The episodes that have been adapted for the stage are as follows. These are regarded as the best episodes to stage. If you require other Steptoe titles to stage then please do contact us, as we are happy for you to adapt them and send them to us for approval.
'The Bird' Harold meets a girl and against his better judgement agrees to invite her home for supper. She arrives an hour late, and goaded by his father he refuses to let her in. He is angry and upset and goes to bed. Left alone in the front room, the old man puts the clock back one hour. The female role in this episode, Harold's girlfriend, can be played as a voice off stage. This is a very good episode to open with. It is the second episode to have been written and it fully establishes the relationship between father and son in the first 15 minutes.
'Robbery With Violence' The old man knocks over Harold's collection of porcelain and claims it was the work of a gang of burglars. Harold calls in the police, which complicates matters further. This episode has four other characters, two of whom could certainly be played by females.Very funny episode proving, at the end, that tabloid jouranlism is nothing new!
'Cuckoo In The Nest' The old man's long lost elder son, Arthur, arrives unnanounced from Australia. Harold knew nothing of his existence and is jealous. The old man invites Arthur to join the board of 'Steptoe & Son' causing great resentment from Harold who leaves home. Harold's initial views on Arthur are proven right and Albert has to pursuade Harold to come home. This episode has a heavyweight guest role in Arthur and has very poignant moments.
'Men Of Letters' This episode opens with the very famous, and hilarious, 'Scrabble' scene. The vicar visits and asks Harold and Albert to contribute articles to the church magazine. This they do, with Harold penning an historical view of Rag and Boning in the area, and Albert contributing the crossword resulting in the police seizing all the copies under the 'Obscene Publications' act. A nice cameo role for the vicar.
'A Star Is Born' Harold is a member of local amateur dramatic company. One of the actors backs out and his place is taken by the old man, who naturally scores a resounding success on opening night. There are some lovely cameo roles in this episode especially that of Rupert, who typifies the 'Am Dram' director. (Rightly or wrongly!).This episode ends with the famous scene where the little boy approaches Harold and says "Hey mister, are you an actor?" and Harold replies, "No. I'm a rag and bone man. And that's all I'll ever be."
'Oh, What A Beautiful Mourning' One of the best known episodes written by Ray and Alan. The old man's eldest brother dies. After bickering about whether or not they should attend, Harold is forced to go in full funeral suit including bowler hat. ("We look like a couple of pox doctors clerks!".) The entire dreadful Steptoe family are re-united for funeral and all any of them are interested in is the will. This is another true ensemble piece with many family roles, although relatively small, very funny indeed. It ends, unusually, with Steptoe & Son at one with each other.
'Live Now, PAYE Later' The old man has been defrauding the Inland Revenue by claiming the marriage allowance for his long departed wife. The Income Tax Inspector comes to investigate and the old man dresses up as Mrs Steptoe and is given 6 years back payment on her pension. After having been propositioned at the post office by a randy old man, and taken to the cinema and a dance, the old man decides that Mrs Steptoe should be declared dead. All seems to have been sorted out when it comes to light that the old man has also been claiming for a non existent daughter. Enter Harold - in drag! Two great cameo roles in this.
'The Desperate Hours' Two escaped convicts, around the same age as father and son, take refuge in the Steptoe household. They gradually come to realise that they have broken into the only house where they are worse off than in Wormwood Scrubbs. The barriers between the crooks and Harold and Albert gradually come down and both the younger men realise that they have a lot in common as do the older men. It ends with the two crooks going back to prison - leaving Steptoe & Son in theirs. This is a true piece of classic comedy with extremely good guest roles.
'Porn Yesterday' Harold brings home a 'What The Butler Saw' machine and to his horror finds that the star is his father fifty years before. Before he can destroy it, it is loaned to the church for their fund raising fete. The popularity of this is astounding ending with the old man surrounded by autograph hunters! Good cameos for the vicar and his wife, plus a crowd scene at the end.
'Upstairs Downstairs, Upstairs Downstairs' Albert is ill and Harold has to stay at home to look after him. But is the old man really ill?
'Seance In A Rag And Bone Yard' The old man goes to a spiritualist meeting and brings a medium to the rag and bone yard to try and contact Harold's mother. The medium brings her own mother. It turns out to be a fraud with the intent of both mediums marrying Harold and Albert. There is a lovely guest role in Madame Fontana. There are very funny references to Henry V111 and Dan Leno and this is a very funny episode.
'Divided We Stand' One of the best remembered episodes in the series. A war between father and son culminates in Harold deciding to build a "Berlin" wall through the middle of the house to separate himself from his father. This is undoubtedly a tricky one to stage with a large set change within the production, but we have given guidelines of how it can be achieved in the script. Excellent episode. As are all of them.
Christmas Special 1973 - 'The Party' The usual Christmas problem arises, Harold wants to go away and the old man wants to stay at home. After a debate - stalemate. Harold as usual capitulates and decides to spend his hard earned money on the biggest party Oildrum Lane has ever seen. Unfortunately nature intervenes and via Albert ensures that Harold spends his usual boring miserable Christmas at home alone with his father. Adapted by Jack Lane.
Christmas Special 1974 - 'The Holiday' Just for a change Harold wants to go abroad for Christmas, the old man fancies Bognor. He objects to every resort in the brochure and eventually at random Harold chooses Switzerland. Albert has no passport and when they find his birth certificate to renew it Harold is shocked to find his grandfather is unknown - he thought it was Gladstone ! They get to customs and Harold's passport has run out, so Harold sends Albert off abroad and the twist at the end is the only episode in 57 in which Harold emerges the victor - he is alone at last with his girlfriend - in Bognor. Adapted by Jack Lane.
All Steptoe & Son Episode Breakdown.
Cast details, in addition to Harold & Albert, Male/Female/Extras
Series 1 - 1962
1. THE OFFER
After a row, Harold decides to leave the business and take up another offer of employment.
2. THE BIRD - AVAILABLE
Harold meets a girl and invites her home to supper. She arrives an hour late and Harold, goaded by his father refuses to let her in. Harold goes to bed . Once he has gone, the old man puts the clock back one hour. (1 F)
3. THE DIPLOMA
Harold takes a correspondence course as a television repair man. (I M, NO E)
4. THE ECONOMIST
Harold buys a job lot of 10,000 pairs of false teeth. (I M, NO E)
5. THE PIANO
Harold arranges to purchase a grand piano from the floor of a block of flats. (2 M, NO E)
6. THE HOLIDAY
Albert has one of his numerous heart attacks. Harold decides to go to the South of France for his holidays. The old man wants to go to Bognor. He has yet another 'heart attack' and the doctor advises complete rest, so inevitably they both go to Bognor. (2 M, 2 F, NO E)
SERIES 2 - 1963
1. THE BATH
Harold builds a bathroom in the house, as alternative to bathing in an iron tub in front of the fire. (2 F, NO E)
2. THE STEPMOTHER
Albert brings home an elderly girlfriend,i.e. a prospective new mother for Harold, to his displeasure.(1F, NO E)
3. WALLAH WALLAH CATSMEAT
The horse is ill and local rag and bone men help out by collecting junk for the Steptoes. (4 M, 4 E)
4. SIXTY-FIVE TODAY
The old man's birthday treat is an outing to the cocktail lounge of a hotel, theatre, and ending in a Chinese restaurant. All disastrous, of course. (6 M, 2 F, MANY E)
5. THE KEYS (A MUSICAL EVENING)
Harold and his father have a musical evening at home, with Harold's collection of classical records, which the old man cannot stand. (NO M/F, NO E)
6. FULL HOUSE
Harold loses all his money to a card sharp, but father turns the tables on him in the end. (3 M, NO E)
7. IS THAT YOUR HORSE OUTSIDE?
Harold falls in love with a rich, upper class, nymphomaniac whom he meets on his rounds, much to his father's disgust. (1 M, 1 F, NO E)
SERIES 3 - 1964
1. HOMES FIT FOR HEROES
Harold decides to go around the world with a group of young people on a yacht for 2 years and decides to put father in old peoples' home while he is away.(1M,1F,NO E)
2. THE WOODEN OVERCOATS
Harold brings back a job lot of coffins from a bankrupt undertaker. The old man refuses to sleep in the house while the coffins are there, leaving Harold to spend a nervous night on his own. (NO M/F, NO E)
3. THE LEAD MAN COMETH
Against the old man's wishes, Harold buys lead from an itinerant tramp. The old man is convinced the lead is stolen, which indeed it is - from their own roof. (2 M, NO E)
4. STEPTOE A LA CARTE
Harold falls in love with a French au pair girl, whom he meets on his round. He takes her home and introduces her to father, only to find out she is Albert's grand daughter from an affair he had in the First Wold War in France, making Harold and her blood relatives, and therefore marriage out of the question. (1 M, 2 F, NO E)
5. SUNDAY FOR SEVEN DAYS
Harold takes father to the cinema with the usual disastrous effects. (2 M, 3 F, MANY E)
6. THE BONDS THAT BIND US
The old man wins on a premium bond and brings home a young gold digger as a prospective wife. Harold attempts to break up the relationship. (1 F, NO E)
7. THE LODGER
Harold and the old man have a row. Harold moves out. The old man advertises for a lodger. (NO M/F, NO E)
SERIES 4 - 1965
1. AND AFTERWARDS AT...
Harold's wedding day, the entire Steptoe family and bride's family are in church. While they are exchanging vows, the girl loses her nerve and runs out of the church. The Steptoe family all go home to ask for their presents back. (12 M, 12 F, MANY E)
2. CROSSED SWORDS
Harold finds a valuable piece of Mycen porcelain on his rounds, and puts it up for auction. The old man buys it back inadvertently, and of course, finally drops it on the floor. (9 M, MANY E)
3. THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN AND THEIR HEATING MACHINES
Harold decides to install do-it-yourself central heating, with the usual disastrous results. (NO M/F, NO E)
4. THE SIEGE OF STEPTOE STREET
The Steptoe bills are piling up culminating in all their creditors laying siege to the house, demanding payment. (6 M, NO E)
5. A BOX IN TOWN
Harold, after yet another unsatisfactory relationship with a girl, ruined by the old man's presence, decides to take a flat in London. (1 M, 10 F, NO E)
6. MY OLD MAN'S A TORY
The local Labour Party meet at the house, to the old man's disgust. He attempts to disrupt the meeting. (3 M, 2 F, MANY E)
7. PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Harold takes father on a cheap weekend tour of the World War One battlegrounds in Flanders. More international trouble is caused by the old man on the plane than in the entire four years of the First World War.(4 M,2 F,MANY E)
SERIES 5 - 1970
1. A DEATH IN THE FAMILY
The horse dies in the street. They buy another horse which is very quickly taken ill. However it turns out it is a mare and pregnant, so they end up with two horses for the price of one. (NO M/F, NO E)
2. A WINTER'S TALE
Harold decides to go ski-ing in Switzerland and erects a practice piste in the backyard. He breaks his leg so the old man goes to Switzerland in his place.(NO M/F,NO E)
3. TB OR NOT TB
Harold and Albert go to the mass X-ray department. One X-ray is unsatisfactory, but whose is it ? A story of family heartlessness, even with the prospects of ill health. (NO M, 2 F, NO E)
4. ANY OLD IRON
An effeminate antique dealer goes to the yard looking for possible bargains, and falls in love with Harold much to his embarrassment and the old man's disgust.(2M,1F NO E)
5. STEPTOE AND SON AND SON
A young lady, eight months pregnant, arrives on the doorstep in the belief that Harold is the father of her child conceived at a party the year before. Harold can't remember, but is delighted to claim responsibility.(1M,1F NO E)
6. THE COLOUR PROBLEM
The old man's cunning attempt to buy a colour television set. (2 M, 1 F, NO E)
7. MEN OF PROPERTY
The lease runs out on the yard and they go to the bank to arrange a loan for the new lease. (8 M, 3 F, NO E)
SERIES 6 - 1970
1. ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE - AVAILABLE
The old man knocks over Harold's collection of porcelain and claims it was the work of a gang of burglars. Harold calls in the police, which complicates matters further. (1 M, 4 E)
2. COME DANCING
Harold falls for a girl who is passionately fond of ballroom dancing. The old man undertakes to teach Harold to dance. (1 M, NO E)
3. TWO'S COMPANY
The old man brings home a widow in her early 40's, whom he intends to marry, to meet Harold. On their meeting Harold and the woman realise that they themselves had been in love twenty years before, and still are.(1 M, 1 F, NO E)
4. TEA FOR TWO
The local Conservative party arrange for Edward Heath to take tea with a working class constituent, and the old man is chosen. (2 M, NO E)
5. WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Albert and Harold decide they really must leave their hovel of a home and contact the estate agent with a view to moving to a much more salubrious part of town and they are shown a house in a rather posh housing estate. Unfortunately they encounter extreme prejudice from their very close neighbours who are worried that the value of their property will plummet. (5 M, NO E)
6. POT BLACK
Harold installs a full size snooker table in the front room. The old man is better at it than him. (4 M, NO E)
7. THE THREE FEATHERS
Harold buys an antique commode, but it is a cunning rip-off by a gang of confidence tricksters. (2M NO E)
8. CUCKOO IN THE NEST - AVAILABLE
The old man's long lost elder son arrives. Harold knew nothing of his existence and is jealous. (2 M NO E)
SERIES 7 - 1972
1. MEN OF LETTERS - AVAILABLE
Harold and Albert are asked to contribute pieces to the church magazine. Old man's contribution is a crossword puzzle, answers to which are all vulgar. (2 M, NO E)
2. A STAR IS BORN - AVAILABLE
Harold is a member of local amateur dramatic company. One of the actors backs out and his place is taken by the old man, who naturally scores a resounding success on opening night. (6 M, 2 F, 5 E)
3. OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING - AVAILABLE
Old man's eldest brother dies. Entire Steptoe family are united for funeral. Another example of family selfishness. (9 M, 9 F, NO E)
4. LIVE NOW PAYE LATER - AVAILABLE
Old man has been defrauding Inland Revenue and Income Tax Inspector comes to investigate. (4 M, MANY E)
5. LOATHE STORY
Harold wakes up in the middle of the night, to find himself trying to throttle his father. He goes to a psychiatrist. In flashbacks, we see examples of why Harold hates his father. (1 M, 3 F, MANY EXTRAS ON FILM)
6. DIVIDED WE STAND - AVAILABLE
A war between father and son culminates in Harold deciding to build a "Berlin" wall through the middle of the house to separate himself from his father. (3 M, 2 F, NO E)
7. THE DESPERATE HOURS - AVAILABLE
Escaped convicts, the same age as father and son, take refuge in the Steptoe household. (4 M, NO E)
SERIES 8 - 1974
1. BACK IN FASHION
A fashion photographer uses the yard as background for photographs so Harold and Albert become models for a magazine. (2 M, 1 F, 5 E)
2. AND SO TO BED
Harold buys a waterbed to impress his girlfriend. Once again it all ends in disaster because of the old man's intervention. (1 M, 1 F, NO E)
3. PORN YESTERDAY - AVAILABLE
Harold brings home a 'What The Butler Saw' machine and to his horror finds that the star is his father fifty years before. Before he can destroy it, it is loaned to the church for their fund raising fete. (2 M, 2 F, MANY E)
4. THE SEVEN STEPTOERAI
A local gangster tries to extort protection money from the Steptoes. The old man gets assistance from the over 65 Kung Fu Club. (6 M, MANY E)
5. UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS - AVAILABLE
Albert is ill and Harold has to stay at home to look after him. But is the old man really ill? (1 M, NO E)
6. SEANCE IN A WET RAG AND BONE YARD - AVAILABLE
The old man goes to a spiritualist meeting and brings a medium to the rag and bone yard to try and contact Harold's mother. The medium brings her own mother. It turns out to be a fraud with the intent of both mediums marrying Harold and Albert. (1 M, 3 F, NO E)
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 1973 (THE PARTY) - AVAILABLE
The usual Christmas problem arises, Harold wants to go away and the old man wants to stay at home. After a debate - stalemate. Harold as usual capitulates and decides to spend his hard earned money on the biggest party Oildrum Lane has ever seen. Unfortunately nature intervenes and via Albert ensures that Harold spends his usual boring miserable Christmas at home alone with his father.
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 1974 (THE HOLIDAY) - AVAILABLE
Just for a change Harold wants to go abroad for Christmas, the old man fancies Bognor. He objects to every resort in the brochure and eventually at random Harold chooses Switzerland. Albert has no passport and when they find his birth certificate to renew it Harold is shocked to find his grandfather is unknown - he thought it was Gladstone ! They get to customs and Harold's passport has run out, so Harold sends Albert off abroad and the twist at the end is the only episode in 57 in which Harold emerges the victor - he is alone at last with his girlfriend - in Bognor.