“A painfully honest play...Ted Whitehead’s play caused a stir at the Royal Court in 1972 and has rarely been seen since. I can’t think why; as a portrait of domestic entrapment, it rivals Strindberg’s The Dance of Death.” –Michael Billington, The Guardian
“A sharp and nuanced take on regret and want...Some smart and blackly comic moments” –Karl O’Doherty, The Public Reviews
“Powerful and chilling” –Gerald Berkowitz, TheatreGuide London
“A play as relevant today as it was in 1972, and it speaks volumes about how deceptively little the changing landscape of gender politics has affected certain sections of society” –Rik Baker, Exeunt
“A strong dash of Strindberg in the couple’s mutually destructive, well-rehearsed patterns of torture and recrimination... The voice of the angry young man reverberates around this two-hander of domestic strife and futile social rebellion.” –Sam Marlowe, The Times
‘You know… when a structure has lost its essence but retained its shape, the geologists call it: a Pseudomorph. A false shape. That’s our marriage.’
Mr and Mrs Elliot have imprisoned themselves within a domestic incarceration of marriage, family and society’s twitching curtains. Battling through their self-made entrapment for the sake of the kids, they soon begin to destroy each other through an ugly routine of rows, affairs and suicidal blackmail.
Written with a controlled irony and an underlying compassion for its tormented characters, Ted Whitehead’s bold and unflinching play asks questions about the choices we make to fit in with social conventions – questions that are just as relevant now as they were in 1972.