Script Catalogues

 

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Scripts by Author              Scripts by Title

Please note: This only a partial list of scripts that can be found in our library on the mezzanine at the Guildhall. Several have been added since the catalogue was created.
Guild members are welcome to borrow them at a general meeting.

Reviewed Scripts

The following is a partial list of plays which have been reviewed by the committee. Most of these scripts are also in our library.
There are additional titles below the chart, with links to some of the committee members’ comments.

Play Playwright Genre
 
 
 Maybe
A Sting in the Tale Brian Clemens & Dennis Spooner Comedy  Mystery 3m 2f 6 3
Abigail’s Party Mike Leigh Drama 2m 2f 7 1
American Buffalo David Mamet Drama 3m 3 4
Anastasia Marcelle Maurette Drama, 8m 5w 7 1
Anne of Green Gables D Harron, N Campbell Musical, 12m 17w 7 1
Anybody Out There? John Patrick Comedy 3 4 1
Arcadia Tom Stoppard Drama 3 4 1
Around the World in Eighty Days Phil Wilmott Musical fantasy 2 2 4
Art Yasmina Reza Drama 3 5 1
At the Sign of the Crippled Harlequin Norman Robbins Thriller 3m 4f
At This Evening’s Performance Nagle Jackson Comedy 1 5 2
Bedfull of Foreigners Dave Freeman Comedy 4m 3f 8
Bedroom Farce Alan Ayckbourn Comedy 4m 4w 4 6
Best Christmas Pageant Ever Barbara Robinson Comedy 7
Best Laid Plans Fred Carmichael Mystery-comedy 6m 4f 5 2
Bottoms Up! Gregg Kreutz Comedy 2 2 3
Break a Leg Ira Levin Comedy 4 4
Brilliant Traces Cindy Lou Johnson Drama 1m 1f 6 1
Butler Did It, The Walter Marks Peter Marks Comedy thriller, 4m 2f 4 3
Cash on Delivery Michael Cooney Farce 6m 4f 2 5
Casting for Murder Elizabeth Elwood Murder Mystery, 4m 4w 6 2
Cat’s Cradle Leslie Sands Mystery 8 1
Caught In The Net Ray Cooney British farce, 4m 3f 5 1 1
Chorus of Disapproval Alan Ayckbourn Comedy-drama, musical 4 2 2
Claptrap Ken Friedman Comedy 2m 3f
Cliffhanger James Yaffe Thriller 4 1
Clue: The Musical DePietro, Blum, Barker, Martucci, Chiodo Musical comedy 5m 3f 1  5 2
Come Blow Your Horn Neil Simon Comedy 3m 4f 4 2 1
Play Playwright Genre
 
 Maybe
Cowgirls Mary Murfitt & Betsy Howie Musical comedy 6f 3 4
Crossing Delancey Susan Sandler Comedy 2m 3f 6 1
Cry Havoc Allan R. Kenward Drama 13f 1 5  1
Curious Savage John Patrick 5m 6f 3 3 1
Dancing at Lughnasa Brian Friel Drama 8
Dangerous Obsession N. J. Crisp 2m 1f  5 1 1
Dark at the Top of the Stairs William Inge Drama 7
Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch James L. Rosenberg Farcical tragedy 1 7
Don’t Drink The Water Woody Allen Comedy 12 m 4 f 6
Enchanted April Matthew Barker Comedy 3m 5f 6 1
Exit the Body Fred Carmichael Mystery-farce 5m 5f 2 3
Farndale Avenue…Christmas Carol D. McGillivary & W. Zerun Farce, 1m 4f 3 2 2
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress Alan Ball Drama 1m 5f 4 3
Flying Feathers Derek Benfield Farce 7
Glorious! Peter Quilter Comedy 2m 4f  3 2 2
Greater Tuna J. Williams, J. Sears & E. Howard Comedy 2m 1 8
Happily After Ever Once Upon Virginia Kidd Fairy tale parody 3 3 1
Hindle Wakes Stanley Houghton Drama, 4m 5w 4 4
Hobson’s Choice Harold Brighouse Drama, 7m, 5w 2 6
Hoodwinked Carlton, Liebman, Leys Musical Darce 8m 3f 7 1
I Hate Hamlet Paul Rudnick Comedy 5 1 1
Jitters David French Comedy 6m 3f 2 5
Ladies in Retirement E Percy, R Denham Mystery Drama, 1m 6w 4 4
Lady’s Not For Burning Christopher Fry Comedy Drama, 8m 3w 1 7
Leading Ladies Ken Ludwig Comedy 7 1
Lettice and Lovage Peter Shaffer Comedy 7 1
MacBeth Did It John Patrick Comedy 8
Maggie’s Getting Married Norm Foster Comedy, 3m 3f 7
Memory of Water Shelagh Stephenson Drama, some comic lines 5
Play Playwright Genre
 
 
 Maybe
Miracle on 34th Street Valentine Davies Comedy/drama 30m 7f 2 5
Moon Over Buffalo Ken Ludwig Comedy/farce 4m 5f 7 1
Moonlight & Valentino Ellen Simon Comedy 1 6
Mr Wonderful James Robson Comedy, 3-5m 2w 6 2
Night Must Fall Emlyn Williams Mystery Drama, 4m 5w 3 5
No Sex Please… A. Marriott & A. Foot British Farce 5m 4f 6 1
No Time Like the Present Ken Roggenkamp Comedy 2m f4
Nunsense Dan Goggin Musical comedy 5f 4 3 1
One Night Stand Carol Bolt Comedy-thriller 1m 2f 5 1
Peccadillo Garson Kanin Comedy 4m 2f
Play On Rick Abbot Comedy 3m 7w 1 2 1
Postmortem Noel Coward Thriller 4m 4f 7
Proof David Auburn Drama 2m 2f 6 1
Rabbit Hole David Lindsay-Abaire Drama 2m 3f  7  1
Renovations Elizabeth Elwood Comedy, 5m 4m 7 1
Return Engagements Bernard Slade Comedy 4m 4f 3 2
Rumors Neil Simon Farce 5m 5f 4 1 2
Running Riot Derek Benfield Farce 5m 4f 4 1 2
See How They Run Philip King Farce 6m 3f 1 5
Self-Help Norm Foster Comedy 1 5
Shadow of Murder Elizabeth Elwood Murder Mystery, 6m 8w 7 1
Shut Your Eyes and Think of England John Chapman & Anthony Marriott Farce 2 5 1
Sleuth Anthony Shaffer Mystery 5m (basically 2) 5 2
Snow White & 7 Dwarves James Barry Pantomime 8 0
Something’s Afoot J. McDonald, D. Vos & R. Gerlach Mystery Musical 6m 4f 1 3 1
Sprit Level Pam Valentine Comedy Drama, 3m 4w 8 0
Strange Bedfellows F Ryerson,C Clements Drama, 7m 11w 5 3
Taking Steps Alan Ayckbourn Comedy 4m 2f
The Brides of March John Chapman Farce 6 3
Play Playwright Genre
 
Maybe
The Fourth Wall: A One Act Play David Gurney Comedy 2m 2f 3 4
The Militants Norman Holland Drama, 5m 9w 5 3
The Perfect Murder Hugh Janes Mystery Drama, 8m 4w 6 2
The Saloonkeeper’s Daughter Jack Sharkey & Dave Reiser Musical Western Melodrama 7 1 1
This Must Be the Place ??? Farce 4m 5f 2 5
Three Musketeers Ken Ludwig Adventure 8m 4f  3 4
Tomb With a View A Norman Robbins Comedy-thriller 3 4
Transylvanian Clockworks Don Nigro Mystery, 4m 3f 1 5  1
Treasure Island ??? Adventure 1m 1f 4 3
Two Into One Ray Cooney Farce 1 5 3
Vincent in Brixton Nicholas Wright Drama 2m 3f 3 4
What the Bellhop Saw Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore Farce 4 3 1
Whole Lotto Love Kevin Land Comedy 1m 1f 2 3 2
Who’s Under Where? Marcia Kash Doug Hughes Farce 5m 2f 2 6
Witness for the Prosecution Agatha Christie Courtroom mystery 6 1
You Say Tomatoes Bernard Slade Comedy 2m 2f 5 3
Laura Murder Mystery 5m 3f 3 1
Hollywood Pinafore Musical 10m 10f 3 1
The Dixie Swim Club Comedy/Drama 4
The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue Comedy 5m 5f with doubling 4
The Witch in 204 Comedy/Farce 2m 6f 3

Selected Script Reviews and Synopses

Please click links to see more information.

Brilliant Traces

by Cindy Lou Johnson
Published by: Dramatists
Genre: Drama
Casting Requirements: 1man, 1 woman

The place is a remote cabin in the wilds of Alaska. As a blizzard rages outside, a lonely figure, Henry Harry, lies sleeping under a heap of blankets. Suddenly, he is awakened by the insistent knocking of an unexpected visitor—who turns out to be Rosannah DeLuce, a distraught young woman who has fled all the way from Arizona to escape her impending marriage, and who bursts into the cabin dressed in full bridal regalia. Exhausted, she throws herself on Henry’s mercy, but after sleeping for two days straight, her vigor—and combativeness—return. Both characters, it develops, have been wounded and embittered by life, and both are refugees from so-called civilization. Thrown together in the confines of the snowbound cabin, they alternately repel and attract each other as, in theatrically vivid exchanges, they explore the pain of the past and, in time, consider the possibilities of the present. In the end their very isolation proves to be the catalyst that allows them to break through the web of old griefs and bitter feelings that beset them both and to reach out for the solace and sanctuary that only hard-won understanding, self-awareness and compassion for the plight of others can bestow. (Dramatists)


Thumbs up or down? 6 , 1  

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Crossing Delancey

by Susan Sandler
Published by: Samuel French
Genre: Comedy
Casting Requirements: 2 men, 3 women

Isabel is a modern young woman who lives alone and works in a book shop. When she is not pining after a handsome author, she is visiting her grandmother in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This delightfully nosey old lady and her friend the matchmaker have found a “good catch” for Isabel Sam, the handsome pickle vendor. The end of the play is really a beginning, ripe with possibilities for Isabel and Sam.


Thumbs up or down? 6 , 1  

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Postmortem

by Ken Ludwig
Published by: Samuel French
Casting Requirements: 4 men, 4 women

This clever thriller by the author of Lend Me a Tenor and Sullivan & Gilbert has delighted audiences nationwide. Actor manager and playwright William Gillette, best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in his hugely successful adaptation of Conan Doyle a popular play available from Samuel French, has invited his sister and the cast of his latest revival of the play for a weekend at his magnificent pseudo medieval castle on a bluff overlooking the Connecticut River. For entertainment Gillette has arranged a seance. Now the scene is set for his greatest role. Someone is trying to murder William Gillette and he suspects it is one of his guests. Intrepid, eccentric Gillette plans to solve the case himself a la Sherlock Holmes.


Thumbs up or down?

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Dancing at Lughnasa

by Brian Friel
Published by: Dramatists
Genre: Drama
Casting Requirements: 3 men, 5 women

Winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Broadway Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Chosen by Time magazine as one of the ten best plays for 1991, saying it is “The most elegant and rueful memory play since The Glass Menagerie.” Widely regarded as Brian Friel’s masterpiece, this extraordinary play is the story of five unmarried sisters, one with a young son, eking out their lives in a small village in Ireland in l936. It is the time of the festival of Lughnasa, which celebrates the pagan god of the harvest with drunken revelry and dancing. Their spare existence is interrupted by brief, colorful bursts of music from the radio, their only link to the romance and hope of the world at large. When the sisters finally dance to a wild, pagan Irish tune, they embody the core of the human spirit that cannot be vanquished by time or loss, or fully expressed in language. (Dramatists)


Thumbs up or down? 8

Committee Comments

Darlene Till: “Loved it! Meaty parts for women.”
Laura Hames: “Wonderful play, lovely parts – especially the five women. Great atmosphere, interesting characters & interactions. Well written, interesting – you really care about each person. Might be hard to do the accents.”
Graham Dowden: “Five strong female roles, very touching play, realistically sad (i.e., Irish), therefore not a major crowd pleaser.”
Christine Newsome: “A great play with universal themes. All the roles are rewarding and well developed. Irish accents might be a problem, and they are necessary for this (or at least an Irish-ish lilt).”
Doug Wickers: “Single set, though some technical challenges for outdoor scene. Title not known, marketing challenge.”
Joan Hogan: “I loved this play…poignant story…wonderfully colourful character roles for both sexes. Good age variation. Con is finding five women who can speak with an Irish accent and a man who can speak with a Welsh accent. ”
Graham Archer: “Very strong characters. Well written, powerful sections. Great energy required. Could be visually stunning. Might be a tough sell, but it would be worth it. The set might prevent it from being a festival piece.”
Judy Hill: “Cons: accents would either have to be perfect of just Canadian with a feel for the cadences. Pro: wonderful female roles, pretty good ones for men. ”

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Leading Ladies

By Ken Ludwig
Published by: Samuel French
Genre: Comedy
Casting Requirements: 5 men, 3 women

In this hilarious comedy by the author of LEND ME A TENOR and MOON OVER BUFFALO, two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing “Scenes from Shakespeare” on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements abound, especially when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady’s vivacious niece, Meg, who’s engaged to the local minister. Meg knows that there’s a wide world out there, but it’s not until she meets “Maxine and Stephanie” that she finally gets a taste of it. (Samuel French)


Thumbs up or down? 7 , 1

Committee’s Comments

Graham Dowden — Lots of levels, very clever, very funny, breakneck pace at times, likeable characters. Lots of good roles and roles-within-roles for the male characters. Would be a real crowd pleaser.
Darlene Till — Cons: fluff, absolute fluff. Pros: funny, charming, upbeat. I enjoyed it. I think the cast would have lots of fun with this one and so the audience would too.
Joan Hogan — It’s a typical farce and probably will do well with the Chilliwack audience. I wasn’t blown away by this play, but we have had success with Ludwig’s plays in the past. Could be expensive to stage with three different sets and lots of costumes.
Christine Newsome — Needs skilled acting and direction, but this play is a great, lively, fun, ensemble piece. It has great parts for energetic actors, especially the two men, Jack and Leo, who must play reasonable convincing women for a large chunk of the play. set in the 50’s, this play would be fun to design sets and costumes for as well. This is the type of play the Guild does well.
Graham Archer — Funny script, could be hilarious. Maybe hard to cast.
Judy Hill — Only two female parts (one other small one) but terrific parts for two guys. Same bright sparkle as MOON OVER BUFFALO, but funnier dialogue. Good title.
Laura Hames — Not very original. I found it hard to finish, seemed “tired”. Predictable and boring.

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Lettice and Lovage

By Peter Shaffer
Published by: Samuel French Genre: Comedy Casting Requirements: 2 men, 3 women, extras
Lettice Duffet, an expert on Elizabethan cuisine and medieval weaponry, is an indefatigable enthusiast of history and the theatre. She is a tour guide at Fustian House one of the least stately and least interesting of Britain’s stately homes. Lettice begins to embellish its historical past and her lecture gains theatricality and romance as it strays from the facts. Lotte Schon, an inspector from the Preservation Trust, is not impressed or entertained by these uninhibited history lessons. She fires Lettice, but gradually becomes fascinated by her unusual past, her romantic world view and her refusal to accept the mediocre and the second rate. The two women forge an alliance to awaken their fellow citizens to the dreariness of modern life. This hit by the author of Equus and Amadeus featured a triumphant performance by Dame Maggie Smith in London and on Broadway. (Samuel French)


Thumbs up or down? 7 , 1

Committee’s Comments

Darlene Till — Con: could be too silly, the things the two women get up to. Pro: moves along quite nicely; believable and likeable characters; happy ending Laura Hames — Con: perhaps a bit static? Would have to be really well directed. Pro: good parts for two women and one man (and a smaller part for a woman). Clever, interesting. The two main characters are funny and real. Judy Hill — Con: three acts — could Acts 2 and 3 be combined? Elaborate set — could larger pieces be faked?
Pro: characters lots of fun, even the man. Sparking dialogue.
Joan Hogan — The play is long at three hours (counting two intermissions). Although the play largely revolves around the two lead roles, there are two [interesting] supporting roles. Would have to be well cast…entertaining and funny and has a message which might be appreciated by the older generation, of trying to keep up with the fast-changing times. I think it would be well received in Chilliwack.
Doug Wickers — Because the central staircase must be visually different from one act to the next, that will be a challenge. Great roles for women.
Christine Newsome — A great play with fabulous roles for two older women (as a matter of fact, almost the whole cast is older!). It’s challenging piece, would require a very competent director and lead actresses. Lots of theatrical and literary references that may be over the heads of many of our theatre goers, but I’d love to see us try this one — if not as a regular offering, then as a festival piece!
Graham Archer — Two glorious women’s parts. Cleverly written. Set would be a little complicated. Good festival piece.
Graham Dowden. Pro: two reasonable meaty roles for women in mid-life. Con: starts off well, but degenerates into a flat and uninteresting melodrama with predictable values: imagination is good; conformity is bad. The events of Acts 2 and 3 lack real suspense or dramatic force. The final act, with its bogus lawsuit, is particularly weak, as in, “what was that all about?”

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Witness for the Prosecution

By Agatha Christie

Published by: Samuel French
Genre: Drama
Casting Requirements: 24 men (can be reduced to 10), 6 women (can be reduced to 5)

A young married man spends many evenings with a rich old woman. When she is found murdered, the naive young man is the chief suspect. The testimony of his wife is expected to result in an acquittal, but there are twists abound.

Thumbs up or down? 6 up, 1 wishy-washy


Thumbs up or down? 6 , 1 wishy-washy

Committee Comments

Laura Hames — Con: too many men, not enough women — perhaps some roles could be changed?
Christine Newsome — …the surprise ending seemed hammy and over- theatrical [but] would have the audience gasping. I enjoyed the plot, which did keep me guessing…meaty roles for both genders. Some of the dialogue grates as un-politically correct…could be removed without affecting the impact. Judy Hill — Con: three acts, but last act is short and might be combinable with Act 2.
Pro: snappy, interesting. Crowd pleaser.
Darlene Till — Pro: I really liked it. Lots of surprises Con: Not too much, other than that the actors would have to take themselves very seriously, otherwise the play might be comedic.
Doug Wickers — Con: large cast with only three female speaking roles. Elaborate set. Pro: Author and play title marketable.
Joan Hogan — Excellent script…a good play for the Guild.
Graham Archer — Pro: lots of parts, some of them good character studies. Good twist at the end. Con: lots of parts, need a lot of bodies that don’t have much to do. Wordy, not much action. Dates, lacks some punch in today’s CSI scene.

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I Hate Hamlet

By Paul Rudnick

Published by: Dramatists
Genre: Comedy
Casting Requirements: 3 men, 3 women

A young and successful television actor relocates to New York, where he rents a marvelous, gothic apartment. With his television career in limbo, the actor is offered the opportunity to play Hamlet onstage, but there’s one problem: He hates Hamlet. His dilemma deepens with the entrance of John Barrymore’s ghost, who arrives intoxicated and in full costume to the apartment that once was his. The contrast between the two actors, the towering, dissipated Barrymore whose Hamlet was the greatest of his time, and Andrew Rally, hot young television star, leads to a wildly funny duel over women, art, success, duty, television, and yes, the apartment. (Dramatists)


Thumbs up or down?  5, 1 so-so

Committee Comments

Graham Archer — Very funny, good characters, touching moments. Could be a lot of fun.
Christine Newsome — Fun, with lots of meaty roles. However, there are very high production values…set, costumes, lighting, special effects — it may be too rich for the Guild’s blood. Some of it could perhaps be eliminated, but much is needed to pull off the “magical” aspects of the show.
Laura Hames — Six great roles. Funny, endearing — each characters is interesting and well thought out. Could be predictable and caricature-ish but it isn’t. Well written and would be fun to do — great set.
Judy Hill — Terrific characters and dialogue. Catchy title, good sized cast. Nice older woman part, and Barrymore could be pretty much any age. Important to stage it in the present, when the norm is for women to sleep with their boyfriends. Otherwise lead male comes across less sympathetically. Graham Dowden — This is a terrific play! Very funny dialogue…a comedy with real heart. Uplifting but not preachy, funny but not shallow. Should delight any audience.
Doug Wickers — Difficult set and properties (suit of amour, globe ‘bar’). Small gender-balanced cast. Shakespearean costumes likely available from UCFV. Joan Hogan — I didn’t care for this play. I didn’t find it funny and thought the premise…unbelievably silly. It would require two very strong male characters to carry off the lead roles, could also be expensive with an elaborate set and costumes.

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The Memory of Water

by Shelagh Stephenson
Published by: Dramatists
Genre: Drama
Casting Requirements: 2 men, 4 women

The Globe and Mail describes THE MEMORY OF WATER as “both gloriously funny and deeply felt…Indeed, THE MEMORY OF WATER is so funny that is appears at first to be pure black comedy, with the newly bereaved sisters indulging wildly in witty bickering and dope-induced dress-ups…Their quarrels over the funeral arrangements, their well-worn family roles, their unsatisfactory men and their mixed memories of a highly feminine working- class mother are hilarious…In THE MEMORY OF WATER, [Shelagh Stephenson] skillfully charts the joyous and painful territory of family relationships with insight and compassion.”


Thumbs up or down? 5

Committee Comments

Judy Hill — Con: none. Pro: sparkling dialogue, terrific characters (especially the female roles), single set (could be quite minimal, I think). Good pace, very interesting.
Darlene Till — Pro: witty; well paced; complex characters; realistic slice of life. Con: could be a tad dreary
Laura Hames — Good roles for all 6 characters – funny, interesting, poignant, fairly easy set, costumes, props, etc.
Graham Dowden — Pro: strong play, sharp dialogue, clear characters, important issues. Three excellent parts for women. Excellent black comedy…and yet, is it strong enough to be popular enough? Festival piece maybe. Con: some dope smoking and a bit of foul language, nothing serious. Graham Archer — Good script, believable characters and dialogue. A little dark at times.

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Enchanted April

by Matthew Barber
Published by: Dramatists
Genre: Drama
Casting Requirements: 2 men, 5 women

When two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak marriages, they recruit two very different English women to share the cost and the experience. There, among the wisteria blossoms and Mediterranean sunshine, all four bloom again—rediscovering themselves in ways that they—and we—could never have expected.(Dramatists)


Thumbs up or down? 6 , 1

Committee Comments

Verna Clarke — A good play, particularly for women. Good age range for our group. Enchanting story. The Italian parts can be overcome.
Judy Hill — I laughed. I cried. I loved it. Pro: great characters, lovely writing, good pace, wonderful costumes, interesting set, not too difficult. Title is a recognized name and we’d get lots of women to come. Lovely spring production. Con: predictable, but who cares?
Christine Newsome — A beautifully written play with great parts for all the characters, particularly the women. It has some challenges with the set, but this is not insurmountable. I’d love to see the Guild do this.
Graham Archer — Probably a good festival piece. Good roles throughout. Different ages. Bit of a “chick flick”.
Graham D. — Pro: Strong characters, will be appealing to theatre-goers who saw and loved the movie. “positive resolution of problems”. Con: potential theatre-goers might think, “Oh, I saw the movie already”. For my money, a very mawkish, highly predictable “enchanted ending” with not a loose thread to be found anywhere. Cloyingly sentimental.
Laurie James — Too many scene changes, not enough friction between characters. Lots of Italian dialogue — how could you ensure audience understands?
Jim Servizi — I saw the play in Feb/05 at the Stanley Theatre. Delightful, appealing and should be seriously considered by the CPG. The play was also a marked success at San Jose Repertory Theatre in California in the past year.

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No Sex Please, We’re British

by Anthony Marriott & Alistair Foot
Published by: Samuel French
Genre: Comedy
Casting Requirements: 6 men, 4 women

Newlywed banker and his wife are inundated with pornography, due to error on the part of the wife. They’re beset by unwanted guests, and the action is non-stop as they attempt to correct the mistake, involving the husband’s mother, the district manager, an auditor, clerk, police inspector, and two call- girls.


Thumbs up or down? 6 , 1

Committee Comments

Judy Hill — I laughed out loud at the classic farce dialogue — not just the double entendres, but the repeated lines, hysterical gabbling and so on. Much in and out of doors, but no really elaborate sight gags except for the hatch (one of my two “cons”). I’d expected the script to be dated, but it didn’t seem to be to me. Weak ending (the other “con”), but OK. It was less funny than I thought when we read it out loud, but maybe we were just tired…
Stan Dahl — Most comedies have a scene of mass hysteria and confusion — this one has two acts of it! Although the premise may be dated, this play should fill the seats and leave most adult audiences clutching their stomachs when departing the theatre. Quite do-able by the Guild.
Laurie James — Category of farce is too outdated to be funny in 2005. Glen Pinchin — This is a hilarious play that may run the risk of being a little risqué for some. It is lots of fun, although I found the ending a bit weak. Verna Clarke — Pros: simple lighting. Cons: Lots of props, lots of special effects. Costumers required backstage.
Graham Dowden — Pro: Very well known farce, slick, funny, full of situation gags and bits of comic timing.
Con: The only drawback might be that it is so well known. Potential audiences might say, “Oh, that again?”

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Anne of Green Gables

By Donald Harron & Norman Campbell

Publisher: Samuel French
Style: Musical
Acts: 2
Characters: 6 men, 10 women, 6 boys, 7 girls

Synopsis: Classic tale of Anne set as a musical (the music is un-reviewed).

Committee Comments

David: Everyone knows the story and it would be a good crowd pleaser. Lots of characters; funny and entertaining. Lots of scene and costume changes. Barb: Part of Canadian heritage.
Verna: Large & varied cast; different talent requirements; popular play. Requires large back stage crew and maybe costly to stage.
Yvonne: A very busy show in every way; large cast; delightful.
Mary: Well known and recognizable; lots of variety in ages of characters; very clear plot. Elaborate sets & costumes; need to choose cast carefully.
Rae: Well known story. The play works well in the east – will it work as well in the west?
Ray: Needs special attention with experienced Director and musically talented cast.

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Hindle Wakes

By Stanley Houghton
Publisher: Hereford Plays
Style: Drama
Acts: 3
Characters: 4 men, 5 women

Synopsis: Hindle is a cotton mill town in Lancashire, England. Alan is the son of a mill owner and has spent a weekend away with Fanny, the daughter of the leading mill hand (and Union Steward). He is already engaged to Bea, the daughter of another mill owner. The plot revolves around discussions about whether Alan should marry Fanny or Bea. A classic battle of rich/poor lifestyles.

Committee Comments

David: Very funny and simple to stage. Complex Lancashire dialect used which may be too difficult for local audience to understand.
Barb: Good for small theatre. Dialect difficulty.
Verna: Easy to stage; intellectually stimulating. Challenging dialect which local audience may not understand.
Yvonne: I found it out dated and boring.
Mary: Accents a must; complex set changes; too dated; rather dull.
Ray: Would need a re-write to understand; found it boring.

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Ladies in Retirement

by Edward Percy & Reginald Denham
Publisher: Warner Chappell Classics
Style: Mystery drama
Acts: 3
Characters: 1 men, 6 women

Synopsis: Miss Fiske, an old spinster lives with her housekeeper, Ellen. Ellen brings her two (slightly mad) sisters to live with them. Miss Fiske grows tired of them and wants them to leave. Ellen plots to get the house and keep the sisters. Miss Fiske disappears. Her nephew, Albert, himself a shady character, arrives and works out what might have happened to his Aunt and tries to get the house for himself.

Committee Comments

David: Simple set; small cast; great dialogues; easy to stage. Heavy on props. Barb: Boring.
Verna: Delightfully engrossing story. Difficult language; requires large crew for set, props and costumes.
Yvonne: Very fast moving; subtle mystery plot.
Mary: Recognized title; not often done; good, eccentric roles; challenging for actors. Some set pieces may be difficult to replicate if pace is poor – play will drag.
Rae: Well layed out. Audience may have difficulty keeping up with the many sub-plots; long with a weak ending.
Ray: An actor’s tour-de-force. Audience may not appreciate as much.

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Anastasia

by Marcelle Maurette (adapted by Guy Bolton)
Publisher:
Samuel French
Style: Drama
Acts: 3
Characters: 8 men, 5 women

Synopsis: Three Russian men trying to access money left by the deceased Tzar by trying to prove a woman they have discovered in an asylum is Anastasia, the living daughter of the Tzar and heir to the family fortune. The plot is a hoax but there is great dialogue in negotiations.

Committee Comments

David: Simple set; excellent characterizations; great plot & dialogue. Difficulty with accents; elaborate costumes.
Barb: Recognizable name.
Verna: A delicious mystery.
Yvonne: Historically interesting and a well worn story.
Mary: Well written script; interesting characters. Difficult and costly costumes.
Rae: Limited set changes. The myth has now been disproved since the discovery of the Romanov graves and remains of all family members including Anastasia.
Ray: Only one set with variation of furniture.

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The Militants

by Norman Holland
Publisher: Samuel French
Style: Drama (Historical/Comedy)
Acts: 3
Characters: 5 men, 9 women

Synopsis: Set in 1908 at the time of the Suffragettes movement – trying to get votes for Women. The Mayor of a town and MP Elect, a politician who is opposed to women having the vote, is horrified to learn that 4 women in his household are part of the suffrage movement and that his wife is one of the local leaders. The plot centers around the conflicts which arise with the Mayor and his drinking buddies on one side and the women on the other.

Committee Comments

David: Good dialogue; some humour; easy to stage – only one set. Limited appeal.
Barb: Interesting & fast paced; gets the message across but not too dramatic or high & righteous regarding the suffragette cause.
Verna: Very educational and well written with good plot effect. Controversial topic.
Yvonne: The story may be too old. But, despite the fact it may seem somewhat extreme there are lessons to be learned from the play.
Mary: Clever script; somewhat over the top characters; concise play – not too long. Characters could become characatures unless played straight and period prejudices come across properly.
Rae: Manageable number of actors with minimal quick changes. Predictability early in play; some inappropriate language.
Ray: An easy set to stage.

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The Perfect Murder

by Hugh James (based on story by Jeffrey Archer)
Publisher:
Samuel French
Style: Drama – Murder/Mystery
Acts: 2
Characters: 8 men, 4 women

Synopsis: John confesses to his wife that he has killed his lover but she helps him cover up the crime, even to the point of allowing another innocent man to be convicted. The courtroom scene seeks to establish the truth and there is a twist at the end.

Committee Comments

David: Easy to stage using 2 sets & effective lighting; small cast; intriguing plot with a great twist at end. Lack of humour; some inappropriate language; similar to ‘Witness For The Prosecution’.
Barb: You think you know how it will end but all is not what it seems. Similar to Witness for the Prosecution but different enough to consider in a few years. Verna: Good engrossing story; interesting technical effects; affordable to produce. Not suitable for children; need (min) 3 strong actors.
Mary: Interesting plot with twists at end; a few clues given throughout. A lot of procedural detail in the police station and court; tricky lighting and sets. Rae: Great pace; suspense kept to the end. Large amount of dialogue for main characters.
Ray: Too much like Witness for the Prosecution; too many scene changes; too similar to many TV programs; little entertainment value.

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Night Must Fall

by Emlyn Williams
Publisher: Bibliobazaar
Style: Drama – Muder/mystery
Acts: 3
Characters: 4 men, 5 women
Synopsis: Set in an old lady’s house; a murder has taken place nearby. A former servant (Dan) at the decead person’s house comes to work for the old lady. Lots of discussions between the characters and then the old lady is murdered. Dan is discovered to be the murderer.

Committee Comments

David: Simple scene setting; some good dialogue. No humour to make the plot more appealing; could be perceived as boring.
Barb: Elaborate set which would show off the building team’s talent. Easy to figure out who the murderer was; didn’t understand the purpose of the intro; confusing, jumping between characters; bizarre; hard to follow and not interesting.
Verna: story keeps the audience guessing. Good staging and direction needed; interesting light and sound effects.
Yvonne: Good intriguing mystery requiring good character acting – especially Dan.
Mary: Well written; good timing throughout; suspenseful; impending doom feeling. Smoking required which would have to be dealt with.
Rae: Long play which stalls in places.
Ray: A good Victorian costume piece with good dialogue. Not to my taste.

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Mr. Wonderful

by James Robson
Publisher: Samuel French
Style: Comedy
Acts: 2
Characters: 3-5 men, 2 women

Synopsis: A 40-something spinster, Norma, living with her bed-ridden mother uses a dating agency to find a man for a long-term relationship. The play depicts 3 dates. The mother lives vicariously through her daughter but does not want her to find true happiness. One man wins the daughter over and they go away for a romantic rendezvous but the mother discovers a phone left behind and, by scrolling through the messages discovers that this man is a professional Romeo. When she returns home the mother tells Norma of her finding and Norma is able to effect a suitable revenge.

Committee Comments

David: Very funny; relatively easy to stage. Quite a lot of course/vulgar language.
Verna: This would make a good TV show, or small theatre production; inexpensive to produce. Requires strong acting skills from main characters. Yvonne: Cheap quality with bad language not up to usual Guild standards. Mary: Well written; good fun parts. Some accents required and role of Norma is a very demanding one.
Rae: Small stage production only.
Ray: Fun; great play with good actors. Not for children.
Ross: A funny play but with lots of blue humour. Maybe too risqué for Guild.

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Snow White & The 7 Dwarves

by James Barry

Publisher: Lazybee Scripts
Style: Pantomime
Acts: 2
Characters: 2 men, 5 women, 7 boys/girls

Synopsis: Typical Snow White story set as a pantomime with lots of humorous dialogue and action plus many song opportunities.

Committee Comments

David: Hilarious family fun. Perfect for a Guild production.
Barb: A well known & loved story. The Guild has done pantos with mixed reviews/audience attendance.
Verna: Guild has done well with pantos in the holiday season. Requires major backstage crew; utilizes lots of young people; costly to produce. Yvonne: Lots of costumes and special effects/sets; a child’s play. Mary: Elaborate but fun costuming. Lots of reference to height of dwarves; quite a few special effects.
Rae: Family oriented. Small theatre?
Ray: In need of a small, intimate theatre. The paly is for children with endless fun.

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Hobson’s Choice

by Harold Brighouse
Publisher: Heineman Plays
Style: Comedy Drama
Acts: 4
Characters: 7 men, 5 women

Synopsis: Set in Salford, England, Henry Hobson runs a shoemaking business with his 3 daughters, the eldest of which, Maggie, is the real brains behind the business. Henry wants to marry off his daughters but baulks when he finds he has to provide dowries. Maggie decides to marry her father’s workman, Will, and set up her own store in competition. By doing so she helps her sisters come to terms with what they each want in life. Henry is initially upset but then comes to terms with the situation and resolves the family feud.

Committee Comments

David: Easy to stage; very comedic and great characters. Need to pay attention to dialogue to fully appreciate.
Barb; A so-so read and not a play I would go and see.
Verna: Very funny but somewhat dated. Stylized language which may be difficult to understand.
Yvonne: Great character acting. Three sets difficult to do.
Mary: Interesting dialogue. Quite long – pacing is extremely important or play will drag.
Rae: Independent women; shows what determination can do.
Ray: Cannot see it grabbing enough people’s attention.

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Strange Bedfellows

by Florence Ryerson & Colin Clements

Publisher: Samuel French
Style: Comedy Drama
Acts: 3
Characters: 6 men, 9 women, 1 boy, 2 girls

Synopsis: Story of a family at time of women’s suffrage movement (late 19th Century) and the politics of men-vs-women. A problem arises when the son of a Senator (and a politician himself) brings home his new wife – who, unknowst to him, happens to be a leader of the suffrage movement. The plot ivolves a lot of gamesmanship as one side tries to outmaneuver the other. All is resolved in the end as each comes to appreciate the other’s point of view.

Committee Comments

David: Humorous; a good plot with a single set. Some odd dialogue which audience may not understand.
Barb: Would do well as a Guild production.
Verna: A good read.
Yvonne: Many costumes required; large prop requirement.
Mary: Good dialogue; good pace; delightful characters.
Rae: Needs to be updated; discriminating towards some cultures. Ray: Not modern enough or old enough to capture people to fill a theatre.

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The Lady’s Not For Burning

by Christopher Fry
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Style: Drama/Comedy
Acts: 3
Characters: 8 men, 3 women

Synopsis: Set in 1400, Thomas wants to be hanged for crimes he says he committed. Janet is charged with being a witch. They are both at the Mayor’s house pleading their cases and their stories become intertwined. The dialogue is almost Shakespaerian.

Committee Comments

David: Comedic in parts. Long speaking passeges; generally boring. Barb: The speech is fast paced and quite funny but difficult to follow. May work for limited audience.
Verna: Poetic style not to my liking.
Yvonne: Would not engage a general audience.
Mary: Classic; funny. Wordy; needs great pacing.
Rae: Could be updated but still do not feel the humour will carry the play. Ray: Seems too fast; not enough time to take it all in; do not enjoy the prejudices of the common people in this type of drama.

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Casting For Murder

by Elizabeth Elwood

Publisher: Elihu Entertainment
Style: Murder Mystery
Acts: 3
Characters: 4 men, 4 women

Synopsis: A group of actors are having an end of performance party at the island home of one of the cast. One person has a shady past in that he murdered his parents for money. Now he is plotting to kill his cousin (another member of the cast) for more money. The plot is discovered and thwarted but there is a twist at the end in that the cousin is also plotting against him.

Committee Comments

David: Small cast; easy to stage. Lack of comedy; slightly boring. Barb: Only 1 set; local setting. Suitable for small theatre.
Verna: Our audiences like mysteries. This seems better suited to TV as the details must be shared to hold the audience and could easily be lost with a large audience.
Mary: Popular genre; current & local writer. Similar to a lot of “Christie” plays.
Rae: One set; locations familiar to local audience.
Ray: Not suitable for large stage setting.
Ross: Better than “Shadow of Murder”.

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Renovations

by Elizabeth Elwood
Publisher: Elihu Entertainment
Style: Comedy
Acts: 3
Characters: 5 men, 4 women

Synopsis: A house is being renovated to accommodate an aging Mother. Father has died leaving ;lots of money to Penelope (homeowner) and her overbearing sister Marjorie (both married). Documents come to light to indicate Father had another (legal) wife and 2 more daughters. Possible cjhallenge to the inheritance. However, a fraud is detected in that the supposed legal first marriage never happened. Disaster is averted. Lots of twists in the story.

Committee Comments

David: Great characters; very funny; easy to stage.
Barb: Maybe good for small stage.
Verna: Don’t think it would appeal to our audiences.
Yvonne: Good entertainment.
Mary: Local setting; fairly easy set, props and costumes; not just a ‘run of the mill’ story. Lots of dialogue and Director will have to ensure pace keeps moving; strong leads needed.
Rae: Keeps suspense to the end of the play.
Ray: Fairly funny with lots of side plots.
Ross: An intriguing comedy.

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Shadow of Murder

by Elizabeth Elwood
Publisher: Elihu Entertainment
Style: Murder Mystery
Acts: 2
Characters: 6 men, 8 women

Synopsis: The setting is a hunting lots at which there are lots of guests. A serial killer has escaped from prison and he murdered people connected with the lodge 20+ years ago. He may now be coming looking for others with that connection. Then two people are killed and the police are delayed by a snow storm. When the police finally arrive the real murderer is revealed, but not before there are several more twists in the plot.

Committee Comments

David: Easy to stage with only one set; lots of interesting dialogue; complex story plot. No humour.
Barb: It keeps you guessing right to the end.
Verna: Too many false identities.
Yvonne: Fast moving; intriguing who dunnit; good variety of characters. Mary: Local writer; “Christie-ish” with plot twists. Some may feel it’s an overdone genre.
Ray: A tour de force with one heck of an ending.
Ross: A poor man’s “Mousetrap”.

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Spirit Level

by Pam Valentine
Publisher: Bryan Drew Ltd
Style: Comedy Drama
Acts: 2
Characters: 3 men, 4 women

Synopsis: A writer and his wife have drowned and are now ghosts haunting the cottage they owned. An estate agent (realtor) rents the cottage to a young couple – coincidentally another writer and his wife (who is pregnant). The ghosts interact with the couple to make them stay, write a book and deal with the ‘Mother-in-Law’. The dead couple were turned away at the Pearly Gates because of his aetheist views but after they help the young couple and their new baby then everyone “lives” happily ever after.

Committee Comments

David: Simple set with no changes; hilarious dialogue and staging; a wonderful story; huge thumbs up and highly recommended.
Barb: I loved this play.
Verna: A small fun play with a limited cast makes it ideal for the small stage. Yvonne: Great, simple, interesting story with good character definitions. Mary: Current; easy costumes; some tricky effects with the ghosts but not too hard; good character roles. Reminiscent of “Blythe Spirit”; fairly small cast. Rae: Appropriate for Fall/Christmas production.
Ray: With good comedy actors this would be a brilliant piece with a lot of fun for audiences.

 

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Laura

5 men/3 women – 1940’s.

Murder mystery

Prop concern as cane comes apart to be a gun.

Lots of smoking which could be an issue but common for time frame.

It’s a known name.

The pacing was good.


Thumbs up or down? 3  1 maybe

 

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Hollywood Pinafore

Musical

10 men/10 women – 1945

Silly/fun/comical. Music well known (HMS Pinafore music just new words).

Don’t need another HMS Pinafore

Costuming lots of bits and pieces. Small set changes. No offensive language.

Need a good frenetic pace. Publicity to help with ID of important people from 1940’s Hollywood


Thumbs up or down? 3  1  

 

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The Dixie Swim Club

Comedy/Drama

5 Women

Good for Rotary Hall. Definitely geared for female audience

Set changes minor but hair and make up you would need good back stage crew to age the characters.

Well written with time allotted for adjustment of hair and makeup


Thumbs up or down? 4  

 

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The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue

Comedy

5 Men/5 Women with doubling

Way too wordy. Dialogue long and boring.

Good for period costuming and set design.

Cliché’s, racial slurs (p44) Very much white Hollywood.


Thumbs up or down? 0  , 4 

 

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The Witch in 204

Comedy/Farce

2 men/6 females – good cast size

Fun and sort of cute, one found it boring

Good age for casting from the Guild

Easy to costume


Thumbs up or down? 3  
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