The Work: Plays

Four Portraits - of Mothers

1982, (Four to ten fifteen minute vignettes)


RUTH - woman as unmarried mother
NAOMI - woman as mother who never was
MIRIAM - woman as failed mother
DEBORAH - woman as mother earth
In France and elsewhere they have been performed with Yardsale using
STEPHANIE - woman as abandoned mother.


Me a prisoner? Never! Those poor men, tied to their jobs, tied to their hours, caught in a rush to a top they'll never reach in a thousand years - they're the prisoners, they're the slaves! But not me! I enjoy the freedom of my home too much …Yes, I have three of them, and if it wasn't so tiring and costly and boring to be married to a woman who was always fat and pregnant I'd have a dozen of them! Love them! Everything about them. I loved carrying them, giving birth to them, suckling them. I loved changing their smelly nappies, washing their smelly bums with smelly oils, powdering their fat bodies with smelly powders - all of it! Every smelly second of it! It's what I always wanted to do, what I still want to do, and what I'm supremely equipped to do. So just let anyone dare bully me into thinking it's me who's the prisoner.

Second play in a cycle of six one woman plays. Written for a festival in japan of one-act plays on the subject of 'the mother'.


Four Portraits - of Mothers with Yardsale ('Portraits - meres') won the £10,000 Georges Bresson prize in Sete, France 1992.