WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF? (C) 4M 6F
Farcical Comedy. 2M 6F.
JULIUS CAXTON: cunning, excitable, greedy; 50. PHILIP HAYLING: attractive, easy-going; 23. JANE HAYLING: sparkling, irresistible; 45. CATHERINE HAYLING: friendly, attractive, eccentric; 45. SUSAN: a maid, belligerent; ancient. FIONA RENSHAW: exotic; lovely; 25.
Although surrounded by valuable antiques, JANE and CATHERINE live in debt, for the late husband of both ladies, BASIL HAYLING left house and property to them, stipulating that they were both to live there but could not sell any of it. BASIL'S sister has just left a spray of emeralds in her will. If they prove valuable, all their debts can be paid. Unfortunately, JANE giddily accepts deposits on the emeralds from too many people and can only hold them at bay by inventing a third owner for them - a SENHORA CONCHITA ELVAS - whom she then impersonates. As debts and troubles increase, she even accepts a deposit on CATHERINE'S son, rashly promising his hand in marriage to glamorous and enamoured FIONA RENSHAW. They all spend some merry moments solving this almost inextricable tangle.
Comedy. M3 F5 A Living-room
BRIGADIER RAYNE: distinguished, well-mannered; elderly. DETECTIVE SERGEANT PAPE: pleasant-looking; young. P.C. KEMP: dour; middle aged. DAME BEATRICE: vital, mercurial; late middle-age. NANETTE PARRY: gaunt, enthusiastic, deep-voiced; middle-aged. ALICE, LADY MILLER: elegant, late middle-age. ELIZABETH HATFIELD: thin, bird-like; indeterminate age. LILY THOMPSON: cheery, practical, slightly cockney; 20+
DAME BEATRICE houses a collection of middle-aged 'guests', but the real head of the household is her maid. To repay DAME BEATRICE for giving her a job despite her criminal past, LILY presents her with a mink stole filched from the next flat. The BRIGADIER deploys his 'troops' to return the fur. Indeed, the whole campaign is so invigorating that they are all determined to retain this excitement in their lives by forming a syndicate to steal furs and give their profits to DAME BEATRICE'S favourite charities. There are some sticky moments, but they continue with their gentle larceny until LILY, mistrustful of their amateurish, makes them promise never to touch another fur. But life is so flat after the police depart. Perhaps they cannot steal furs but ............
Comedy 4M 7F.
BRIGADIER RAYNE: distinguished, elderly. TED: a policeman, gullible, young. MIKE: Irish, a silver-tongued rougue; 20s. CHRIS: ferrety, crooked; middle-aged. ALICE, LADY MILLER: elegant; middle-aged. NANETTE PARRY: gaunt, enthusiastic; middle-aged. ELIZABETH HATFIELD: bird-like; indeterminate age. DAME BEATRICE APPLEBY: vital, mercurial; late middle-age. LILY THOMPSON: cheery, practical, cockney; 20s. MADAME CHAMBERT: smart, brusque; 40. DETECTIVE INSPECTOR (MISS) WILSON: pleasant, brisk; 30. The amiable aristocratic crooks of BREATH OF SPRING are at it again. BRIGADIER RAYNE deploys his charity campaigns with military expertise but little monetary success until NAN is passed a mink coat by a crook on the run. This inspires BRIGADIER RAYNE and his cohorts to become modern Robin Hoods, and soon they are running a meticulously organised receiving system for stolen furs, giving all their profits to charity. Gradually, operations become more and more dangerous. Finally, with the house full of furs, hidden in musical-instrument cases 'borrowed' from the Albert Hall, and a police inspector making enquiries, they decide to retire - temporarily.
Comedy. M2 F8 (some female roles may be doubled) A drawing room
BEE: charming, with tremendous vitality; late middle age. HATTIE: timid, bird-like; late middle age. NAN gaunt, deep-voiced; late middle age. BRIGADIER: military bearing, charming but can be irascible; mid 70s. MRS MALBOROUGH: forbidding, untidy; middle aged. BLANCHE: ingratiatingly confidential but sharp; 30s. MRS SEYMOUR WILLIAMS: stern, forthright; elderly. MAXIME: pretty,American; late middle age. MRS AHMED: any age.This eagerly awaited sequel to BREATH OF SPRING and MIDSUMMER MINK sees DAME BEATRICE - and her lodgers NAN, HATTIE and the BRIGADIER - although well into the autumn of their lives, spurred on by the plight of their equally autumnal but homeless friends to embark on a series of 'operations' to acquire funds to purchase a flat. Their complicated but well-planned manoeuvres, involving kidnapped dogs, cruises on the Royal Yacht, pop stars and Arab ladies, succeed so well that by the end of this gentle comedy they are well on their way to obtaining a second flat, proving, as BEE says that in their case age certainly isn't limiting!
Comedy. F7 M2 non-speaking. A Drawing-room.
BEE: bubbling personality, enthusiastic; elderly. DOLORES: extrovert, flamboyant, slight cockney accent; 25. NAN: awkward, gruff manner but very kind; elderly. HATTIE: small, sweet, highly-strung; old. BRIGADIER: military bearing and manner, stickler for routine, great charm; elderly. MRS HONEYWELL: homely, middle-aged.
MRS COYLE: bad-tempered, odd-looking, inconsiderate; old. FAY, very theatrical, exuberant, faded beauty with traces of grandeur; elderly. SERGEANT WALLER, BERT: non-speaking.
In WINTER GLORY, we meet once again the redoubtable quartet of DAME BEATRICE and her lodgers - NAN, HATTIE and the BRIGADIER - who featured in PETER COKE'S earlier comedies BREATH OF SPRING, MIDSUMMER MINK and AUTUMN MANOEUVRES. This, however, will be positively their last appearance, as due to an unfortunate slip-up in their schemes to put a pathetic pet out of its misery and to help an ageing actress fade away at a peak of happiness, they despatch themselves heavenwards as well!
Comedy. 4M 6F.
ADRIAN EAGLET: gentle, nervous; about 20.RICKY: tough, good-looking; about 25. REAR-ADMIRAL HENRY LANE: distinguished, silver-haired, gruff but charming; 60s. ISABEL MERRYWEATHER: charming, vague, pretty; about 40. VERA HESKETH-PALMER: flamboyant, eccentric, either cosily sweet or commanding; indeterminate age. AN OLD MAN: old-fashioned dress, short-sighted. MRS BARRY: untidy; early middle-age. LADY COLESTAR: smart, embarrassingly enthusiastic; 30s. JENNY: pretty, lively; young. GLORIA: large, languid, beautiful; young.
ISABEL MERRYWEATHER divorced but happy, runs an antique shop with her Rear-Admiral father. Some of her customers are, to put it mildly, eccentric. When one of them leaves a baby temporarily in the shop, ISABEL'S strong maternal instincts are aroused. Assisted by her most eccentric visitor of all, a lady who is opening her own antique shop nearby, she sets about an unconventional adoption plan. The unexpected results are astonishingly successful, and the ensuing flood of babies leads to frenetic complications and eventually, to a highly original, if questionable, plan of operation, affecting not least the Rear-Admiral.