Plays

The Mother's Meeting

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In her introduction to the play, Naomi Paxton writes: ‘While attending what she believes to be a Mothers Meeting Mrs Puckle finds herself having an unexpected reaction to what she hears. A joyful, entertaining monologue, the piece uses a working class character to expose the inconsistencies in the Anti-Suffrage arguments. Interesting because it paints a picture of Mrs Puckle’s home life and family; it also is another monologue directly spoken to the audience that allows for interaction between audienceand performer.'

The Mother’s Meeting was published by the Actresses’ Franchise League (AFL) in 1913.

My Boy Jack  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

David Haig's play My Boy Jack is a dramatised account of how the writer Rudyard Kipling sent his son to his death in the First World War. It was first performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, on 13 October 1997 (previews from 9 October).

The play opens in September 1913, in the drawing room at ‘Batemans’, the Kiplings' home in Sussex. War with Germany is imminent, and Rudyard Kipling is set on sending his severely short-sighted son, John (known as 'Jack'), to war. The plan triggers a bitter family conflict which leaves Britain's renowned patriot devastated by the warring of his own greatest passions: his love for children – above all his own – and his devotion to King and Country.

The premiere production was directed by John Dove and designed by Michael Taylor. It was performed by David Haig (as Rudyard Kipling), Belinda Lang, John Light (as John Kipling), Sarah Howe, Billy Carter, Fred Ridgeway and Dermot Kerrigan.

The play was revived at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, in 2004, and toured the UK. It was filmed for television in 2007, with Daniel Radcliffe as Jack and the author himself as Kipling.

The Post Office  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

An allegorical gem about a bedridden boy's desire for spiritual freedom by a Nobel Laureate from Bengal, the site of the first British colony in the subcontinent and its earliest modern theatre.  

audio Pygmalion

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

One of Shaw’s most enduring works, Pygmalion is an insightful comedy of class relations and perceptions, as played out between a Cockney flower girl and the irascible speech professor who has taken her on as a pet project. Described by critics as “a play of great vitality and charm,” Pygmalion inspired the award-winning stage and film productions of Lerner and Loewe’s musical, My Fair Lady.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Roslyn Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Denise du Maurier, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Kenneth J. Northcott, Nicholas Pennell, Nicholas Rudall, Ben Whitehouse and Laura Whyte.

Featuring: Roslyn Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Denise du Maurier, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Kenneth J. Northcott, Nicholas Pennell, Nicholas Rudall, Ben Whitehouse, Laura Whyte

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Roslyn Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Denise du Maurier, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Kenneth J. Northcott, Nicholas Pennell, Nicholas Rudall, Ben Whitehouse and Laura Whyte.

Featuring: Roslyn Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Denise du Maurier, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Kenneth J. Northcott, Nicholas Pennell, Nicholas Rudall, Ben Whitehouse, Laura Whyte

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Roslyn Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Denise du Maurier, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Kenneth J. Northcott, Nicholas Pennell, Nicholas Rudall, Ben Whitehouse and Laura Whyte.

Featuring: Roslyn Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Denise du Maurier, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Kenneth J. Northcott, Nicholas Pennell, Nicholas Rudall, Ben Whitehouse, Laura Whyte

Rococo

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A masterful short comic drama from Harley Granville Barker, Rococo is a chamber piece that trains its lens on family conflict, inheritance law and objets d’arts, refracting these issues through the prism of a Rococo vase which has made its way into the possession of the family via the Emperor of Germany and a recently deceased relative.

Rococo was given four matinée performances at the Court Theatre, London, in February 1911, then was presented at the Little Theatre, London, in October 1911, in a production directed by the playwright.

R.U.R.

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A funny and surreal story of servitude and technology, R.U.R. was legendary Czech writer Karel Čapek’s first major work for the stage.

In their introduction to the play, translators Peter Majer and Cathy Porter write that Čapek’s ‘idiosyncratic nihilism found its earliest expression in his first large-scale stage drama, R.U.R., or Reason’s Universal Robots 1921. The Robot was the invention of Karel Čapek and his brother Josef, and the play is a gloriously dystopic science-fiction fantasy about them and the brave new world of the men who mass-produce them . . . Robots multiply, are bought and sold and gradually take over every aspect of human existence. As people grow idle and stop procreating, the Robots rebel and destroy almost the entire human race . . . R.U.R. was frequently performed in Europe and America throughout the 1920s, and the outrageous comedy of its central premise, its surrealistic visual effects and experimental use of space immediately caught the popular theatrical imagination.'

R.U.R or Rosumovi Umělí Roboti, was first performed in Prague in 1921.

Rutherford and Son

Aurora Metro Books
Type: Text

Written in 1912 during the upsurge of the British feminist movement, this powerful play deals with the oppressive patriarchal system of the industrial North at that time. Rutherford is the hard, tyrannical master of both his glassworks and his family, who attacks, degrades and rejects each of his children in turn. To his daughter Janet, her banishment is a release, and she forcefully condemns her father and his values.

Tradition

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Naomi Paxton describes Tradition as ‘a thought-provoking piece about an actress visitingher parents, and deals with their support for her career and their expectations of her future. Inspired by the suffragist and actress Fola La Follette’s passion for acting and written by her husband, George Middleton, it is a quietly moving piece about family life, female aspiration and women’s work.'

Tradition was first performed at the Berkeley Theatre, New York City, on 24 January 1913. It was first published that same year as part of Middleton’s One Act Plays of Contemporary Life by Henry Holt and Company.

audio Trifles

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Written by Susan Glaspell in 1916, Trifles is a one-act play about a woman accused of strangling her husband. Based on an actual murder case reported by Glaspell for the Des Moines News, the play represented an early exploration of gender relationships in a time when women often were considered to be mere trifles. A groundbreaking feminist play, Trifles is often included in anthologies of drama and literature.

A L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring (in alphabetical order):

Jeanie Hackett as Mrs. Peters;

Amy Madigan as Mrs. Hale;

Sam McMurray as the Sheriff;

Steven Vinovich as Mr. Hale;

Steven Weber as the County Attorney.

Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

Featuring: Jeanie Hackett, Amy Madigan, Sam McMurray, Stephen Vinovich, Steven Weber

Vote by Ballot

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Lord Silverwell, a former MP, has had to vacate his seat in the Commons. What had been a safe seat for generations, now becomes vulnerable, even with Lord Silverwell’s son, Noel, contesting it for the party. Luckily, Lord Silverwell’s trusted aide Lewis is on hand to provide guidance and expertise. Will that be enough to secure the seat, and the politics of this closeknit group of power-brokers.Vote by Ballot was presented by the Stage Society for two matinées at the Court Theatre, London, on 16 and 17 December 1917.