The Work: Plays

Men Die Women Survive

1990, Previously entitled: 'Three Women Talking' (3w 1m)


Her writer husband, MONTCRIEFF, left MINERVA, a businesswoman, five years ago. MISCHA, a Hebrew scholar, left her financier husband, LEO, two years ago. CLAIRE, researcher for, and mistress of, shadow cabinet minister, VINCENT, has just been abandoned by him to pursue family and career. The three women have come together for dinner in order to console CLAIRE. Each has prepared one of the three courses and selected an accompanying wine. Each explains the reason for their choice. In the process we hear of the relationships with their men and gradually realise that CLAIRE has revenged herself by betraying her politician lover. In between, an actor plays out scenes from the life of the three men.


"It's not a crime - to stop loving me. To stop loving me I could not say with my hand on my heart was a heinous crime. It's everyone's right to love, not to love, to love less, to stop loving. But of course it was not so simple, because she liked me, perhaps even more than liked me. And why not? I was a good man - faithful, loyal, dependable! I'd given her the best years of my life, her beloved children, days of roses and wine and verse beneath the bough. Why shouldn't she like me a little, even a lot? But love? That searing madness? That insatiable longing? That ache to be there all the time? That sharp nerve-end sharing of every domestic detail of the day: she watching him peel her an apple, him watching her drying her skin, she watching him shaving, swimming together, walking together, listening to music, watching a movie, just holding on to one another for the dear last years of life? None of that. All that dead and gone. Affection in place of passion.... Sad.... Sad and over.... Batteries run out.... Sing lullabies for the day's end.... Sing lamentations.... For the night has come.... "