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John Chapman

JOHN CHAPMAN  (1927 - )

Nationality:    British
email:    n/a     Website:    n/a

Literary Agent:    Laurence Fitch Ltd  


John Chapman trained initially trained as an actor at the Royal academy of Dramatic art. after three years on stage, he decided to turn his skills away from the spoken word and towards the text itself. His first play "Dry Rot" opened at the Whitehall Theatre, London in 1954. It proved to be a resounding success and ran for three and a half years, a total of 1,475 performances. as a result he decided to concentrate on his playwriting. His next play "Simple Spymen" also ran for over three years and was followed by "The Brides of March", Diplomatic Baggage" and "Oh Clarence". John is well known for his collaborations with Carla Lane on "The Liver Birds" and Ray Cooney in the ever popular comedies, "Move Over Mrs Markham", "My Giddy aunt", "Not Now Darling" and "There Goes the Bride." The early sixties witnessed the beginning of a long relationship between Chapman and the BBC. He has written over two hundred TV comedies including "Blandings Castle" for Sir Ralph Richardson , "Happy ever after" (co-written with eric Merriman) which starred June Whitfield and Terry Scott, as well as 26 episodes of a highly successful Thames Television series "Fresh Fields", with Julia McKenzie and anton Rogers, which won the eMMY award in the US for the most popular comedy. John Chapman is married to actress Betty Impey, and they have four sons.

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below is a list of John Chapman's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

Anything You Say         Balcony Scene, The         Best Before         Brides Of March, The         Business Affairs         Come Back To My Place         Crooks Tour         Diplomatic Baggage, The         Dry Rot         Holiday Snap         It Happened In Harrods         It Takes An Angel         Keeping Down With The Joneses         Kept         Key For Two         Kindly Leave The Stage         Late Flowering         Liver Birds, The         Look No Hans!         Love On All Floors         Marbles         Move Over Mrs Markham         Mr Stanniforth         My Giddy Aunt         Nil By Mouth         Not Now Darling         Oh, Clarence         Safe Houses         Shut Your Eyes And Think Of England         Simple Spymen         There Goes The Bride         This Is My Wife         Wimbledon



Anything You Say

Synopsis:
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Notes:
written by John Chapman And Anthony Marriott

1st Produced:
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Balcony Scene, The

Synopsis:
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Best Before

Synopsis:
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1st Produced:
-    -

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1st Published:
-   -

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Genre:
Black Comedy Comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Brides Of March, The

Synopsis:
Tony Scudamore, who did his wartime service with the British army in North Africa, has settled into a peacetime career with the Foreign Office. Tony displays almost a bit too much British reserve for his American wife, Sally, as does his older brother, Ken, on leave from his tea plantation in the tropics, and when Jack Krasner, a friend from the States, arrives unexpectedly she jumps at his invitation for an evening on the town in London. Tony and Ken are not won over so easily, particularly as the senior Scudamores (he's also in the Foreign Office) have suggested a family dinner for the evening. So the upshot is that Sally and her old beau go one way, while Tony and Ken go another. Nobody stops to think much about a certain letter which arrived that morning informing Tony that he has been remembered in the will of an arab sheik whose life he saved during the war. By the end of the evening the fog is too thick for Sally to get home, but Tony and Ken make it, and so does Haroun el Bahn (the sheik's emissary) b

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    1960

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1961   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farcical Comedy

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  8            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Business Affairs

Synopsis:
Two northern businessmen book a London hotel suite, hoping to sell their trucking firm to foreign buyers for two million pounds. To help the deal along they book two ladies of the night to keep the buyers happy. When their wives pop in to wish them luck, they find out about the girls and are outraged - even more so when the foreign visitors mistake them for call girls, but, with so much at stake, they play along to help secure the deal without giving away their true identity - or anything else!

Notes:
written by John Chapman And Jeremy Lloyd

1st Produced:
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1st Published:
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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Come Back To My Place

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
written with Ray Cooney

1st Produced:
Westcliff-on-Sea, essex    1973

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

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Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

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Crooks Tour

Synopsis:
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Notes:
written by John Chapman And Jeremy Lloyd

1st Produced:
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1st Published:
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Genre:
-

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Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

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Diplomatic Baggage, The

Synopsis:
he weaves a hilarious plot around BaRRY LaYTON who, due to the indisposition of his senior, has to step into his shoes at a minute's notice and deal with the signing of an anglo-French treaty. This involves a trip to Paris and as well as having to cope with the French minister, he finds he has a bevy of beautiful secretaries and chambermaids on his hands. The arrival of his wife and uncle, an aged rogue, do nothing to ease the situation and the fun runs fast and furious from beginning to end.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Brighton    1964

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1966   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farce

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dry Rot

Synopsis:
One of the most successful farces that has appeared in London. It deals with a crazy but very likeable gang of bookies who, in order to be near the racecourse, are staying at a country hotel run by a retired colonel and his wife and daughter. Secret rooms, sliding panels, mistaken identity and a nice little bit of romance are some of the main ingredients of this very racy and slick farce, which never lets up for a moment and provides some of the best possible entertainment around.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1954

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1956   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farce

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Holiday Snap

Synopsis:
This tale of comic predicament and mistaken identity unfolds with real wit and style. a Portuguese time-share villa has been double-booked, unknown to the company Rep, the myopic tippler COMMaNDeR "CHITTO" CHITTeNDeN. When MaRY and HeNRY arrive shortly after eVe and LeSLIe, CHITTO manages to remain unaware that there is more than one couple on the scene. The confusion is compounded when each couple mistakes the other for the servants. HeNRY seems to have the upper hand as he discovers that eVe is married, but not to LeSLIe, when his mother-in-law arrives and he has to bribe the other couple to impersonate his alibi, SIR PIeRS and LaDY MaRCHBaNKS. HeNRY'S girlfriend, has to play the servant, much to her annoyance but it looks as though things might work out until the real SIR PIeRS arrives, followed by HeNRY'S wife. However, the final, hilarious disguises donned by MaRY, PeRK,eVe and LeSLIe might just save the day!

Notes:
written with Michael Pertwee

1st Produced:
-    1986

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1989   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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It Happened In Harrods

Synopsis:
seduction problems as husband requires a son and wife has only given him daughters

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1977

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, NY,    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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It Takes An Angel

Synopsis:
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Notes:
written by John Chapman And Peter Vincent

1st Produced:
-    -

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1st Published:
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Genre:
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Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Keeping Down With The Joneses

Synopsis:
M.P. and architect, GeOFFReY JONeS, is convinced that the Russians are about to launch a nuclear strike. So, in the back garden of his Northolt home, he builds a shelter equipped with everything he, and his wife and his eccentric mother-in-law will need. They plan to try the shelter out for a three week experiment when, inadvertently, they are trapped inside with their family, the telephone engineer and the milkman. Trying to make the best of the situation they are surprised by the arrival, through the side hatch, of their next door neighbours who, ever striving to keep up with the Joneses have now kept down with them by building their own shelter next door. By a strange coincidence the neighbours are also trapped but neither neighbour wants to admit to the other that they are stuck. Hilarious complications ensue until everyone is finally rescued

Notes:
written with Jeremy Lloyd

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Kept

Synopsis:
Three elegant ladies of a certain age meet each year for a reunion in Paris. They are rich enough to afford gentlemen companions, slightly younger than themselves, who are charming and expensively tailored as one would expect kept men to be. Things suddenly start to fall apart when one of the men finds to his horror that he is to be pensioned off with a gold cigarette case after years of devoted service. This imminent change of fortune causes sides to be taken and cracks appear in the veneer of this witty, sophisticated group. Can a lady like Madelaine survive without having a man dangling from her purse strings, and will this be the last reunion?

Notes:
written by John Chapman And Jeremy Lloyd

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Key For Two

Synopsis:
In this wickedly amusing play, by two master craftsmen of comedy, Harriet, a divorcee living in an elegant flat in Brighton, solves her financial problems by entertaining two married gentlemen callers on different days of the week. The scheme faces collapse when her friend anne, whose marriage is tottering, arrives at the flat hotly pursued by her husband. One of Harriet's lovers is confined to her bed with a sprained ankle and the second lover turns up unexpectedly, closely followed by two irate wives in search of their itinerant husbands. The indescribable confusion that ensues builds to a rich complexity of mistaken identity, splendidly farcical situations and a climax of comic wizardry

Notes:
written with Dave Freeman

1st Produced:
Vaudeville, London    1982

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1983   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Kindly Leave The Stage

Synopsis:
play within a play as cast begin to argue with resultant chaos

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1992   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Late Flowering

Synopsis:
elegant spinster runs marriage bureau, secretary resists computerisation but then finds she fits the bill

Notes:
written with Ian Davidson

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, NY,    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Liver Birds, The

Synopsis:
When two girls with romantic ideas share a flat, their best friends are certainly not their mothers! This is especially true when one is a very religious minded person and hails from the emerald Isle and the other is a social climber with a husband problem of her own. add to this a regular boyfriend plus a handsome young curate and a much put-upon caretaker of the block of flats, and you have a really strong comedy which could take place in any part of england.

Notes:
written by John Chapman And Carla Lane

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1975   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Look No Hans!

Synopsis:
a fast-paced, fun-filled farce by those two masters of the genre, JOHN CHaPMaN and MICHaeL PeRTWee. The play enjoyed a successful run at London's Strand Theatre, starring DaVID JaSON as the hapless FISHeR, Manager of the West Berlin office of a British car company. With his wife MONICa due to fly home to england for a short break, FISHeR is planning to spend his birthday quietly, but when MONICa'S plan is delayed, she returns home, followed in rapid succession by HeIDI, FISHeR'S mistress; MITZI, a voluptuous singing telegram girl; CaDWaLLaDeR from British Security of Industry, who is awaiting the arrival from the east of Hans, a top industrial spy; and TReGUNTeR-JONeS, a rather butch rep. from Midland Motors. amid a great many comings and goings and considerable confusion, the elusive HaNS does finally make a brief, if somewhat unusual appearance, dangling from a helicopter!

Notes:
written with Michael Pertwee

1st Produced:
London    1986

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1986   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Love On All Floors

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
written by John Chapman And Peter Vincent

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Marbles

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
by John Chapman, Tim Fywell And Nigel Williams

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Move Over Mrs Markham

Synopsis:
PHILIP MaRKHaM, a publisher of children's books, is asked by his business partner, HeNRY LODGe, if he can borrow the flat for the evening to gallivant with his latest girlfriend. as PHILIP and his wife will be out, he reluctantly agrees. at the same time, JOaNNa MaRKHaM is being persuaded by LINDa LODGe, to let her borrow the empty flat in order to entertain her lover. With some misgivings, JOaNNa agrees. What nobody knows is that the interior designer who has been decorating the flat for the past three months has decided that this is the night that he and the au pair girl will try out the new oval bed. When the MaRKHaM'S evening out is cancelled, it is too late to let any of the parties know and three sets of hopeful lovers all converge on the bedroom at the same time. The situation is further complicated by the arrival of OLIVe HaRRIeT SMYTHe, a straightlaced authoress of children's books. The frantic efforts of the MaRKHaMS to hide the amorous goings-on and, at the same time sign up MISS SMYTHe, lead to a hectic and hilarious evening.

Notes:
written with Ray Cooney

1st Produced:
Richmond, Surrey    1969

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1972   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farce. - - Gay, theme/character, full length

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mr Stanniforth

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1963

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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My Giddy Aunt

Synopsis:
Set in LaDY ePPINGHaM'S house in India, this play has all the superb comedy that one would expect from the masters of farce, plus a good measure of thrills. The eccentric but aristocratic LaDY ePPINGHaM lives in a world of fantasy and past glory of the empire, while the running of her tea estate is left in the hands of her unscrupulous nephews. But when BeaTRICe HORROCKS, LaDY ePPINGHaM'S half-sister of decidedly lowly birth arrives to claim her right to manage the estate, the situation changes and in a series of hilariously funny scenes, she slowly but surely sorts everything out and unmasks the schemes of her nephews

Notes:
written with Ray Cooney

1st Produced:
Wolverhampton    1967

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1970   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Nil By Mouth

Synopsis:
The North London hospital of St. Christopher's is normally run on well oiled wheels, but this particular weekend due to understaffing and a minor mistake a remarkable chain of events is set in motion. Trolleys are going through the ward like buses. everyone finally gets treated - but not for what they came in for. a Government Inspector arrives at the height of the confusion to check on the hospital's viability. an extra pair of hands is just what's needed and he soon finds he's having better success with the patients than the staff are. He rounds off his visit with a resuscitation and a resurrection

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 2005   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Farce

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Not Now Darling

Not Now Darling
The scene is the exclusive London fur salon of Bodley and Crouch, where Crouch (the well-meaning innocent) struggles to keep things on an even keel despite the energetic philandering of his partner. at the moment, Bodley is trying to secure the affections of his latest would-be mistress by "selling" her husband an expensive mink fur coat for a fraction of its real worth, and the stammering Crouch is saddled with the task of consummating the sale with a straight face. But, as luck would have it, the husband seizes the bargain coat as the perfect gift for his own mistress-whereupon the complications burgeon uproariously, with poor Crouch caught in the middle. Suspicious wives, mistaken identities, scantily clad girls clapped hurriedly into closets and a continuous barrage of rapid fire jokes all become part of the hilarious doings, as the action of the play bubbles along merrily right up to the final curtain when, miraculously and to the great relief of all concerned, everything somehow manages to work out as i

Notes:
written with Ray Cooney

1st Produced:
Richmond Theatre, Richmond, Surrey    1967

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1970; Josef Weinberger (revised edition) 2002   978-0856761744

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farce

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Oh, Clarence

Synopsis:
a hilarious comedy based on one of P.G. WODeHOUSe'S most famous characters, Lord emsworth, the dreamy peer of Blandings Castle. The delightful earl, as vague as ever, wants nothing more than to be allowed to potter around Blandings, tending his roses and prize pig, the empress. But his sister Lady Constance, has other ideas and arranges a house party into which bursts Dame Daphne Winkworth, whom the earl is urged, much against his will, to marry. He is further plagued by his vacuous son FrEddie Threepwood, Rupert Bingham, a clumsy love-lorn curate and his arch enemy Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe from whom Lord emsworth unwittingly steals a pricelesss egyptian scarab

Notes:
aka Blandings Castle (8m 6f), based on stories by PG Wodehouse.

1st Produced:
Manchester    1968

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1969   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Safe Houses

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
written with Tim Fywell

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Devised Piece

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Shut Your Eyes And Think Of England

Synopsis:
When MR PULLeN comes to the office on a Saturday to finish the books for audit he is astonished to find his employer, SIR JUSTIN HOLBROOK, in the penthouse flat with a call-girl. LaDY HOLBROOK arrives unexpectedly, and HOLBROOK passes the girl off as "the second MRS PULLeN". a rich arab sheik is expected, and the entire fate of england depends on HOLBROOK signing a certain agreement with him: HOLBROOK, however, suddenly collapses and PULLeN has to impersonate him. The arrival of the real MRS PULLeN and others leads to an impenetrable maze of confused identities, resulting eventually in MRS PULLeN going off with the sheik, and PULLeN installed -presumably permanently - as SIR JUSTIN, with all that entails, including his highly attractive lady

Notes:
written with Anthony Marriott

1st Produced:
London    1977

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1978   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farce

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Simple Spymen

Synopsis:
Two street musicians are dragged into the War Office for causing a disturbance of the peace in Whitehall. Unwittingly they utter a phrase which is the secret password for the day, and are mistaken for M15 agents in disguise. They are immediately signed up for a hazardous mission to intercept an atomic scientist when he arrives in Dover. Thereafter, they make endless attempts as different characters to gain access to the scientist's hotel and secure the formula for the British Government. They display courage, ingenuity, and more than lint of lunacy.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Whitehall Theatre, London    19 Mar 1958

Company:
-

1st Published:
english Theatre Guild, London, 1960   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Farce

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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There Goes The Bride

Synopsis:
Getting a bride ready is always a trying time but when the bride's mother is 'helped' by interfering relatives, and the bride's father is in the process of falling in love with a seductive girl that only he can see, and more - you can guarantee that

Notes:
written with Ray Cooney

1st Produced:
-    1974

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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This Is My Wife

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1963

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wimbledon

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
written by John Chapman And Jeremy Lloyd

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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