The Work: Plays


1993, (3w 4m)


HILARY HAWKINS is a judge who has reached a crisis of confidence. A suppressed incident from the past has been working corrosively within his sub-conscious. A particularly nasty court case stirs memory of an incident during his student days when he worked on a building site, and reluctantly became involved with other builders in stealing lead from a roof which they were repairing. Failing to shout a warning before throwing down the lead HILARY badly scars a plumber's face. At the height of his crisis he goes in quest of the plumber. When he finds him he can only stand and observe him from a distance imagining three possible outcomes of a confrontation he has not the courage to face, as years ago he had not the courage face a dying old sweetheart.


"I didn't ring. Made no contact at all. She'd been so pretty, such a sweet and generous soul, I just couldn't face her dying…I'd have wept. She'd have seen her dying in my eyes. Wasn't strong enough for the pain of that. Nor the pain of anything. Something had snapped in me. Disaster headlines in the press and I'd move on. The sight of starving children on television, I'd weep. If I saw rudeness in my children or insensitivity I'd rage…I was incapable of giving comfort… And I was so ashamed. Audrey would have come to my deathbed. With all her lack of sophistication, her absence of what's called 'good taste' she would have found the right tone of voice, pitched her sunniness at the right angle. Not too high, not too bright, not too hot - but a cool summer's evening full of drunk bees and trivia."