Gaultier falls hopelessly in love with a bisexual dancer much younger than herself.

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Rebecca Russell, Jenny Wafer
Regina Monologues, The
Samuel french London:

Five hundred years ago, six women married a bloke called Henry and passed into historical legend. This comedy Drama reveals the poignancy and relevance of their lives, re-told as the tale of six modern women who have also married one man. A moving and hilarious comedy-Drama which brings history bang up to date by reflecting the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII in a tale of six very real, very modern women.

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Norman Robbins
Swan Song
Samuel french London:

Long retired from the operatic stage, the famous soprano, Tryphosa Swan, is still a force to be reckoned with. Impulsive, imperious, and incredibly rich, she has only one regret in life. Abandoned as a baby, she has never known who her real mother was. An unexpected clue prompts her to confide in her only close friend, Marianne, who advises her to let sleeping dogs lie. But Tryphosa has never taken advice and hires a genealogist with unexpected results. Her uneasy relationship with her two daughters deteriorates, and when, in an act of pique, she decides to change her will yet again, the grim spectre of Death appears. And the killing doesn't stop.

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Jessica Swale
Sense and Sensibility
Samuel french London:

When their wealthy half-brother cheats them of their fortune, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are left penniless. They are forced to leave the comforts of Norland Park and relocate to chilly Barton Cottage in Devonshire, but when John Willoughby, a handsome stranger, arrives one day with a rain-drenched Marianne in his arms, the sisters are convinced that their fortunes are changed forever. Eminently sensible Elinor pines for quiet, kind-hearted Edward Ferrars, but the impulsive Marianne loses herself in the idea of her hero on horseback, and for a girl who feasts on poetry and music, what else is there to do in Devon but dream of rescue?

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Anna Longaretti
Sex Cells
Samuel french London:

In a busy call centre, the four female employees of Aphrodite, a sex toy manufacturer, take telephone orders for Teasey Maids, Titivators and rotating pearl g-strings. Beneath the cheerful customer service and easy banter, however, these very different women nurse their own desires and disappointments. Sylvie is desperate to have a baby, but her single-minded approach is taking its toll on her marriage and causing friction with her co-workers. With five children, Janice rarely finds time for herself or her husband. Tiffany is young and single, looking for the one, but wary of sacrificing her independence. Star employee Lily, meanwhile, is stuck in a loveless marriage and estranged from her son, but buries her pain in wisecracks and work. Their gentle and innocent manager Mr Causeway attempts to diffuse the tension between his staff while suppressing a longstanding crush on the oblivious Lily. Sex Cells is a very funny, poignant play about motherhood, friendship, love and loss.

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Anton Burge
Bette And Joan
Samuel french London:

Screen divas and rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford go head to head in a new play based on their legendary fued. the stars, both at low points at their careers, meet on the set of What ever Happened to Baby Jane?. the high risk shocker becomes a surprise hit that propels them back to stardom. Bette & Joan depicts the two stars, in adjacent dressing rooms, between takes on the set of Baby Jane. While Joan manages her anxiety by lacing her Pepsi with vodka and signing photographs for her beloved fans, Bette chain smokes and muses on her lovelife, and her ability to pick a decent script, never a decent man. Behind the bitching and the practical jokes we see each woman's insecurities and regrets, and their rivalry is revealed to be underpinned by grudging respect as they attempt to identify their new roles in life as well as in their careers.

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Bruce Adam
Two Plays
Samuel french London:

Mary Mary: Confusion reigns when Terry brings a (decidedly inebriated) new woman named Mary home to meet his mother  also called Mary. Little does he suspect his mother has already invited his colleague, a third Mary, round in the hopes of setting her up with her son. When I Snap My Fingers: Simon and Maria Moffat agree to undergo hypnosis as part of performer Sven Galis act when a fire alarm sounds before Sven has had a chance to remove the effect of certain trigger words. The following day Simon has invited his boss Dan and Dans wife Dolly round for dinner in the hope of salvaging his foundering accountancy career. With both Simon and Maria still susceptible to the key words, however, some very odd behaviour in the presence of their guests makes Simons future look more vulnerable than ever.

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Tom Green
Being Tommy Cooper
Samuel french London:

Las Vegas 1954: Tommy Cooper faces the prospect of his first big failure. As personal and professional problems collide, he faces stark choices about the future. Moving between the 1950s and 1970s, the play also tells the story of three other people in Tommys life. Theres his dour Scottish manager Miff Ferrie, with whom Tommy is locked in what he calls a hate-hate relationship. They rely on each other, but can hardly bear to be in the same room. Will Tommy follow up on his threats to break free? We also meet Billy Glason, a one time vaudeville act who has set himself the almost impossible task of selling Cooper a huge collection of jokes. After 30 years on stage, he is now living the life of a travelling salesman, with any profits he makes disappearing all too quickly into slot machines. Finally, there is Mary Kay  the woman with whom Tommy fell in love and whom he came to rely on. There is only one woman she cant compete with: Tommys wife. Mary loves Tommy, but can she continue to withstand his abuse? Packed with classic lines and hilarious routines, Being Tommy Cooper is a celebration of Britains favourite comedian and an exploration of his darker side.

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Ross Howard
Our Walk Through The World
Samuel french London:

In Tilly (An Introduction), a young woman films herself auditioning to become a surrogate mother. Colour-coded jelly beans prove the saving of one man's career in Rules of Assortment, and a football manager introduces his latest acquisition to an assembled press in Our Prospects For The Coming Season. A son is reunited with his biological mother in Relinquish, while in The Viewing an estate agent shows a couple around their dream home to a soundscape of gunfire and screaming. Finally, in Frisky & The Panda Man, a conservationist struggles to rationalise his feelings for the last female panda on earth. Dark, irreverent and very funny, Our Walk Through The World was first performed at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London in October 2013. With flexible casting and staging requirements, the plays may be performed individually or together.

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Sue Wilding
Hello Darkness My Old Friend
Samuel french London:

Sarah and Phil had recently separated when their son, Joe, was killed while playing football alone in a playground. Now Phil visits the same playground every day and sits on a bench, waiting for Joe to appear so he can talk to him.

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Anton Burge
Storm in a Flower Vase
Samuel french London:

Set in London in the 1930s, the play explores the early career of Constance Spry, founder of the celebrated business Floral Decorations that supplied floral arrangements to the upper ranks of society including the artist Gluck and interior decorator Syrie Maugham. Spry's unconventional relationships, professional ambition and the conflicting demands of career and domestic duties reveal the complex internal life of the woman later famed as a cook and inventor of the dish Coronation Chicken. Inspired by the biography The Surprising Life of Constance Spry by Sue Shephard, Storm in a Flower Vase is a powerful and moving piece examining themes of class, gender and sexuality that still have a profound resonance today.

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Eric Chappell
Haggard
Samuel french London:

Perennially hard-up, lecherous, conceited, dishonest and drunk, the eighteenth-century Squire Amos Haggard was first conceived by Michael Green and subsequently brought to television screens in Eric Chappells much-loved ITV series. In Chappells stage adaptation, our anti-hero disguises himself as the notorious bar brawler One-Eyed Will, seduces a member of the aristocracy, poisons himself, survives an encounter with Death, fights a duel and ends up in prison waiting to be hanged. His son Roderick and servant Grunge are his not-so-faithful companions. The author describes this hilarious adaptation as an undisciplined romp and encourages imagination, ingenuity and a great deal of fun in its staging.

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Eric Chappell
Rising Damp
Samuel french London:

When Student Alan moves into an attic flat, he does not expect to find it already inhabited by someone else. They mysterious Philip claims to be the son of an African chief with ten wives waiting for him back home, but his presence is the least of Alan's worries. He also has to contend with a hole in the floor, water running down the walls and sinister landlord Rigsby, who has designs on Miss Jones downstairs, who herself has developed a passion for Philip.

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Jack Rosenthal
Smash!
Samuel french London:

Smash is Jack Rosenthal's hilarious but scathing look at the journey to get a musical from page to stage, complete with a cantankerous composer, a fantasist lyricist, a neophyte female novelist turned playwright, a cocksure director and a bombastic producer. Producer Theo has assembled a crack transatlantic team to launch the new musical Whatever Happened to Tomorrow? Liz, a successful British novelist, has written the book, her compatriot Mike the lyrics, legendary Broadway composer Bebe Kaiser has created the score and the staging rests in the capable hands of hit US director Stacey. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a bit, it turns out, as egos clash, tempers fray and artistic ideals vie with financial reality

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Terence Rattigan, John Gielgud
Tale Of Two Cities, A
Samuel french London:

One of the darkest and most romantic of Dickens' novels, A Tale of Two Cities was adapted for the stage by the dream team of Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud in 1935, but a planned West End production was never staged. It finally received its professional world premiere at the King's Head Theatre in September 2013. In a time when governments all over the world are facing down political unrest and fierce protests, this revolutionary story has never been more relevant. The adaptation, edited by King's Head artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher, marries three of the finest artists in their own fields that England has ever known: Dickens the master story-teller, Rattigan the great playwright and Gielgud the mercurial actor. Gielgud intended to play both Sydney Carton and a number of other roles, and this adaptation reflects that ambition by having thirty characters played by just eight actors.

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Bill Naughton
Lighthearted Intercourse
Samuel french London:

Lighthearted Intercourse is a tender, funny and intimate portrayal of a young couple living in 1920s Bolton adjusting to married life and discussing their fears, anxieties and conflicting needs with a true Northern humour. Just a year into their marriage and with a young baby to care for, Joe is one of three million unemployed looking for work every day - when hed much rather be making love with his young wife, Madge. Both have secrets from their pasts that they are reluctant to share with each other, until an unexpected visitor appears who seems to know exactly what the future holds. . .

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Daisy & Ken Campbell
School Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Samuel french London:

Class 4S are taking a coach trip to Alton Towers. Or are they? Tricia seems to think otherwise, and convinces her classmates that theyre really journeying to the centre of the Earth as part of an experiment by terrorists, who are robots made to look like Simon Cowell. Its all part of The Spirisy, apparently, which their form teacher, Miss Sheehan is part of, not to mention the Nasties, the Arabesques and the Funny Mentalists.School Journey to the Centre of the Earth gives a hilarious insight into an eight-year-old imagination and casts the world of adults in a whole new light.

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Eric Chappell
Passing Strangers
Samuel french London:

Fickle thing, memory. Malcolm discovers how true his words are when he takes his friend Clive to a singles evening. Clive, a hospital porter masquerading as a doctor, has just been left by his wife, while Malcolm is a confirmed bachelor and big in imports - really a market stall trader. In the deserted hotel bar, to the depressing soundtrack of the next-door ballroom, they meet two recent divorcees; upwardly-mobile Julie and cynical, defiant Liz. Malcolm is determined to break down Lizs defences while trying to pair off Clive with Julie. But the women have a few tricks of their own, and Malcolm soon finds that life, like the evening, is full of surprises.

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John Donnelly
Burning Bird
Samuel french London:

By the time Daisy gets home, everything will have changed. everything will be different. That I guarantee you. The height of Summer. It's Daisy's fifteenth birthday and trouble is brewing there's a curfew in place, school is suspended and the city is changing. But Daisy has an important delivery to make across town. So when Morell offers her a ride in his uncle's car, she sets off down a road from which there might be no turning back. Set against the backdrop of the London riots, Burning Bird questions the decisions we make and explores the freedoms we find when authority goes missing.

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Fiona Evans
Geordie Sinatra
Samuel french London:

Welcome, to the coolest party in town. Kick back, snap a Dunhill, help yourself to the liquor cart and let Frank 'The Voice' Sinatra serenade you 'till the wee small hours. Well that's what's going on in ex-club singer Geordie's head anyway. His dementia induced hallucinations are causing daughter Nancy major headaches that make her wonder 'what would ava Gardner do?' Geordie Sinatra is a dark comedy that gets under the skin of dementia. Come fly with Geordie on the journey of a lifetime, whilst a live jazz trio knocks out swinging tunes from the great Sinatra songbook.

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Bettine Manktelow
Hotel Mystere
Samuel french London:

Its a bad day for David Richmond and his team at the hotel, Tony the barman, porter Sean, barmaid Tanya and ditzy waitress Lucy. First theres a fussy, demanding customer to contend with, and then Russian mafioso Boris Barushnikov checks in, apparently convinced Tanya is prepared to offer him more than just drinks during his stay. Worst of all, rumours are circulating of a mystery guest who has come to inspect the place. Then Lucy stumbles upon a dead body in the annex. . .

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Paul Reakes
Little Boy Blue
Samuel french London:

Its the day of the grand fete in Merrydale, and Willard Wiggles Wigglesworth has brought his hot air balloon along to give rides to the townsfolk . Meanwhile, Johnnie Blue has fallen in love with Susie Sidebottom, the Mayors daughter. But when the pair offend the evil witch Halloweena, she is determined to exact revenge. Soon Johnnie and Susie - together with Wiggles and Bessie, Johnnies larger-than-life mother - find themselves a very long way from home. . .

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Norman Robbins
Borzoletti Monstrance, The
Samuel french London:

When the Catholic Church decides to close the tiny convent of St Gudrun and dispose of its assets, it unwittingly brings tragedy to the peaceful village of Redston. For Redstons greatest asset is the Monstrance created by legendary goldsmith, Teodoro Borzoletti, in the 18thCentury, and now believed to be worth millions to a collector. In Redston Hall, Austin Reeves-Mercer, a noted Protestant, struggles to keep his ancestral home solvent, but an ancient family feud brings the actual ownership of the Monstrance into question and tensions mount. The revelation that the Monstrance is a fake is a shock to all concerned, and when deceit, blackmail and death pay unexpected visits to Redston Hall, only one solution is possible. . .murder

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Steve Harper
Stubbs, The
Samuel french London:

Ethel and Bill Brown await the arrival of Violets new young man  the posh Trevor who works in fine art  and Ethel has made a splendid tea to impress Trevor. But nothing impresses him so much as the painting of an old horse which Bill truculently shows him when Trevor doesnt believe the story behind it. Determined to make a killing, Trevor introduces the Browns to Mrs Miller and Toby, a mother and son with definite attitude and a very nasty pair of bolt cutters. But whos fooling who? A comedy with a twist for three men and three women.

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Geoff Saunders
Lesser Mortals
Samuel french London:

Four women - all widows - sit in silence at a Quaker Meeting. Victoria is resigned to never getting answers to her questions; Wendy has kept her home life secret for years; Tilly's husband was far from good to her; and Gladys cherishes the memories of her alcoholic beau. We hear their thoughts and join with their joys and troubles in this tender and sometimes humorous short Drama.

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Richard Harris
Saving It For Albie
Samuel french London:

Grace Andrews first met brothers Albie and Ray Rodway in her early 20s while holidaying alone in Corfu. More than two decades on, Grace and Albie unexpectedly run into each other again at a hotel in London. Remembering old feelings from the holiday, they become a couple and within six months get married. The play opens on the afternoon of their wedding when Albie has over-indulged on champagne and Ray, his best man, is helping him up the stairs to his Manchester flat. Grace's tactless and interfering mother, Rose, observes proceedings with an ever-critical eye. Between Albie's drunkenness and Rose's barbed commentary, not to mention the frequent phone calls from mysterious women, Grace finds an ally in reliable, good-natured family man Ray. When he produces an old photograph from the Corfu holiday, however, it soon transpires that the man Grace first fell in love with is not the man she thought he was.

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Rob Evans
Kes
Samuel french London:

Step into the shoes of Billy Casper. Home life is bad and school life is worse. Brother is a bully and mum has a different man at the door every day. Pushed around at school and always gets the blame. That's what it's like to be Billy. Then one day, everything changes. Billy's world explodes and for the first time happiness swoops into his life in the shape of a kestrel. a kestrel called Kes. Kes is Billy's friend, his best friend, his only friend.Kes is the story of one boy's heart. How it came to beat and how it came to break.

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Philip Goulding
Fine Bright Day Today, A
Samuel french London:

When you stop searching, you may find what you're looking for Margaret is a trawlerman's widow. against her wishes, her thirty-something daughter Rebecca is finally leaving home to move in with her boyfriend. Margaret, reluctantly, agrees to take in a lodger - Milton, an American painter visiting the area on the trail of Bowden Broome; a famous artist who stayed and worked in the town over a hundred years ago. Milton's arrival turns Margaret's life around, as with his help she comes to terms with the ghosts of her past and realises her future may be brighter than she thought. a Fine Bright Day Today is a moving and evocative tale of autumnal love, set on the edge of an English coastal town, where lives are reshaped by a chance meeting with an exotic stranger.

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John Peacock
Children Of The Wolf
Samuel french London:

Robin and Linda are 21-year-old twins who were given up for adoption shortly after birth. Having traced their biological mother, Helena, they lure her to an abandoned house on the pretext that she will be meeting Michael, her former lover. Here the twins reveal their identity to Helena, taunting her with sinister re-enactments of her past. Eventually she is forced to confess the true circumstances of her children's birth. With echoes of the myth of Romulus and Remus, Children of the Wolf is a dark, engrossing play with an intensely shocking twist.

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Peter Quilter
Just the Ticket
Samuel french London:

Susan, an eccentric sixty-year-old, decides to celebrate her birthday by repeating a journey to Australia she made with a group of friends when she was 20. This time, she's travelling alone - carrying the same hopes and dreams, but with 40 years of extra baggage! Endlessly chatty, accident-prone and often looking like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards, Susan is undoubtedly colourful. Her wit, charm, chaos and hint of sadness have given her a unique outlook on life - and make her an unforgettable character. Romance slowly but awkwardly blossoms as she reunites with Bill, the bartender at the hotel, an unexpected turn of events that causes Susan to reflect on life, love, loneliness, friendship and the trials and joys of growing older. Just the Ticket is a poignant 90-minute journey through Susan's hilarious life, a unique comedy that can be performed by one, three, four or six women!

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James Hogan
Ivy & Joan
Samuel french London:

Late in life two women start new lives and leave home. But where is home? Did they ever really have one? Ivy and Joan are two intimate, funny and heartbreaking tales of loss. Ivy is a barmaid forced to retire. She has worked and lived in the same hotel for 40 years, waiting for a lover to return and claim her. Putting on a brave face, she spends her last few minutes in employment offering her wise counsel in the staff room. No one is listening. Joan has travelled to Venice with her husband. A Sunday painter, drawn to the splendour of Venetian art, she hopes for inspiration. When she comes across a joyous wedding procession in St Mark's Square she is reminded of what is really missing in her life.

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Peter Brammer
Valentine, the Quintessential Vampire
Samuel french London:

Valentine, a 100-year-old human-vampire hybrid, late-night florist living in Putney, is waiting for his full vampiric traits to kick in. He lives with his sister Natalia and is incredibly lonely until the bubbly Hayley wanders into his shop. Things between vampire and mortal develop quickly, much to the dissatisfaction of Natalia, who calls Valentine's parents to deal with the situation. As things become serious, Valentine begins to question his identity and whether Natalia's advice is in his best interests. Can a vampire have a healthy relationship with a mortal that doesn't end in blood being spilt? Can vampires eat garlic bread? Why is that waiter wearing a gas mask? And just how easy is it to turn into a bat? These are the questions that plague Valentine, the quintessential vampire.

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Brian Clemens
Murder Weapon
Samuel french London:

When Chief Constable Bligh accompanies her friend Diane Tulliver home to Dysart Hall after a night at the opera they arrive to a horrifying scene. Dianes husband Paul has been shot dead and ex-convict Charley Mirren is standing over him bearing a gun. It appears to be an open-and-shut case for Jessica Bligh, but as she and her colleague Inspector Fremont probe further they discover all is not what it seems. Through a series of flashbacks and re-enactments of the events leading up to Pauls death, we soon find it is not just the murderers identity that is in question.

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Beverley Cross
Boeing-Boeing
Samuel french London:

Bernard thought he could easily cope with his three air hostess fiancees. It was all a question of timetables and a reliable, down-to-earth maid who never forgot to change the photographs in the bedroom. Only when the 'Super' Boeing takes over is he landed with a triple problem. His old school friend, Robert, arrives unexpectedly from Paris and joins the set in a hilarious whirl of confusion and matchmaking.

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Jonathan Holloway
Nicholas Nickleby
Samuel french London:

Red Shift's production of Nicholas Nickleby breathes fresh life into Dickens' classic story. Retaining the wit and wisdom of the novel, the production is by turns hilarious and deeply moving. It relocates Nicholas's adventures to Britain in the 1950s; the story-tellers are a spectral ensemble - ghosts of Ralph and Squeers' past victims. This framing gives the story a dramatic drive and a sharp contemporary resonance and rediscovers the punch that made Dickens famous in his time as a serious social commentator as well as a master storyteller. Nicholas Nickleby is newly employed as a teacher at Dotheboys' Hall in Yorkshire thanks to his manipulative and avaricious uncle Ralph, a businessman. There he witnesses the cruel treatment of boys at the hands of despotic headmaster Wackford Squeers and his wife. In coming to the defence of one boy, Smike, Nicholas assaults Squeers. Thinking he has killed him, he escapes with Smike to London and on to Portsmouth where the pair join the Crummles Theatre Company. Ralph uses Nicholas's sister Kate as bait further to ensnare a young and wealthy lord who is already in his debt. Learning of the abuse Kate has been exposed to, Nicholas goes to London and her aid, but even greater dangers lurk around the corner. With flexible casting requirements, this stunning adaptation of Charles Dickens's third novel toured the UK in 2001 and 2002 in a production by Red Shift Theatre Company.

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Allan Jay Friedman and Leslie Bricusse
Kennedy The Musical
Samuel french London:

"If I told you what I really know about the assassination, it would be very dangerous to this country." J. Edgar Hoover, F.B.I. This is the story of John F. Kennedy, starting in 1959 with his bid for the US presidency and following events through to his assassination in November 1963. The casting is very flexible - the original production was performed entirely by young people - and large TV screens are used around the stage to display and rear project photos, film of the Kennedys, America and the world. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy.

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Jonathan Lewis
Our Boys
Samuel french London:

Five soldiers, among them veterans of the Falklands War and the Hyde Park bombing, are convalescing in a military hospital, with pornography, bragging one-upmanship and cynical humour as their only means of mental escape. Tensions arise when an officer is billeted with them, and a bitter, savage war of words, only just disguised as humour, is waged against him. After an hilarious birthday party, the six find themselves facing charges of misconduct - and then the fighting really starts.

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Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn
Yes, Prime Minister
Samuel french London:

The UK is in crisis: debt is spiralling, unemployment is on the rise and the fragile coalition cabinet, led by Prime Minister Jim Hacker, is at breaking point. But salvation may exist in the form of a complex pipeline deal with the oil-rich country of Kumranistan that would entitle the government to a multi-trillion pound loan. When the Kumranistan Foreign Secretary makes a shocking request of Jim's Private Secretary Bernard Woolley, moral considerations collide with the economic future of the nation. But how will Jim and his team: Bernard, Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby, and Special Adviser Claire Sutton, reconcile the two? Political machinations, media manipulation and an appeal for divine intervention ensue.

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Eric Chappell
Side Effects
Samuel french London:

Frank Cook, having been taken ill with a rare complaint, has been booked into a private nursing home by his wife June for a week's respite. Whilst there, he encounters the Reverend Paul Latimer who is recovering from a heart transplant and whose odd behaviour is beginning to alarm his wife, Sarah. The young, attractive Tracey might provide the answer. She is convinced that the vicar's new heart belonged to her recently deceased lover Melvin, a fairground wall of death rider. Could it be that Paul has taken on Melvin's personality traits as well as his heart? That would explain the swearing, the smoking, the drinking and the clandestine canoodling with Tracey in the rose garden. Then again, perhaps he's just suffering from the side effects of his medication? Frank, ever the cantankerous sceptic, is delighted by the vicar's fall from grace, while June does her best to rein in his detective work.

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Reggie Oliver
Once Bitten
Samuel french London:

Fauvinard is a Parisian barrister with no work to speak of, whose formidable mother-in-law noses shamelessly into both his private and business affairs. He and his colleague Tardivaut fabricate a case to create an alibi for their extra-marital affairs.It transpires that both their mistresses live in the same apartment block, and that, unknown to them, Tardivaut's mistress, Zizi, is also involved with Fauvinard's lecherous and narcoleptic uncle. Fauvinard's mistress Cesarine, meanwhile, appears to be an accomplice in a jewellery robbery. When Fauvinard does land a case of his own, his client, who is seeking a divorce, turns out to be the wife of another of Cesarine's lovers. Add a vengeful maid, a vicious, man-hating poodle and a bone-headed Police Commissioner, and Reggie Oliver's adaptation of the 1875 French farce Le Procès Veauradieux reaches hilarious heights of brilliantly controlled mayhem.

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Tony Rushforth
Lovers
Samuel french London:

Three people have come to visit the grave of Michael, who has died of a heart attack in his early 40s. There's Maureen, his wife of nearly 20 years, whom he helped through a breakdown that followed the death of their infant son. There's Anna, his lover, with whom he secretly lived while working in London during the week. And there's Bob, a friend and father-figure to Michael, who tends the graveyard and harbours his own deep feelings of grief. All three loved Michael; all three have reason to mourn, but the secrets that exist between them impede the comfort they might otherwise draw from each other. This one-act play for two women and one man reflects poignantly on love, loss, and beginning again.

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Tony Rushforth
Voyager
Samuel french London:

Margot Anderson, 44 and unmarried, has reluctantly agreed to accompany her widowed mother Isabel on a cruise of the Baltic coast. Within the claustrophobic confines of the ship, longstanding resentments between mother and daughter begin to emerge. When they encounter Stephen, a charming widower of Isabel's age, both women are pleased to find someone to confide in. Stephen and Isabel have life experiences in common, while Margot shares his appreciation of history, literature and art. From the outset, Isabel stakes her claim, but it is clear that Stephen's interest lies elsewhere. The situation is further complicated when handsome young waiter Mario makes a pass at Margot. Can she, the aspiring voyager of the play's title, finally set sail on an adventure of her own? Voyager is a moving, thought-provoking play in one act, with excellent roles for two men and two women.

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Graham Linehan
Ladykillers, The
Samuel french London:

The Ladykillers is a classic black comedy; a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, is pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing. . .Posing as amateur musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the lopsided house of sweet but strict Mrs Wilberforce. The villains plot to involve her, unwittingly, in Marcus' brilliantly conceived heist job. The police are left stumped but Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse and Marcus concludes that there is only one way to keep the old lady quiet. With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her, Mrs Wilberforce is alone with five desperate men. But who will be forced to face the music?

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Ron Nicol
Primrose Way
Samuel french London:

The ageing bag lady on the streets who opens the play is the eponymous Primrose Way, once a professional actress. As she reminisces and her story unfolds, we see her enthusiastic youthful self retracing her career in the theatre, and reliving the memories of her ambitious mother, herself a professional actress, who delights in playing a number of other characters who drift through Primrose's recollections.

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Jonathan Holloway
Railway Siding, The
Samuel french London:

Out of work, out of luck, and out of favour with his wife, architect Jack Webb retreats to a cottage in Wales to concentrate on a new design project for a friend's business. With the deadline imminent, Jack takes the overnight train from Haverfordwest back to London to deliver his drawings. On the otherwise deserted train Jack encounters first an unusually friendly guard and then an aloof and otherworldly woman, Hope Cairns, who has just abandoned a planned rendezvous in Milford with a lover, also named Jack. When Hope suddenly disappears, and the guard reveals her story, we discover that Jack's journey is not all it seems. The Railway Siding is a stunningly crafted, highly atmospheric play in one act.

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Paul Reakes
Old King Cole
Samuel french London:

King Cole may be old, but hes not too old to fall in love, and hes decided that its high time that he should take a wife. The women of the town and royal cook Dotty Dumplin are queueing up to audition for the role of Queen, but the King already has his heart set on Debbie Dumplin, Dottys daughter, as his choice of bride. Unfortunately Debbie has fallen in love with Florian, who also happens to be the Kings aide. King Coles evil brother Peski and his wife Pariah are meanwhile conspiring to unseat him from the throne, with a little help from a magic pool that reverses the ageing process, turning Old King Cole into Young King Cole! Outrageous characters, flamboyant costumes, jokes, songs and an exploding birthday cake all feature in Paul Reakess highly entertaining retelling of the well-known nursery rhyme.

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Phil Willmott
Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi
Samuel french London:

Phil Willmotts dazzling musical centres on the iconic Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool which saw the great and the glamorous pass through its doors from its heyday in the 1920s to 1940s. Cleverly juxtaposing the past and the present, we follow the love story of four young staff members  Nick and Jo in the present, Young Alice and Thompson in the past  brought to life with the vibrant and poignant reminiscences of Older Alice. 1930s Hollywood stars, cowboy Roy Rogers and tango supremo Carlos Gardel, mingle with Russian acrobats, American G.I.s, aristocratic guests and hotel employees.

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Jan Harris
Dear Diva
Samuel french London:

Frances, middle-aged and unmarried, is ecstatically awaiting the arrival of legendary mega star of stage and screen Ezzlie Harlow. Loyal fan Frances, unbeknown to Ezzlie, has offered her very humble end-of-terrace home to the down on her luck singer. Harlow's agent, eager to be rid of his fading star, has bundled her off with a one way ticket to what she thinks is a little mansion with servant; he forgot to mention Little Mansion is the name of the village at the back of beyond. Both The Fan and The Star are in for shocks, betrayal and a reversal of fortune, as they learn from each other to be careful what you wish for, because it might come to pass.

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David Foxton
Mirage
Samuel french London:

A comedy of manners set in the late 1920s, Mirage takes place at the country house party of Gerald and Evadne Fairfax. Newlyweds Pamela and Desmond Borage arrive first, followed by the caddish Dinsdale Morton who swiftly closets himself in the gun room to hide from Pamela, who can't stand the sight of him - or his ukulele. Pamela and Gerald are embroiled in a steamy affair while gin-loving Evadne is hysterical after being disturbed in a state of undress by an "intruder" who turns out to be Desmond. He, meanwhile, is preoccupied with the fact that he has inadvertently signed up for the Foreign Legion. The Fairfaxes' deadpan butler, Butters, oversees proceedings with a cup of whisky-laced tea to fortify himself.

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Peter Quilter
Nightingales, The
Samuel french London:

It is the 1950s and this charming comedy introduces the Nightingales, members of a theatrical family who perform more at home than they do on the stage. Jack is a cabaret star, as in love with his piano as he is with his silk dressing gowns. His parents, Charlie and Beatrice, are old Music Hall stars, full of hilarious tales of life on the road. Maggie performs with Jack in the evenings and regularly visits his house to rehearse, drink tea, and tell the sorry tale of her latest romantic disaster. If only she and Jack realized that their true love was right in front of them. The sudden arrival of Charlie and Beatrice, asking to stay with Jack for a few days, throws his and Maggie's lives into chaos. They promise to be gone by Christmas, but this provides little comfort given that it is only January 7th! Jack's housekeeper Geraldine copes masterfully with the ensuing disruption, but then Beatrice unexpectedly disappears. It seems that this was not a simple visit, but an opportunity for her to leave Charlie and run off to another liaison in France. The question is, will anyone find their true love? Are there such things as happy endings? And what do performers do once the spotlight goes out? This is a very funny, touching show business comedy, bursting with one-liners and lovable characters.

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Richard Harris
Death In High Heels
Samuel french London:

It's a big day at Christophe et Cie, a small couture house off Regent Street. Mr Bevan will announce which of his staff he is sending to France to be general manager of a new branch in Deauville. Will it be the talented and elegant Miss Doon or the loyal and long-serving Miss Gregory? Perhaps senior saleswoman Irene or showroom manager Dorian will get the job. Events take a dramatic turn over a lunch of rabbit curry when Miss Doon collapses and dies, poisoned by the oxalic acid crystals that another employee, Rachel, has been using to clean her hat. Inspector Charlesworth and Sergeant Wyler have a murder enquiry on their hands. Behind the glamour and gossip of a 1930s fashion house, secrets and lies are rife and more than one person may have harboured resentment towards Miss Doon. Richard Harris's thrilling play is based on Christianna Brand's debut crime novel.

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Michael Green
Umlaut, Prince of Dusseldorf
Samuel french London:

Umlaut, Prince of Düsseldorf imagines a hapless and incompetent theatre company attempting a condensed version of Hamlet. Cue bungled lines, an over-eager smoke machine operator and a severely injured Cup Bearer. The ghost is determined to ruin all of Umlaut's best speeches while Hildegard, the Coarse Acting version of Ophelia, keeps forgetting that she's supposed to be dead. Cast and crew battle on regardless - surely the audience won't have noticed a thing?

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Michael Lesslie
Prince of Denmark
Samuel french London:

This prelude to Shakespeare's most famous tragedy imagines Hamlet as a restless teenager frustrated by the limits of his role and furious at his father's warmongering ways. It provides a fascinating back-story to Hamlet and a sophisticated insight into the psyche of its hero, making it ideal for all ages

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Tim Firth
Sign of the Times
Samuel french London:

Frank is an aspiring spy novelist and Head of Installation at Forshaws, a commercial lettering factory. Alan is his reluctant teenage trainee, more interested in listening to music and designing album artwork for his band Lizard than Franks beloved bracketing systems. As they attempt to install the company name in giant letters on the side of its building, it soon becomes clear that the letters are supposed to read For Sale instead of Forshaws  the company is relocating and Frank will be out of a job. In the second act, three years have passed and Alan is a jaded manager at an electrical goods store to which Frank has been sent for work experience as part of a benefit scheme. Their roles have been reversed, but when a burnt pitta bread triggers a fire alert, Frank and Alan find themselves back in familiar territory and holding the key to each others salvation. Sign of the Times is a full-length comedy based on the authors one-act play A Man of Letters. It starred Matthew Kelly as Frank at Londons Duchess Theatre in March 2011.

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Norman Robbins
Practice to Deceive
Samuel french London:

The gruesome discovery of several dead bodies buried on the moor sparks a police investigation and a heavy media presence in the remote North Yorkshire village of Chellingford. When Adrian Brookes shows up at Jessica Scanlons cottage, however, its with another line of enquiry in mind. His sister, Laura, has disappeared, and he thinks watercolour artist Jessica might be able to help him find her. Jessicas friend Etta has also gone missing, and when she is called upon to identify one of the bodies discovered by the police, she confirms that it is Etta. But Jessicas landlady Mildred seems to have other ideas. A mysterious suicide, an elaborate insurance scam and the arrival of nosy true crime writer Diana Wishart create further layers of intrigue that lead to a thrilling denouement.

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Colin and Mary Crowther
Silent Night
Samuel french London:

Based on a true event, Silent Night is the heart-warming story of an ordinary family in extraordinary times: the Blitz. A direct hit on their Anderson shelter leaves Wilf, Rose, Lily, Jack and their tortoise Harold awaiting the call to St Peter and the Pearly Gates. As the night darkens around them, old tensions and new revelations threaten to blast them apart forever. But dawn rises on a family united and resolved: wherever they go, they will stay together. St Peter, it seems, is in for a surprise - and he's not the only one ...

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Stephen Dolginoff
Thrill Me - The Leopold & Loeb Story
Samuel french London:

Based on the true story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two 19-year-olds who murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in Chicago in 1924, Thrill Me focuses less on the murder itself than on the relationship between Leopold and Loeb. More than 30 years on, the older Nathan speaks at a parole board hearing, recalling the crime and the dynamics of his friendship with Richard, defined largely by their shared intelligence, their passion for Nietzschean philosophy, and their desire for the ultimate thrill. With simple staging requirements, Stephen Dolginoff's tense, two-character musical drama explores the unusual love story behind the 'crime of the century'.

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Eric Chappell
False Pretences
Samuel french London:

Estate agent Kevin and his wife Valerie are to be subjected to an extended visit from her brother Victor, a none too successful con artist who has just been released from prison. Victor is delighted to hear that wealthy widow Lucy is also staying with them and it isn't long before he sets about charming her with a valuable diamond bracelet he's got on approval from the local jeweller's using the unwitting Kevin as surety. But when events don't go quite according to plan Victor is forced to improvise very rapidly, not least with the bullish rugby playing bank manager, Tank, and his fellow team mate, Tom, the local jeweller. And then a surprise visitor turns up in the form of Soapy Simpson (not so much artist by appointment to Her Majesty but rather more detained at Her Majesty's pleasure). Will Kevin ever be able to hold his head up in the local community again? Will Tom ever get rid of the taste of washing crystals? Will Soapy manage to complete a portrait? Will Lucy fall prey to Victor's charms? Will nothing stop the incorrigible Victor ...?

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Tim Whitnall
Sociable Plover, The
Samuel french London:

Nothing and nobody will stop Roy Tunt from spotting his wild birds and today, a stormy December morning on England's desolate east coast, he pursues a very special mission. With one more tick in his dog-eared notebook, Roy will have recorded all 567 species on the British List. The prevailing conditions are ideal and the time is perfect to welcome an elusive vagrant from the Asian Steppe, the rare and beautiful Sociable Plover. Roy sequesters himself away in a bird-spotter's hide on a stretch of flooded marshland. With a packed lunch and a framed photograph of his ex-wife for company, he watches and waits. But might he, perhaps, have other plans? And who is the tall, dark and handsome stranger battling his way through the flood waters towards him? All will be revealed - inside the hide...

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Nicholas Pierpan
Maddening Rain, The
Samuel french London:

"We're sixteen and Will writes this story about a medieval village that gets hit by a terrible storm. And the rain in that storm makes everyone go crazy. Everyone whose skin comes into contact with the rainwater goes insane, mental, like in a movie ..." An unnamed Man speaks to the audience, describing how he first moved to London after leaving school and worked in a series of dead-end jobs before being recruited to a securities finance company in the City. Seduced by the prospect of new suits and six-figure bonuses, he is soon assisting Andy, a trader, in borrowing and making millions of pounds a day. But when the economy takes a downturn and Andy's risk-taking starts to incur huge losses, the pressure begins to take its toll. Disturbing revelations and unnerving sound effects combine to create a sense of impending personal breakdown in Nicholas Pierpan's powerful monologue.

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Alan Ayckbourn
Life and Beth
Samuel french London:

It's Christmas, and Beth Timms is mourning the recent death of her health and safety officer husband, Gordon. Beth's sister-in-law Connie and son Martin have come to stay, determined to ensure that she should have a stress-free Christmas, but between Connie's drinking problem and Martin's unspeaking and emotionally volatile girlfriend Ella, their intentions prove to be short-lived. Only David, the local vicar, provides Beth with any comfort, but when he says a prayer for her bereavement he unwittingly summons Gordon's ghost to return to the family home. Gordon has been busy implementing health and safety measures in the afterlife and is now determined to stick around to help Beth manage her affairs. It soon becomes apparent, however, that his return is not altogether welcome.

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Samuel French
The Guide
Samuel french London:

The new edition of The GUIDE gives details of all the plays handled by Samuel French Ltd, London, available for amateur performance in the British Isles

Section A Full length plays (including all male and all female plays)
Section B One act plays (including all female and all male plays)
Section C Plays for children and young people
Section D Pantomimes and Christmas plays
Section E List of musical plays
Section F French's technical books

93rd edition available immediately

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Paul Reakes
LittleBo-Peep
Samuel french London:

Little Bo-Peep looks after Fanny Fairacre's flock of sheep on Fairacre Farm. The malevolent Lady Sneering is jealous of her romance with Fanny's son Freddie, so she instructs evil magician Mefisto  from Cindy Sparkle's travelling show  to make the pretty shepherdess disappear. Meanwhile Fanny's gormless farmhand Wally has fallen for glamorous Cindy. Soon they all find themselves banished to the nightmarish "Place of the Disappeared", with no apparent hope of return. Paul Reakes's riotous retelling of the well-known nursery rhyme features all the traditional pantomime elements as well as a travelling show, magic, dancers, and a highly talented cow!

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Andrew Smith
As We Forgive Those
Samuel french London:

When Sophie's teenage sister turns up at her flat one evening after an absence of four years, Sophie's suspicions are roused. Why is she there? Where has she been? And how does she know so much about Sophie's life? Then when Sophie's flatmate Jen arrives home, she recognizes Alex from the previous evening - as the person who mugged her. This tense one-act play for three women about the conflicting bonds of family, faith, and friendship is an ideal choice for students and youth groups.

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Simon Williams
Happy Birthday Me
Samuel french London:

"It's my birthday. All I wanted was a bottle of Claret and a couple of winners at Sandown." Instead, retired actress Margot Buchanan receives three separate visitors: her ex-husband Leo, an ageing film star fresh from a punch-up with a reporter, Leo's current wife Judy, and his latest mistress Sadie, an aspiring Juliet seeking Margot's acting advice. Just as the inevitable fireworks kick off, Leo suffers a fatal heart attack. Then the kissogram shows up ...

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Gail Young
Cheshire Cats
Samuel french London:

Grown women, aching feet and heaving bosoms! Follow the Cheshire Cats team as they speedwalk their way to fundraising success in the London Moonwalk. Hilary, Siobhan, Yvonne, Vicky and Maggie are attempting to walk 13 miles across the capital in record time in their decorated bras and posh new trainers, but the sixth member of their team doesn't seem to meet the physical criteria! Cheshire Cats is a cross between a girls' night out and a real mission to support a cause close to many hearts, with plenty of laughs and a few tears along the way.

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Alan Ayckbourn
If I Were You
Samuel french London:

The Rodales seem like an ordinary family, but beneath the surface things are beginning to crack. Jill and Mal have lost the spark in their marriage, their son Sam resents his father and their daughter Chrissie has recently become a mum and is dealing with marriage issues of her own. And while they all share advice on how others should live their lives, nobody is really taking it on board - until Mal and Jill see things from a dramatically different perspective, that is. Waking up one morning and finding they have switched personas, Mal in Jill's body and Jill in Mal's, they must continue life "as normal" as their other half. Jill faces the challenges of working with their son-in-law, Dean, as the Store Manager of a homewares shop, while Mal has suddenly becomes a housewife, learning more about his children - and finding out the secrets they already know about him! Will seeing things from the other side make matters even worse, or is this just what they need in order to save their family?

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David Foxton
Emperor's New Clothes, The
Samuel french London:

Tom, Tink, Bell is the Town Crier - but not a very good one. Thanks to his mistake the proclamation about the forthcoming birthday of the Emperor announces that there will be a birthday celebration every week! The sheer cost of it all upsets the Lord Chamberlain and the Treasurer, Abacus. However, the thought delights Emperor Persimmon and his wife Petronella, and positively thrills Sly and Wily - two tricksters always on the look out to make fast money. In fact some of the money they literally did make is circulating - forged money! Tink and his daughter, Abigail, unwittingly possess some - and it leads to Abis imprisonment. Meantime Jack sells his cow for five magic beans and his mother is irate about it. Jacks adventures up the ensuing beanstalk become interwoven with the tricksters major scheme to sell the Emperor an invisible suit. Yes, it does sound complicated but the bits do fit together.

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Shaun Prendergast
Playing With My Heart
Samuel french London:

A group of adolescents from Byatt Gardens School and their teacher are on an enforced field trip to Gateshead's iconic sculpture Angel of the North. With their coach delayed it isn't long before squabbles, misunderstandings, jealousies and antagonisms break out that require the Angel of the North to come down from her lofty height ... The arrival of their arch enemies from Lucas (or Pukus or Mucus) Green School with their jeers and taunts melds the group and when goaded into a football penalty shoot out, Ella gets the chance to redeem herslef with a superb goal.

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Sue Wilding
Flash, Bam, Alakazam
Samuel french London:

Elsie, an elderly widow, lives alone and avoids socialising with her neighbours, believing "it doesn't do, to get involved." Then a new couple, Kate and Adrian, move in across the road and their young son Jamie invites Elsie round for tea. Soon the pair are inseparable, with Elsie being drafted in as babysitter whenever Kate and Adrian are out. When Jamie strays too close to the garden pond Elsie acts on her instincts to keep him safe, but his parents are appalled and Elsie's misgivings about ever letting her guard down are reinforced.

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Alan Ayckbourn
My Wonderful Day
Samuel french London:

Winnie is nearly nine. Her mum, Laverne, is second-generation Afro-Caribbean and heavily pregnant but continues with her cleaning job since her husband left while she dreams of moving the family back to Martinique. Tuesdays are special: Laverne insists that Winnie speaks only French (in preparation for Martinique) and today is Tuesday - not her usual day to clean at the north London house of Kevin Tate, an affluent, bad-tempered, philandering, minor television personality. Not well enough to go to school, Winnie accompanies her mum and settles down to her homework: an essay entitled "My Wonderful Day". Throughout the course of the next few hours, the shy, astute and ever-watchful Winnie will amass plenty of material for her essay as a variety of adults parades before her: Kevin's baby-talking and patronizing mistess, his vengeful wife, and the hungover family friend who pours out his heart believing that Winnie doesn't speak English. But as events reach a frenzied climax, Winnie's essay will speak volumes.

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Stephen Briggs
Making Money
Samuel french London:

Lord Vetinari wants to overhaul the banks of Ankh-Morpork so he appoints former con-man Albert Spangler, aka Moist von Lipwig, to the position of Mater of the Royal Mint, attached to a senior post at the Bank of Ankh-Morpork. Then Mrs Lavish, the bank manager, dies, leaving her dog Mr Fusspot - who also happens to be the majority shareholder - to Moist. Suddenly he finds himself in charge, and his life being threatened by resentful members of the Lavish family. His talent for a swindle soon has customers queuing up, but when the chairman of the bank needs to be taken out for walkies and its chief cashier may or may not be a vampire, making money is not always easy.

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David Foxton
Oubliette
Samuel french London:

As the present-day guides theorise to the visitors about the historical use of the door-less, window-less room, we see in flashback what happened there back in the 12th(?) century; how the female servants were forced to steal to order,how the Lord fell in love with a girl who was accused of witchcraft, how plague struck the village and how the Lord's brother sealed him, his devoted servant Anne and the girl into the oubliette where they subsequently died. Anne's ghost links the past to the present in this atmospheric and moving play.

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Anthony Horowitz
Handbag, A
Samuel french London:

A group of young people are rehearsing The Importance of Being Earnest but, as they attempt to perform a play which is alien to them, it becomes apparent that their surroundings are not normal. Gradually, as tensions mount, squabbles ensue and each young person's story starts to emerge, the location is found to be an institution  reinforced by the final grim, chilling echoes of doors slamming and being locked.

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Eric Chappell
Wife After Death
Samuel french London:

Dave Thursby was a hugely successful television comedian, a national treasure loved by the public, a devoted husband to his fragrant wife, a model client for his agent and a staunch friend to his faithful gag writer, Harvey. But when Dave unexpectedly pops his clogs, these close companions are left bereft. There's now a huge, aching void in their lives, and, worse still, some of them may be out of a job. Unless, of course, the repeats, television specials, biographies and newspaper tell-alls can fill the vacuum.

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Germaine Greer and Phil Willmott
Lysistrata - The Sex Strike
Samuel french London:

This is legendary feminist Germaine Greer's take on the great classical sex comedy . . .Set in a bath-house steam-room in ancient Greece, the ancient world is gripped by a long and futile war. The women of Athens decide they can take no more and - in secret - they meet with up with the enemy women of Sparta. The women form a pact and the battle moves into the bedroom where it's No Peace,No Love. How will the valiant men of Athens stand up to such a contemptible ultimatum? Ancient fun with a modern twist

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Robert Messik
Pineapple
Samuel french London:

Anne has performed stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy at Improv Olympic, The Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Groundlings. She has also performed with such award-winning Los Angeles theaters as The Actors Gang, Cornerstone Theater Company, Rogue Artists Ensemble. She has choreographed several award-winning short films and musicals, and she feels lucky to have a life full of adventure.

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Tom Basden
Party
Samuel french London:

A new comic play about wanting to change the world but having no idea how and little idea why.

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Peter Nichols
Lingua Franca
Samuel french London:

We must learn to be Europeans. Forgive and forget is our only hope' Lingua Franca follows innocent abroad, Steven Flowers, as he travels from National Service in South-East Asia to 1950's Florence. He soon finds himself working for a chaotically-run language school, together with a cosmopolitan muddle of seven foreign misfits killing their post-war nihilism in the cafés of Florence, the cradle of Renaissance high culture. Based around a leading character in Peter Nichols' acclaimed work Privates on Parade, and inspired by his own experiences, Lingua Franca is a fast-paced, sexually-charged story, and both a damning indictment and a celebration of sexual freedom. Playing with notions of xenophobia and deep-seated cultural stereotypes, nationalist foibles and prejudices clash and sparkle to high comic effect as Steven tries to make sense of his own life and a Europe at peace after so many years of war.

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David Wood
George's Marvellous Medicine
Samuel french London:

It's the half term holiday and George Kranky is looking forward to a break from school when a letter from Grandma arrives announcing that she is coming to stay  that very day! Soon she is making George's life miserable with spiteful comments and demands for doses of medicine, so George decides to mix a new type of medicine for her. Shaving foam, shampoo, lipstick and chilli powder all go into the mixture, which makes Grandma grow and grow into a giant until she crashes through the farmhouse roof. Soon Dad comes up with a plan to use the medicine to make giant farm animals  and a fortune for the Kranky family. First George needs to remember the ingredients for his marvellous medicine, with a little help from the audience.

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Alan Ayckbourn
Awaking Beauty
Samuel french London:

Ever wondered what else happened to Sleeping Beauty when she finally woke up in the 21st century? Alan Ayckbourn provides the answer with this alternative seasonal fare in the musical Awaking Beauty. The Prince awakens Princess Aurora and the eager, happy young couple are about to embark on their first night of passionate love when ugly, unloved Carabosse, the wicked witch, butts in having taken a fancy to the Prince. But which one will be the Awaking Beauty? Love, lust, triplets and the ultimate in makeovers are just some of the milestones our heroes and heroines must pass before they can all live happily ever after.

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Ade Morris
Micky Salberg's Crystal Ballroom Dance Band
Samuel french London:

Its 1952 and on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent Jewish Polish immigrant Micky Salberg and his daughter Sam are struggling to make a living from a farm made up of three cows and a pig called Charley. They are hounded daily by bailiffs chasing the mortgage payments that Micky spends drowning his sorrows in the pub. Micky pesters Sam to help him raise money by reviving his old dance band and the memory of his wife, who was killed by Nazis during the war. Sam eventually agrees to play her clarinet  but refuses to sing. Tommy Bostock, a local lad with a talent for causing offence, shows up at the farm wielding a guitar and offers to join them. Soon the trio is touring the dance halls of Stoke, but when Tommy reveals that he is due to start military service in a months time, the future of the Crystal Ballroom Dance Band looks doubtful. A very funny, emotive play from Ade Morris about love, loss and rock n roll. The original music by Paul Kissaun is available on hire.

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Davey Anderson
Blackout
Samuel french London:

Inspired by the true story of a Glaswegian young offender.

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Scott Marshall
Threefold Cord, The
Samuel french London:

Sir Marcus Pennington appears to have it all: a beautiful actress wife, Victoria, two loving daughters and a successful career as a respected barrister. But behind the façade he is leading a triple life, romancing two other women: Dexie, a prostitute, and Millicent, the widow of his best friend, now his PA. In a series of highly engaging monologues, Victoria, Dexie and Millicent tell Marcus's story from three very different perspectives. Preoccupied and detached, Victoria is seemingly oblivious to his indiscretions  and guilty of her own  but regards him with fond indulgence. Shy, self-deprecating Millicent can't help but be taken in by the promise of romance and passion that was lacking in her marriage. Dexie hopes that Marcus will provide a route out of poverty  all the more necessary after she gives birth to his illegitimate son.

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Paul Carpenter and Ian Gower
Hi-De-Hi!
Samuel french London:

t's the start of a new season and founder Joe Maplin announces that he is setting up a camp in the Bahamas. He needs female yellowcoats to go and work out there and the annual "Miss Yellowcoat" competition will decide who is to go. Rivalry between the girls is fierce, with Sylvia and Gladys joint forerunners to win the coveted yellow sash. Camp cleaner Peggy, meanwhile, is thrilled at the prospect of a vacancy for a new yellowcoat and convinces Entertainments Manager Jeffrey that she is the ideal candidate for the job. Ted is forced to employ numerous money-making schemes when his ex wife turns up at the camp with a bailiff in tow and Yvonne and Barry Stuart-Hargreaves send the rumour mill into overdrive when they overhear Gladys escorting Jeffrey into his chalet late one evening. Hi-de-hi, campers!

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Colin and Mary Crowther
Calling
Samuel french London:

Six very different young women have come on a residential weekend to see if they have what it takes for the most difficult job in the world. They are all convinced they are up to it, but as we sit in on their awkward interviews, disastrous attempts at teamwork and revealing private conversation, we begin to understand why so few women really have the calling ... to be a nun.

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Mary Morris
Tracy Beaker Gets Real
Samuel french London:

he most popular teenager in Britain comes to the stage! Tracy Beaker Gets Real has been adapted by Mary Morris with music by Grant Olding from one of the most successful children's books ever, Jacqueline Wilson's The Story of Tracy Beaker. We join Tracy, aged 15, as she returns to the "Dumping Ground" and looks back on the last four years of her life, from being fostered  and dumped  and fostered again, to finding a happy, if not altogether harmonious home with writer Cam. When Tracy's mum unexpectedly reappears in her life, Tracy hopes that her days of being passed around like a parcel are over, but she soon comes to realize that the people she has always tried to push away are the ones she really needs the most. Touching and very funny, this play brings Tracy Beaker's trademark talent for troublemaking, fun and friendship to any production.

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Norman Robbins
Prepare To Meet Thy Tomb
Samuel french London:

Prepare To Meet Thy Tomb follows Tomb With A View and Tiptoe Through the Tombstones to complete the trilogy of plays from Norman Robbins about the family that play together and slay together: the murderous Tombs. As night falls and fog descends on Monument House Hotel and Alternative Health Spa, Hecuba Tomb and her niece Drusilla receive a series of unexpected visitors. Novelist Philippa and her assistant Daphne are seeking refuge from a mysterious follower they fear may be the notorious "Norfolk Strangler". Hot on their heels come TV historian Quentin Danesworth and vacuous honeymooners Robert and Miranda. The uninvited guests are soon snooping around the secret passages of the creepy old mansion and asking too many questions for comfort. Sure enough, one by one they fall victim to violent deaths by devious techniques - no secret panel is unoccupied, no cup of tea untouched, and nobody is who they appear to be. This irresistible combination of spoof and baffling murder mystery, over-the-top characters and shocking plot twists will thrill and delight in equal measure.

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Richard Lloyd
Sinbadaladdin!
Samuel french London:

Richard Lloyd's hilarious new pantomime Sinbadaladdin! adds elements of the tale of Sinbad the sailor to the tradtional story of Aladdin. The result is a bumper pantomime offering parts for two principal boys and two genies - the slave of the lamp and the Slave of the Ring, as well as many other good roles for both male and female actors. Widow Twankee gets up to her usual mischief as manageress of Chinese laundry - not so ably assisted by slopper-out Wishee-Washee, while the beautiful and feisty Princess Jasmine steals Aladdin's heart and risks the wrath of her father, the Sultan Ming the Mirthless, and her mother Sultana No-Lo-Fat. The terrifying magician Abanazar, meanwhile, proves a formidable rival for Jasmine's hand in marriage.

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Samuel Adamson
Mrs Affleck
Samuel french London:

Samuel Adamson's play takes Ibsen's Little Eyolf as the inspiration for a passionate and tragic tale of obsessive love, set in 1950s England. After six lonely weeks with nobody but her crippled little boy for company, Rita Affleck, wealthy, beautiful and consumed by jealous love, welcomes home her husband Alfred. But, far from the passionate reunion she so craves, there is only torment as Alfred's possessive half-sister arrives, and he announces his great revelation.

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Tim Firth
Calendar Girls, The
Samuel french London:

When Annie's husband John dies of leukaemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. gets around, and soon hordes of press have descended on the small Yorkshire village of Knapeley. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame. Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund, Calendar Girls opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre and has since become the fastest selling play in British theatre history.

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Peter Quilter
Duets
Samuel french London:

Four pairs of characters, four crucial moments ...Jonathan and Wendy are on a blind date and hoping to get it right this time even though they've never got it right before. Barrie is not really interested in women but Janet sees that as no reason to stop trying. Shelley and Bobby have decided to holiday in Spain to finalize their divorce whilst drowning in cocktails. And Angela is marrying for the third time to the dismay of her brother Toby and amidst a barrage of bad omens and a dress resembling a parachute. The result is a gloriously funny examination of the chaotic world of love, relationships and why the grass is never greener

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Nicholas de Jongh
Plague Over England
Samuel french London:

In Autumn 1953, Sir John Gielgud, then at the height of his fame as an actor, was arrested in a Chelsea public lavatory. He pleaded guilty the following morning to the charge of persistently importuning men for immoral purposes. Poised to appear in the West End in a play he was directing and recently knighted, his conviction caused a national sensation - breaking the great taboo of public discussion of homosexuality. More than just a dramatisation of a scandalous event in one actor's life, this controversial new play shows how Gielgud's arrest played a small but distinct part in the battle to make homosexuality legal. It captures the spirit of Britain in the early 1950s when judges, politicians and the national press were describing homosexuality as a cancer, an epidemic and a threat to national life. It offers an extraordinary insight into the dramatic changes in social attitudes to gay life in the last fifty years.

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Ros Moruzzi
Just the Two of Us
Samuel french London:

Matt and Ruth are looking foward to a quiet evening at home when their lives are turned upside-down by a visit from eighteen-year-old Freya and her mother, Karen. Freya has discovered that Matt is her biological father, having traced his "donation" to a clinic as an impoverished student. As Ruth and Matt struggle to come to terms with this revelation, more visitors arrive, including Matt's mother, who's now a granny, and "Aunty" Bev, who adds to the chaos by revealing herself as Freya's birth mother. Who's Freya's mum? "The egg one? The womb one?" And who's her dad? This hilarious play explores the impact and repercussions of modern science.

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April De Angelis
Wuthering Heights
Samuel french London:

Set on the wild, windswept Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights is the tempestuous story of free-spirited Catherine and dark, brooding Heathcliff. as children running wild and free on the moors, Cathy and Heathcliff are inseparable. as they grow up their affection deepens into a passionate love, but Cathy lets her head rule her heart as she chooses to marry the wealthy edgar Linton. Heathcliff flees broken-hearted only to return seeking terrible vengeance on those he holds responsible, with epic and tragic results.

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Bettine Manktelow
Spygame
Samuel french London:

Prospective contestants for a TV reality show gather in a country house, aiming to win a large cash prize but only if they survive the rigours of the ultimate Spygame. This excellent play offers seven good acting roles and will grip your audience until the totally unexpected ending.

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Tim Firth
Flint Street Nativity, The
Samuel french London:

Adapted from his own television play The Flint Street Nativity is a family comedy for any child whos ever been in a nativity  or any adult whos watched one through their fingers.

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Diana Raffle
Stop and Run
Samuel french London:

When Eileen Dodds sent her husband out to get a portion of chips and two pickled eggs, she never suspected he would run off with the shop owner and not be seen for five years - but that's exactly what happened! Thirty years later, Eileen returns from a holiday with Raymond, a blind bingo caller, who she intends to marry in a week's time! But is Raymond only after her money? And will Eileen ever find true happiness? What Fun!

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Norman Robbins
Dragon Of Wantley, The
Samuel french London:

This spectacular pantomime, based on an English legend is full of vengeful fairies, knock-a-bout baliffs, a romantic leading lady and a handsome Principal Boy, plus the outrageous Dame

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Paul Reakes
Tom Thumb
Samuel french London:

A hungry giant is advancing upon the Royal Kingdom and henchman Slither Slugslime forces the citizens to give up all their food to him. Only Tom Thumb refuses and Slugslime casts a spell to shrink him to the size of a thumb! Beautiful witch Spellena is enlisted to help restroe tom to his normal size. Meanwhile slugslime fancies Princess Primrose and Mum has to make a cake for the giant with extremely unhelpful "help".

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Francis Beckett
Right Honourable Lady, The
Samuel french London:

Flavia has been poached from the BBC by a tabloid newspaper. Her brief, to dig up the dirt on her old friend, now Secretary of State. Mission accomplished, she hopes to investigage more serious corruption; but the editor and chief whip have other ideas

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Steve Harper
Lions And Donkeys
Samuel french London:

Western Front, 1918. A rare beast - a story set in the trenches that includes a fair amount of comedy! September 1918 on the Western Front. Tommy and Dave receive an unexpected visit from Lieutenant Hargreaves who announces that Tommy is to be awarded a medal for his courage in combat. Why then are Tommy and Dave so keen to see the back of him? And who is the strange Icelandic character that enters the scene brandishing a sausage? A well-written, funny, poignant play about friendship, humanity and survival.

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Joanna Norland
Lizzy, Darcy & Jane
Samuel french London:

reconstruction of two romances for the novelist identical to those that Lizzy Bennet enjoys in Pride and Prejudice.
- Lucy Powell, Time Out, London

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Colin and Mary Crowther
Reflections
Samuel french London:

A couple are nervously dressing for a party in the hotel downstairs Each glumly despairs of being able to live up to their partner's expectations The trouble is that the person they see in the mirror IS very different from the person their partner sees. She sees herself as a dowdy, boring frump, but he sees her as charming and kind He sees himself as the go-gelling soul of the party, but she sees him as a shy. retiring man who just needs to be loved into fulfilling his real potential. Gradually, they come 10 recognize and accept how different they can be now they are loved Happily, arm In ann. they go downstairs - to their wedding reception

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Tudor Gates
Ding Dong (under title Just Desserts)
Samuel french London:

Bernard has discovered that his wife, Jacqueline, is having an affair with Robert. Being a reasonable businessman, Bernard gives Robert two options to compensate for the affair: either he will sleep with Robert's wife in order to keep things even, or he will have him killed. Needless to say, Robert chooses to let Bernard sleep with his wife. Scheming to woo her, Bernard arranges an evening meal with both couples present much to the frustration of their overworked and underpaid maid, Marie-Louise. However, instead of bringing his wife to the dinner, Robert pays Barbara, a call girl, to pose as his wife for the evening. Meanwhile, Jacqueline does not know that Bernard has found out about her affair, and is stunned to learn that their dinner guests are in fact her lover and, supposedly, his wife. The situation then becomes even more hilarious and confusing when Robert's actual wife, Juliette, turns up for dinner!

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Norman Robbins
And Evermore So Shall Be
Samuel french London:

A murder mystery with more than a touch of humour. Taking its title from the traditional song "Green Grow the Rushes O" the play explores the events surrounding a murder which took place four years previously and how strangely the song lyrics seem to fit so well with the circumstances. Offering ten good acting roles, the story twists and turns, leaving your audience guessing until the very last speech of the play.

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Leslie Bricusse
Scrooge
Samuel french London:

In 1970, renowned writer-composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse adapted the well-loved Dickens short story A Christmas Carol into the hit screen musical Scrooge. This stage version, based on the film, with the addition of six new songs. had a hugely successful national tour before a season at the Dominion Theatre, London in 1996 starring Anthony Newley as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who repents his past life when visited by three successive Chrismas spirits.

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Agatha Christie
Appointment With Death
Samuel french London:

devilish plans to possess and torment the children death as in life, set in a Jerusalem Hotel

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Tudor Gates
Ding Dong
Samuel french London:

Bernard has discovered that his wife, Jacqueline, is having an affair with Robert. Being a reasonable businessman, Bernard gives Robert two options to compensate for the affair: either he will sleep with Robert's wife in order to keep things even, or he will have him killed. Needless to say, Robert chooses to let Bernard sleep with his wife. Scheming to woo her, Bernard arranges an evening meal with both couples present much to the frustration of their overworked and underpaid maid, Marie-Louise. However, instead of bringing his wife to the dinner, Robert pays Barbara, a call girl, to pose as his wife for the evening. Meanwhile, Jacqueline does not know that Bernard has found out about her affair, and is stunned to learn that their dinner guests are in fact her lover and, supposedly, his wife. The situation then becomes even more hilarious and confusing when Robert's actual wife, Juliette, turns up for dinner!

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Peter Quilter
Curtain Up!
Samuel french London:

Based on the author's earlier Respecting YourPiers, Curtain Up! is the hilarious story of five women who inherit equal shares in a dilapidated theatre and plan to bring it back to life again. They try various fund-raising schemes but their most ambitious is to hold a concert featuring local talent and a world-famous star, who agrees to appear for no fee! However, their plans go awry and it's a race to keep their audience from guessing the truth of the matter. A fastpaced and very funny comedy with five great roles for women.

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Colin Crowther
Just Passing
Samuel french London:

Love story or ghost story? This warm, wise and witty play shows a man and a woman meeting, apparently on a park bench, apparently to say goodbye. But who is leaving and why? It seems that for all their squabbling they were happily married for a time, until a road accident landed him in a nursing home. Now he must move away and she must move on. The final piece in the puzzle is blurted out by a well-meaning but weary nurse. Their goodbyes, alas, remain unspoken as she flies off to catch her taxi and he remains 'until the memory fades.'

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Heather Dunmore
Blue
Samuel french London:

Leo, a doctor, is suffering from depression and finds it hard to come to terms with his illness. Weaving through his memories as a child and a father, Leo re-lives his suspicions, panic attacks and emotions as he tries everything from hypnotism to art therapy to beat the blues. Further insight is offered by his mother, his sister and his wife, who show how depression affects those you love

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Deborah Gearing
Burn
Samuel french London:

about a drifting teenager driven to the brink

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Paul James
Late Sleepers, The
Samuel french London:

In a junk-strewn wasteland in a distant future a gang of young people, The Late Sleepers - self-styled vampires, dressed in black and scarlet with bright dyed hair - scrape a strange existence on the outskirts of a walled, city. Their leader is Gabriel, a dark brooding presence whose jealously guarded store of music, videos and DVDs from earlier centuries has informed the gangs' unlikely passion for classic TV, horror movies and P01) songs. When two strangers, James and Elsa, stumble on the Sleepers' hideout, they are intrigued l)y this all-singing, all-dancing gang, and begin a chain of events which will explore both the light and the darkness of their rock and roll vampire existence. With show-stopping numbers, a high gothic wedding, drama and betrayal, and, ultimately, heart-breaking bravery, The Late Sleepers is a fascinating romp through the world of the Undead, of popular culture, and of teenage rebellion.

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Paul Reakes
Cinderella
Samuel french London:

A new magical life for the popular fairy tale. Prince Charming is off gallevanting round the world and leaves Pantomania to be governed by the selfish Duke of Verruca. When the prince returns the duke refuses to relinquish power. Luckily, faithfull Buttons, his friend Kathy and of course the Fairy Godmother are around to work wonders.

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Edward Taylor
No Dinner For Sinners
Samuel french London:

Jim Watt runs the London office of a stock exchange firm and is hosting dinner for the International Director and his wife, Bill and Nancy McGregor, members of the anti-permissive society group. As Bill strongly disapproves of unmarried couples living together, Jim asks his girlfriend, Helen, to pose as his wife for the evening. This suggestion goes down like a lead balloon and Helen walks out on him, leaving Jim with no partner, no cook and only one last option - his eccentric cleaning lady, Edna, who will do the job for a fee, of course. Disaster reigns as Edna attempts to cook an elaborate dish while keeping her guests happy with "religious chat". At an extremely inopportune moment, Helen returns to play the role of his wife, and so does his young personal assistant, Tern. A string of hilarious miscommunications unravel as Jim trades lies and wives almost as quickly as Bill is trading shares.

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Francis Beckett
Money Makes You Happy
Samuel french London:

tale of a writer who returns to the big city to find his lost love .

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Derek Benfield
First Things First
Samuel french London:

Pete and George are old friends. In fact, such good old friends that George has been Pete's best man at both of his weddings. Pete. now happily married to Sarah, is appalled when George arrives with the news that his first wife Jessica was not killed in a climbing accident as they had thought but is alive and well and keen to resume her life with Pete! This unexpected revelation leads to a series of hilarious situations as Peter and George try to find a way out of this desperate plight without upsetting either of Pete's wives or his second wife's powerful mother.

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Simon Brett
Small Family Murder, A
Samuel french London:

Elderly Valerie Trevelyan has been murdered with an overdose of painkillers and there are suspicious bruises on her neck. Worse still is the fact that the two key suspects in the case are her sons, Gavin and Miles. Making no secret of their cold relationship with each other, both had a financial motive and the physical opportunity to have been the killer. As detectives interview the brothers, as well as their senile father, Lionel, secrets about the family are discovered as the clues mount up and clearly lead to one person. But is he actually the murderer? This can be performed with four men or as a one-man show.

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Lesley Bruce
My Own Show
Samuel french London:

Fay, host of the TV chat show Frankly Fay, is worried that her career is on the wane - and her private life isn't up to much either. She is mortified to be reunited, on the set of This Is Your Life, with Caroline Pollard, an old school friend she's been avoiding for years, but Caroline's bereavement gives her an idea that could rescue her ratings. Before long Caroline (a.k.a. Bollards' is appearing on Frankly Fay and winning the hearts of the daytime TV audience - so much so that very soon she has her own show, Candidly Caroline, and is heading for stardom. . .The fickle nature of fame, the difficulties faced by older women in the media and the vagaries of friendship are dissected hilariously in this sly and witty comedy.

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Philip Goulding
Titfield Thunderbolt, The
Samuel french London:

Adapted by Philip Goulding from the 1953 Ealing comedy film about a group of villagers who, finding that their branch railway line is about to be axed, decide to buy and run the railway themselves. As well as convincing the railway authorities that they are competent to work the line, they have to face problems from Vernon Crump who is set on providing a competitive bus service. The large cast can be doubled and the special effects required - steam engines, a bus and a steamroller to name but three! - can be achieved in several suggested ways.

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Norman Robbins
At The Sign of "The Crippled Harlequin"
Samuel french London:

A case of mistaken identity leads to tragedy in this engaging thriller. In a snowbound guest house in the Peak District, Marjory Pike is wrongly identified by another guest as the author of a book declaiming certain mediums, one of whom had committed suicide as a result. The son of the deceased medium is staying at the guest house, so when he arrives in the lounge bloodied and bruised, and Marjory is found dead, the finger of suspicion naturally points at him. But the guest house may be haunted, other guests have their own secrets, and even the proprietors are not above suspicion . . . In true Norman Robbins fashion? the deepening mystery is rich with shocks and laughs as the play moves to its unexpected close.

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Tony Rushforth
Seascape
Samuel french London:

This moving and lyrical play takes place during the summer of 1940 and is set against the dramatic wartime backdrop of the internment camp at Port Erin on the Isle of Man. Two romances develop: one between a German internee of 17 and an English girl of the same age, prevented by circumstances from leaving the Isle; the other between a woman of Italian descent and a German Jew. The play raises issues about a little-recorded part of British domestic history in which the characters are sustained by their hopes and dreams which we, the audience, finally realize will not be fulfilled. Played mostly in duologues and soliloquies this fifty minute play is an ideal festival choice.

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Simon Williams
Double Death
Samuel french London:

In an isolated house on the cliffs of north Cornwall the sibling rivalry between identical twins Max and Ashley Hennessy is coming to a murderous climax. They both know one of them must die, but, trapped in his wheelchair, Ashley knows the odds are now against him and he is in mortal danger - but does DI Fergus believe him? And can he trust Nurse Malahide, who has been employed to protect him? Poor Lalla, the twins' aunt, is torn between the two boys: which of them is the victim and which is the psychopath? Perhaps they have done it once again - pulled off the final "switch".

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