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Douglas Maxwell

DOUGLAS MAXWELL

  (1974 - )

Nationality:    Scottish
email:    n/a     Website:    n/a

Literary Agent:    United Agents  represented by St John Donald

Douglas Maxwell was born in 1974 in Girvan, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. His many plays include Decky Does A Bronco, Our Bad Magnet, Helmet, Variety, If Destroyed True, Mancub and Melody all of which are published by Oberon Books. Our Bad Magnet, Maxwell's debut play, was staged at the Tron, Glasgow in 2000 and revived in 2001 as a co-production with Borderline. His other plays are Helmet, produced by the Traverse, Edinburgh, in a co-production with Paines Plough, directed by John Tiffany, toured the UK, played at the Soho in London, and was also staged at the Schauspielhaus, Stuttgart; Variety, a co-production between Gridiron and Edinburgh International Festival, was subsequently broadcast on BBC4; If Destroyed True staged at Dundee Rep and at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London in a co-production between Dundee Rep and Paines Plough; Mancub, a play for teenagers based on John LeVert's novel the Flight of the Cassowary toured the UK, played at the Soho and was revived in a co-production between Vanishing Point and National Theatre of Scotland in their opening season; the Backpacker Blues was staged at Oran Mor as part of their "A Play, A Pie and A Pint" lunchtime Theatre programme; Melody was staged at the Traverse and visited the Tron Theatre, Glasgow. Douglas Maxwell co-created with Nicola McCartney.the text for Beyond, a ground-breaking partnership between East Glasgow Youth Theatre and Vesoliy Gorchishnick, a Russian orphanage, which was the opening show at Platform, Glasgow and co-produced by National Theatre of Scotland. Harm, a 15-minute play was staged at the Tron by Sweetscar productions. Other productions include Blood Country (Traverse), Spring Awakening (Gridiron), James II (West Lothian Youth Theatre), the Mother Ship (Birmingham Rep) and Fever Dream: Southside (RSAMD/Playwrights' Studio). He teaches on the MLitt Playwriting and Dramaturgy course at Glasgow University

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

        Backpacker Blues, The         Ballad Of James Ii, The         Blood Country         Bookie, The         Charlie Sonata         Cooper Mcgee's Dad         Decky Does A Bronco         Fever Dream: Southside         Harm         Helmet         If Destroyed True         Mancub         Melody         Miracle Man         Mother Ship, The         News Just In         Our Bad Magnet         Prom         Promises, Promises         Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity, A         Shadow Of A Pie, The         Smalltown         Spring Awakening         Too Fast         Variety         Watertight         Whip Hand, The         Yer Granny



Backpacker Blues, The

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Ballad Of James Ii, The

Synopsis:
February 1452. Scotland is in the midst of an identity crisis and the nation has lost faith in the Stewart monarchy. While the strange King James II hides away in Edinburgh Castle the people have come to prefer the Earl of Douglas and the handsome warrior's ever growing alliance. In a move of great impudence, Douglas has captured McLellan, a relative of the King. If he dies, civil war and an overthrown king will surely follow. It is time for James to become the King that his wife, mother and countrymen expect him to be. . .

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1st Produced:

Organisations:
Nonsense Room Productions

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Music:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Blood Country

Synopsis:
A brutal and funny modern day Scottish western, Blood Country is a new Wild West where people are still wanted dead or alive', Dove's pouring the drinks, and Little Ruth is looking for the miracle cure for her blindness from the man everyone else wants to hang - the mysterious outlaw Lee Boyd.

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Bookie, The

Synopsis:
Welcome to Quarry - the Las Vegas of Scotland! Or at least it might be. . .. Right now its just another run down Scottish sea-side town, a dirty weekend for stag-dos, hen nights and dangerous divorcees. Lifes an endless one horse race for local betting shop bookie Stevie Gillespie. He doesnt know it but his lifes about to miraculously change because Jonathon Queens back in town. Jonathon Queen, a self-made man with self-made plans and a hundred scores to settle. Queenie to his friends and simply That Git to his enemies, hes putting his money where his mouth is by building a brand spanking new casino. the kilts are off, the chips are down in this fantastic musical tale of love and money, guilt and gambling, tears and tantrums and triumphs.

Notes:
book And lyrics by Douglas Maxwell; music by Alasair macrae

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Genre:
Musical

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

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Charlie Sonata

Charlie Sonata
Chick arrives back in Scotland for a reunion with his old mates Gary and Jackson only to find Garys daughter has been the victim of a life-changing car accident. The antiseptic smell of the wards, the relentless beep of the life support and the sterile hospital bed contrast sharply in Chicks eye with the young wild-haired girl lying there unconscious; inspiring this downtrodden man to embark on a quest to save her life.

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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:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Cooper Mcgee's Dad

Synopsis:
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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
Random Accomplice

1st Published:
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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:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Decky Does A Bronco

Decky Does A Bronco
Decky Does a Bronco is the tragi-comic story of a gang of nine-year-old boys who spend the summer of 1983 "Broncoing swings" in Girvan, on the west coast of Scotland. Broncoing (kicking the swing over the bar) is the social bench mark and a dangerous mixture of vandalism and sport. Decky is the smallest of the group and the only one who cannot Bronco. His friend David remembers the event of that summer, which at first seem hilarious but ultimately remain painful, as the boys are faced with an unthinkable tragedy and are thrown into a restless adulthood.

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Fever Dream: Southside

Fever Dream: Southside
High summer in Glasgow's Southside and a heatwave bears down on the residents of Govanhill, driving them off the streets. Tensions are running high and fantasy and reality are becoming blurred. Fighting to reclaim their neighbourhood, the lives of a sleep-deprived new parent and his civic-minded wife begin to unravel. Meanwhile an ambitious Hutchie boy, a pair of young missionaries, a performance artist and her alter ego and an unscrupulous property manager, are forced to confront their monsters.

Notes:
a version of the first half of this play was presented by students of The Royal Conservatoire Scotland in August 2008

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Genre:
comic thriller

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Harm

Harm
A Father and son wait in a new self-harming unit'. As the clock ticks by, the Father begins to pour out his guilt, anger and concern to his son.

Notes:
part of Sure Shots season

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Sweetscar production

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Helmet

Helmet
based on the exhilarating format of a Playstation game charting Sal and Helmet's fight for survival. Helmet (a.k.a. Roddy) lives his life completely immersed in computer games. the little time he has away from his consoles is spent in the Zone, a low tech games shop, which has just this very day gone bankrupt. Sal, the down-trodden owner of the Zone, is left wondering where it all went wrong. the shop is Sal's prison, but it's Helmet's church. As they get to know each other, hiding from reality for a while, it becomes clear that Helmet has a secret that could make things a lot worse for both of them.

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
Co-production with Paines Plough

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:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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If Destroyed True

Synopsis:
Greetings from New Flood, which has just won the prestigious 'Worst Town in Scotland' award. the prize is 500,000 pounds with which to 'improve' things. Vincent has always been original ever since his tragically miraculous birth. When he hears of the honour bestowed on his home town he sees an opportunity both to realise his personal ambition and to double the prize money by defending the title the following year. A wry and witty satire on community and communication.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Dundee Rep     2005

Organisations:

1st Published:

Music:
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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:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Mancub

Mancub
Mancub is a beautiful, absurd, magic realist story of a boy who seems to be turning into animals. Paul faces the usual struggles of growing up. Struggles for understanding with his father, struggles to work out what girls are all about. But he also faces a more pressing problem. Reality seems to be shifting, the balance of things changing as the people around him begin to display the traits of certain animals. But stranger still are the changes he sees in himself. Does Paul turn into animals, or does he only think he does?

Notes:
Adapted from the book the Flight of the Cassowary by John LeVert

1st Produced:

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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
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Melody

Melody
" My heart had broken. Cracked like a paving stone tapped by a mallet. All things in life which require effort - pleasure, passion, wit adn thought - are impossible when your heart is cracked. And it's also very hard to get out of bed". Tonight everything must go. Melody's got secrets. Dirty, dark, sick-to-the-bottom-of-your-stomach secrets that she's hidden away from for years. the tattoos up her arms tell part of the story, but the truth is a lot more complicated. John, the boyfriend, thinks he knows Melody but he doesn't know the half of it. To him, it's jsut a question of presentation. Olive, Melody's irascible almost-mother-in-law, thinks she knows all about it. She isn't afraid to put her oar in but she's got her version of events to hide. Ashley turns up at Melody's door on a mission to reveal everything. Only she doesn't know the full picture. the pressure that's been building up for years is about to boil over. Douglas Maxwell's Melody is a bitingly funny Drama of a modern family's secrets and lies, reunion and revenge

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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:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Miracle Man

Miracle Man
Holding on to your virginity, getting a ring for your pains and something to believe in, that's what Dawn, Rob and Fawziya want. Ozzy, their loser PE teacher needs to believe in something too. It will all be fine when the Miracle Man gets here. Won't it? It's a play written in Arial rather than Times New Roman if you know what we mean. the characters are bright, fizzy and fast and on a journey heading for a great big unabashed, get-it-right-up-ye finale. 'I was thinking of going out into the playground, walking up to Fiona Grant, shoving my ring right into her wee pig-cow face and saying "Get this up ye ya hacket wee dog! the Miracle Man's coming and now everyone hates you cos you're a slag and we're not." Spread that about ya minging bitch!'

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
Random Accomplice / National Theatre of Scotland

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
show for teenagers

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Mother Ship, The

Mother Ship, The
the play is a funny adventure about what it means to be young, to be different, or just to believe in something beyond the ordinary. Eliot is 18 and under severe stress. there's no girlfriend in sight, his best mate has stopped swearing and his pregnant step-mum is even more stressed than he is& And then, having got the call from outer space to say that the Mother Ship is leaving and coming to take him home, his disabled brother Gerry disappears. And it's all Eliot's fault. A riotous chase kicks off involving a love-lorn lifeguard, a policeman who believes in the existence of Klingons and a car that can turn into a boat.

Notes:
Winner of the Brian Way Award 2009

1st Produced:

Organisations:
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1st Published:

Music:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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News Just In

Synopsis:
A nightly roundup of all things Commonwealth Games, with a brand new story every night. Featuring a cast of six of Scotland's top comedy actors with a dynamic team of fantastic writers, anything can (and probably will) happen! Follow the TV-tastic, tantalizing soap opera whilst hearing all the up to date Games news and gossip from Tom Daley to Tom Foolery with views from Tom, Dick and Harry. A fast paced, raucous romp of a theatre show!

Notes:
part of Culture 2014 at the Arches. Written by Colin Bell, Danny Brown, Julie Brown, Mary Gapinski, Lesley Hart, Lewis Hetherington, Lisa Keddie, Martin McCormick, Johnny McKnight, Douglas Maxwell, Morna Pearson, Lynda Radley, Stef Smith and Anita Vettesse.

1st Produced:
Arches, Glasgow, UK >>>     22 Jul 2014

Organisations:
Random Accomplice

1st Published:
-   

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
piece

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Our Bad Magnet

Our Bad Magnet
Our Bad Magnet is an unashamedly dark and deliciously funny play from one of Scotland's brightest young writing talents, in which the boundaries between fantasy and reality merge with unpredictable results. Centering on an uneasy reunion, Our Bad Magnet follows the progress of four boys from 9 to 29 as they try to unlock the secrets of childhood and memory. Throw in 1980s indie music, a ventriloquist's dummy, some magical fairy stories and the word 'nimston', and you have an hilarious black comedy which isn't afraid to make you think while you're laughing out loud.

Notes:
1st play

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To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Prom

Synopsis:
I think the best bit will be getting to be totally grown up. Like real Americans. Join our Year Six class as they prepare for the most exciting night of their lives. What is the theme? What we they wear? What make up should they put on? And is everyone as excited about the Prom as the Prom Committee are?

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
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1st Published:
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Music:
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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:
TYA

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises
Maggie Brodie thought she'd left teaching behind her. Retired twice, once with a dishonourable discharge, she's been drafted back for a day's cover at her local primary school in London. It's going to be a tough shift. A day of battles with her thirst for booze; with the soft soap headmaster and lastly with Rosie. Rosie is six and a new intake. Tough enough. But made tougher by the fact that Rosie is from Somalia and refusing to speak. She will not speak. But to Maggie's surprise silent Rosie stirs something in her long forgotten. Something about her past, her family, her ego. there's a connection here that Maggie can't quite get a grip on. In some political bargain the school are allowing community leaders into the classroom today to help with Rosie's treatment. they believe her silence comes from the fact that she is a witch. Well, they're wrong. And Maggie is forced to take action. Drastic action.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Random Accomplice

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity, A

Synopsis:
Annabelle strikes up an unlikely relationship with her dead husband's potty-mouthed employee, Jim. She begins to enter into Jim's un-finishing school, liberating her own voice through vulgarity, Annabelle gets herself heard.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
a Play, a Pie and a Pint

1st Published:
-   

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Shadow Of A Pie, The

Synopsis:
new piece by Lung Ha's theatre Company, which works with people with learning difficulties. the scene is Madison's nightclub, and promoter Alfred Hitchcock, already hounded by the malevolent local constabulary for the lack of order and discipline at his club, has mistakenly double-booked Hank Marvin and the Shadows and punk outfit Mince Pie Bashers on the same night. Bondage-trousered Buck Rodgers and twang fan Tallulah Bum are there for different reasons - but perhaps fate has thrown them together? the path of true love runs far from smoothly, however although it does trip along most amusingly with some mimed slapstick, a mysterious large bird and many jests at the expense of musical allegiances and pastry products. the central love-match is mirrored in the relationship of the ironically named PC Joy and Hitchcock, whose union, we feel sure, will see Madison's on a securer footing in future. That is less likely for the supergroup that gives the play its title, formed by the amalgamation of the two bands, which lurches musically from mellow to frenetic in a most disconcerting fashion.
- Keith Bruce, Herald

Notes:
devised by tLung Ha's theatre Company in collaboration with Douglas Maxwell

1st Produced:
Glasgow, Bridge/Touring     2007

Organisations:
Lung Ha's Theatre Company

1st Published:
-   

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Piece

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Smalltown

Smalltown
Things are about to get a whole lot crazy! Created by three of Scotland's most dynamic writers, Smalltown tells the unexpected tale of what happens when a polluted water supply turns its residents crazy: from zombies in the frozen food aisle, to oversexed teenagers releasing the animal within, to a dangerous game of Russian roulette on Girvan beach. Smalltown is the story of nature wreaking her revenge and unleashing all sorts of comedic carnage. Find yourself trapped in three separate stories of Smalltown life before you decide how the story ends!

Notes:
written by by DC Jackson, Johnny McKnight And Douglas Maxwell

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Random Accomplice

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Spring Awakening

Synopsis:
Wendla just wants to feel something. She wants shorter skirts and frills on her nightgown. But most of all, Wendla wants to know! Why wont anyone tell her? Melchior knows more than hes supposed to. To him, the euphemisms and the hypocrisy are ridiculous and insulting. But what hes learned from books doesnt prepare him for the power of his and Wendlas freed desires. A giant classroom becomes a metaphor for learning about life and death, channeling the extraordinary force of adolescent sexuality as it roars against the harsh and fearful restrictions imposed by the adult world. Spring Awakening is a major European play. Since its first performance in Berlin in 1906, it has remained contentious in its portrayal of young peoples sexual relationships. Douglas Maxwells lean and dynamic version sets the play in turn of the century Scotland - a time when Calvinist culture ruled an education system beginning to be influenced by the freer movements of continental Europe

Notes:
Original Playwright - Frank Wedekind. Adaptation by Douglas Maxwell; literal translation by Ella Wildridge

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Grid Iron Theatre

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:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
-

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Too Fast

Too Fast
Sensation Nation is a vocal group founded and led by the unstoppable DD. Her grand plan is for the group to storm next year's Britain's Got Talent. But first they need a gig, and more importantly a heartbreaking back-story that will win them votes later on down the line. So she's booked them in to sing at a funeral. And not just any funeral either. Sensation Nation is to sing at the funeral of Ali Monroe, an older girl from their school who was killed in a car crash. Too Fast is an ensemble comedy with a strong emotional heart and a huge theatrical reveal in the final scene.

Notes:
part of the National theatre Connections 2011

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Scarborough Youth Theatre

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:
ensemble comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  8            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Variety

Variety
Ladies and gentlemen! Let us present the romantic tenor, the couthy comedian, the speciality act and the equilibrist - a real Concert Party! In its halycon days variety theatre was part of the social life blood of the country. But in the shadow of the enemy - the technological wonder of the talkies - only the bravest or saddest of performers are left reading the boards, in cine-variety.

Notes:
musical score by Philip Pinsky

1st Produced:
King's Theatre, Edinburgh     2002

Organisations:

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  2            Other:  1 girl

Further Reference:
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Watertight

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
written by Douglas Maxwell and Richard Taylor

1st Produced:
Cumbernauld Theatre    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   

Music:
-

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-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

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Whip Hand, The

Whip Hand, The
It's Dougie's birthday. He just turned 50 and his family are throwing him a party. But it's Dougie who has a surprise for them. A bombshell proposal. He wants his ex-wife Arlene to back his new endeavour. He wants to serve a good cause, a global cause. He wants to make right a terrible wrong, even if it puts their daughter's future at risk. They can all sense a scam, but Dougie won't back down. He is convinced this is his only chance to do something truly glorious, but his motivation may not be as pure as it seems. As the touchpaper under his family is lit, no one escapes the fallout.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

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Yer Granny

Yer Granny
Scotland, 1977. The Minerva Fish Bar has been shuttered and empty for a long time. Out of business. Bust. But not for sale! Never! One day - so the family credo has it - she shall rise again and all will be well. . .Yer Granny is a riotous new comedy, about a diabolical 100-year-old granny who's literally eating her family out of house and home.

Notes:
From the original Argentinian play La Nona written in Spanish by Roberto Cossa. In a new English version by Douglas Maxwell.

1st Produced:

Organisations:
National Theatre of Scotland

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London   

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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