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David Nicholson

DAVID NICHOLSON  

Nationality:    Canadian
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    n/a

Literary Agent:    n/a


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

Colour of Grass, The         Cyprienne         Femmes Savantes         Gabrielle         One Rose, Two Thorns         Perrichon's Travels         Really, Really, Really Sincerely Yours         Tartuffe         Vice Versa (as Two Weeks in Normandy)



Colour of Grass, The

Synopsis:
Late evening: Marthe and Pierre walk into the garden in mid-conversation, a bottle and two glasses in hand. "In all the time you've been married, you've never been with another woman?" she teases. Marthe's husband and Pierre's wife have retired early, leaving them to have the kind of intimate, playful conversation each has been longing for. They remind themselves how happily married they each are . . . aren't they?

Notes:
Original Playwright - Jules Renard. Yearning, flirting and other realities of marriage portrayed with wit, candour and insight. The Colour of Grass is translated and adapted from Jules Renard's 1898 play, Le Pain de menage. The setting is clearly France, but with theme and characters of such continuing relevance I have used language that would not be out of place at any time in the 20th century. This 30-minute two-hander can be staged alone or as part of What The Heart Wants, the translator's comic trilogy on the theme of marital fidelity.

1st Produced:
Mermaid Theatre, Bray One-Act Festival, Co. Wicklow, EI    27 Jan 2012

Organisations:
Dalkey Players, County Dublin, EI

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:
One-act comedy translation

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Cyprienne

Synopsis:
In a setting of upcoming Divorce Act amendments, Henri Des Prunelles suspects that his young wife Cyprienne has been flirting with his cousin Adhemar - and more. When confronted, Cyprienne justifies her actions as those of a young wife married to an older man - unlike him, she hasn't tasted the best of life yet and prefers the excitement of exotic spices over the regularity of wheat germ. A crafty Henri turns the situation around by agreeing to a divorce, whereupon the young cousin assumes a new, boring status of husband-to-be and Henri takes on the allure of forbidden fruit. The only way Henri can convince Cyprienne he doesn't have a lover himself, is to invite her to a romantic "divorce dinner" at his old bachelor bistro. Champagne, laughter, fine food and making sport of Adhemar rekindles their love and saves their marriage.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Victorien Sardou. Translated from Divorcons. Victorien Sardou, the most successful French playwright of his Age (with collaborator emile de Najac); Adapted from its original 1880 setting to 1921. Sardou's Cyprienne - witty, impatient, passionate, playful - has served As A star vehicle for Actresses from Eleonore Duse to Uta Hagen.

1st Produced:
Village Playhouse, Toronto, ON    2009

Organisations:

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:
Comedy Translation

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  (with doubling of minor parts)

Further Reference:
-

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Femmes Savantes

Synopsis:
Philaminte, her sister-in-law Belise and her older daughter Armande are eager for knowledge. Belise has remained unmarried, yet believes every man wants to marry her. Armande has decided to focus on philosophy without regard for her emotional life. Philaminte's major weakness is that she has chosen to be guided by the intellectual poseur Trissotin. In fact, she has decided he should marry her younger daughter Henriette - the only female member of the family without intellectual pretension (or interest). Henriette is aghast at her mother's decision, all the more because she is in love with Clitandre - a young man previously spurned by Armande. Chrysale, Henriette's father, vows to make her wishes come true, although his poor track record of standing up to Philaminte does not augur well for his success, despite his brother Ariste's wise counsel. Chrysale's only other ally is Martine, the household maid fired by Philaminte for felony misuse of grammar. The first to announce the true venality of Trissotin is Vadius, his rival in literature ("he knows Greek!") It takes a ruse by Ariste to make Philaminte see the truth as well.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Moliere. Since its original 1672 run, Moliere's classic comedy, Les Femmes Savantes, has been performed over 2000 times at the Comedie-Franšaise in Paris. This translation is written in prose instead of verse - it's accessible without being 'dumbed down.' It's a level of language not out of place in any period or setting from the original 17th century to modern day. The play has five good roles for women: its theme is not the folly of educating women above their place (as some 19th century critics happily believed) but the too-human credulity of three particular women in the face of pseudo-intellectualism, pretension and hypocrisy - themes as relevant (and comic) today as they were 340 years ago.

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

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:
Classical Comedy Translation

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  5            Other:  3 small roles - can be doubled

Further Reference:
-

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Gabrielle

Synopsis:
The play opens in the apartment of Riquette Gabrielle, toast of the 1921 Paris stage. A succession of visitors drop by and introduce the foundation of the plot - news of an affair between Raoul d'Arnay-la-Hutte and Victorine Champcourtier. He's a well-to-do young socialite; she's the much younger wife of an even wealthier club-man who has decided to try his luck at play-writing to impress "the fellows". Raoul's wife Clotilde, Riquette's Gabrielle's long-lost cousin, comes to plead for her assistance in winning back her husband. Riquette Gabrielle accepts the challenge: her strategy is to charm Raoul away from Victorine, then find a way to deliver him back to Clotilde. A rehearsal of Champcourtier's play, The Hortense Tango, provides the setting for phase one of her strategy, culminating in a comic dance of lustful glances and jealous reproaches. By one of life's coincidences, Raoul's love-nest for his planned rendezvous with Victorine turns out to be an apartment rented from Riquette's Gabrielle's manicurist. Riquette Gabrielle shows up, as do the other characters, and she succeeds in wrapping up her master (or is that mistress?) strategy.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Henri Meilhac. Translated from Ma Cousine by Henry Meilhac (librettist of Bizet's Carmen Among other works) has been Adapted from its original 1890 setting to 1921. Meilhac created strong, Appealing female characters - in this play, four of them. With French comic star Rejane in the title role, the play had An initial Paris run of 300 performances. Forgotten for 100 years, this "continuous peel of laughter; A delicious promenade in the land of fantasy" deserves this 21st century translation.

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

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:
Comedy Translation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  5            Other:  1 or 2 non-speaking servants

Further Reference:
-

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One Rose, Two Thorns

Synopsis:
Clotilde and her husband are on vacation in the Inn when a visitor drops by . . . her lover. Jealousy also makes an appearance (with a delicious plot twist), leaving Clotilde less than enchanted with both Frederic and Lafont.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Henri Becque. One Rose, Two Thorns is based on La Parisienne (1885), the best-remembered work of French realist playwright Henry Becque. I reduced it from three acts and injected more humour into it while leaving its 'bite' intact. The setting is clearly France, but with theme and characters of such continuing relevance I have used language that would not be out of place at any time in the 20th century. This 30-minute two-hander can be staged alone or as part of What The Heart Wants, the translator's comic trilogy on the theme of marital fidelity.

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

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:
One-act comedy translation

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Perrichon's Travels

Synopsis:
Perrichon is the proverbial successful businessman - comfortable, excessively sure of himself, spectacularly devoid of self-awareness, who can soldier on through any calamity except being obliged to feel grateful. As the play opens, Perrichon is leading his wife and daughter Henriette on their first ever vacation - to Mont Blanc by train. Armand and Daniel show up at the train station - two young men who have both fallen in love with Henriette and agree to be friendly adversaries for her hand. Armand gains the first advantage by rescuing Perrichon from a crevasse on the glacier. Daniel shrewdly arranges an opportunity to fall in a crevasse himself, so that Perrichon can be a hero (a more congenial role than that of rescued victim). Perrichon rashly writes a note insulting a travelling military man, who ends up challenging him to a duel back in Paris. Armand comes close to ruining his chance to marry Henriette by extricating her father from this danger as well - until Perrichon overhears Daniel laughingly assess him as "an imbecile who can only bear the crushing weight of gratitude for a few minutes at a time".

Notes:
Original Playwright - Eugene Labiche. A translation of Le Voyage de Monsieur Perrichon, written by leading Paris playwright Eugene Labiche And collaborator edouard Martin in 1860. Performed At the Comedie-Francaise in Paris As recently As the 2008-9 season, this jewel of 19th century French "boulevard comedy" has been too long neglected in the English-speaking world.

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

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:
Comedy Translation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Really, Really, Really Sincerely Yours

Synopsis:
During a week at her opulent French country house, Madame and Ergaste are attracted by what they tell themselves is their shared quality of absolute sincerity. But Lisette says of her employer: "She can be charming, but it gets complicated if you want to tell her so; compliments distress her - or so she says. The only way you can do it is to pretend you're picking a fight. Flatter her with a scowl and she purrs." And Frontin says of his: "To listen to him, no one is as unattractive, as incompetent, at times imbecilic as Ergaste. The more outrageous his defects, the better - it gives him character." Lisette and Frontin use this first-hand knowledge to drive Madame and Ergaste apart and into the waiting arms of Dorante and Araminte.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Marivaux. A modern translation and adaptation of Marivaux's 1739 Les Sinceres. (never before translated or adapted into English.) A one-act gem from the playwright that Guardian (UK) critic Michael Billington calls "a neglected comic master." Runs 45-50 minutes.

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

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:
One-act comedy translation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Tartuffe

Synopsis:
Rich, powerful but curiously lacking in judgment, Orgon has invited Tartuffe, a self-professed man of God, into his house. Unsurprisingly, Orgon's family is appalled. Orgon grows increasingly infatuated with Tartuffe, going so far as to offer marriage to his daughter. This is followed by a delightful battle of (dim) wits between the daughter and her erstwhile fiance, with her caustic servant Dorine as bemused referee. When Tartuffe makes his long-awaited entrance half way through the play, he is clearly less interested in Orgon's daughter than his wife, Elmire - and not the kind of interest normally considered appropriate for a man of the Lord. What follows is the most famous scene in the play, and one of the funniest in the history of theatre: Tartuffe's intended seduction of Orgon's wife. Intended, but not consummated, since Elmire has hidden her husband under a table to witness the religious hypocrite in action. Tartuffe suffers a setback, but has one more dirty trick in mind before the conclusion of the play.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Moliere. Moliere's masterpiece of world comedy, presented in A translation faithful to the original save for one Aspect: it is written in prose instead of verse - An intelligent "heightened" level of language which would not be out of place in Any period or setting from the original 1660's to modern day - or with Any mood from mirth to menace.

1st Produced:
Papermill Theatre, Toronto, ON    2008

Organisations:
East Side Players

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:
Classical Comedy Translation

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Vice Versa (as Two Weeks in Normandy)

Synopsis:
Lucie meets her friend's husband Jacques in the garden of the Inn where the two couples have been vacationing; she has been entrusted with the task of telling him that his wife has run away with another man - unaware that Jacques has been given a similar mission by Lucie's husband. Knowing smiles and outright laughter will greet the ways Lucie and Jacques dance around each other . . . and where that dance leads them.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Henri Meilhac. Vice Versa is a flirty two-hander translated and adapted from Henri Meilhac's 1894 one-act play, Villegiature. The setting is clearly France, but with theme and characters of such continuing relevance I have used language that would not be out of place at any time in the 20th century. This 30-minute two-hander can be staged alone or as part of What The Heart Wants, the translator's comic trilogy on the theme of marital fidelity.

1st Produced:
Alumnae Theatre, Toronto, ON    23 Mar 2011

Organisations:
Alumnae Theatre, New Ideas Festival

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:
One-act comedy translation

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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