Rating: Four out of five stars
I borrowed this book from a friend naively thinking it to be a play about Virginia Woolf. Wow, was I wrong. At the beginning of my reading experience, all I could think of was the first note I wrote down: “242 pages of an older couple arguing about their dirty laundry in front of the younger couple.” However, I found myself intrigued by this play as it continued on. The premise is two married couples engaging in masked dialogue at an after-party past 2am. The three-act dialogue becomes a commentary on marriage, as one couple has been married for years – versus their newlywed visitors.
Multiple themes are at work: age, gender, experience, abuse, lies, interests, dominance, insecurity…there’s a lot to take in. Two interpretations can be made by the end – the one where everything is true and the one where everything is false. What is true, and what is false? This is true for my review. Do I give it three stars for making me uncomfortable, or five stars for making me uncomfortable? I’ll compromise with four.
“For the mind’s blind eye, the heart’s ease, and the liver’s craw.” – A toast, p. 24
“When people can’t abide things as they are, when they can’t abide the present, they do one of two things […] either they turn to a contemplation of the past […] or they set about to…alter the future.” – p. 178
At the end of the day, plays are better off being seen rather than read. While reading this play, I could imagine two polar scenarios: the first being a performance with great actors that would blow me away; the second being a performance of mediocrity. For a play like this, the quality would depend on who is performing.
I recommend this book to those who have seen the play first and intend to analyze the play further on a line-by-line basis. I wish I had seen the play before reading the script.
Picture from Goodreads
Review also on Goodreads