Known in the press as Mrs British Screenwriter, prolific writer Abi Morgan is bringing us something quite remarkable this year. The BAFTA award-wining screenwriter (responsible for The Iron Lady, Shame, The Hour) debuts at the Royal Court with The Mistress Contract.
Adapted from the 2011 US novel, this play tells the true story of a mistress’s sexual contract with a wealthy married man. As well as trading extra-marital sex for housing and financial compensation, the contract also stipulates that 'She' should be allowed to record all of their conversations.
The authors of The Mistress Contract: A Memoir by She and He remain anonymous, but in reading more about it, we found out that the couple - she now 88 and he 93 - are still together, living in separate homes in the same city.
Touted, somewhat depressingly, as the new Fifty Shades of Grey, the show is sure to stimulate debate surrounding our relationships with the opposite sex: is the arrangement, which reminds us of the 'demi-mondaines' in 19th century Paris, a feminist act or an act of submission? The Court's new Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone, who is at the helm of the production, shed some light on this question in an interview with the Guardian. The relationship and conversations of She and He are, she says, an attempt 'to keep hold of something, persuading yourself that something is not transient'. She concludes: 'ultimately the play is about “decay – whether we can stave off decay".
'She' is played by Saskia Reeves, whose theatre credits include Hello and Goodbye at the Trafalgar Studios and A Disappearing Number for Complicité at the Barbican. Danny Webb, best-known for hi srole as the prisoner Morse in Alien 3, plays 'He'. This show is going to cause a frenzy: the run has already been extended by two weeks.
|What||The Mistress Contract, Royal Court|
|Where||Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
05 Feb 14 – 22 Mar 14, 8pm, Thurs 3.30pm
|Website||Click here to book via The Royal Court's website.|