Composers and their stage works 


David Hare

Royal Court Theatre, London - September, 2000

Paul Peplow, poet and alcoholic is wandering naked on the M4. The alcohol allows Paul to compose verse and to make love. When he is persuaded to visit Alcoholics Anonymous, however, be becomes frightened, is boring, lonely and empty (or is it dead?).

In relating events that have happened this summer, Paul reveals that he has had a fling with the wife of a tycoon, Victor, who, somewhat altruistically, has given Paul a job. Victor has views on everything, from jazz to bus conductors to Marxism, the cause which he once embraced.

He met his wife, Elsa, whom he found abjectly drunk in a bar. Victor provides Elsa with both love and stability and yet his attitude to Paul is based on a somewhat instant diagnosis - that the poet is dependent, not on alcohol, but his own lack of self-esteem.

It is within this scenario that Hare complains that because of Britain's loss of belief in itself but has become dependent on on a passion for addiction. It has become bewildered and frustrated and somehow, incomplete: the lure of the whisky bottle beckons!