The Work: Plays

The Mistress

1988, (One act)


SAMANTHA is a famous dress designer. Her lover is a married man. She is constantly at the mercy of his family demands. Being famous she receives endless appeals for money to worthy causes. These she pushes aside until there are so many she has to make a decision where to donate her money.

On this evening, in her workshop, she is pretending she is there to work when in truth she's waiting for 'that phone call'. Between waiting for the call and deciding on her charities she slowly becomes drunk.

A comically fierce play about private and public guilt.


"Virtue, Jessica? Let me tell you about virtue and the ease with which one lies feeling no guilt whatsoever. Let me tell you about virtue and the ease with which one is devious and expects virtue from others. Let me tell you about the virtuous heart that can harden while the rest remains soft, sweet and tender - because let there be no misunderstanding, Babushka is all these things - a fine and lovely and virtuous person, except in this one respect: she lies to her good friend with the talent of a sublime actress. Her good friend whom she loves - and let there be no misunderstanding about that either, her good friend can ask her life of her but - when she has her good friend's husband in her arms, on her lips and between those ample, fleshy thighs her good friend is banished from her thoughts. They no longer exist for each other. Now, ask her how. How, Sam, how can this be?"


Fifth in a cycle of six One Woman Plays.