The Work: Plays

One More Ride On The Merry-Go-Round

1978, (4w 5m)


JASON, a Cambridge professor of philosophy, separated from his wife, NITA, is enjoying life with his mistress, MONICA, a young American university lecturer. He's contemplating the future. Should he retire and see more of the world, experience more of the life about which he philosophises? In the first act he's full of contempt for his wife whose image he projects as dowdy and uninteresting. In the second act we discover that she's far from this image. NITA is dazzling, energetic, and has a young lover. We realise that JASONand NITA had wished the other to be what each became, but only after they were separated!

A comic plot involving academics who get high on a hash birthday cake, a recalcitrant daughter, and the appearance of an illegitimate son who's a magician.


"So there it is! We simply don't need as many people as we once did in order to run a nation of 60 million. Terrible! But it seems to be a fact. Technology has drained the need for labour and with it has drained away the work ethic. And if I were younger I'd seek out my fellow men and think up new work for us to do, gaily, together. But I'm not younger. I'm not old but I'm older than I'm younger, and though I love life I'm not too impressed with the living. Man's goodness cheers me too little to remain un-tormented by his stupidity.


Just when you think you've got him pinned down as a Jew, along he comes with 'Caritas', a story steeped in Christian mysticism. And when you fancy you've got him nailed as a descendant of lofty Victorian teachers … he throws off the mask of Puritan self-betterment and social responsibility with a heart-stopping account of a New York love affair in his play 'Lady Othello', and a sexy, rueful comedy 'One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round', both filled with awareness of personal and sexual experience beyond the reach of politics …
Michael Kustow, Time Out.