My son is gay. I’ve got to understand that. Otherwise you’re going to disappear. I don’t want that. I’m having enough trouble getting used to the fact that you’ve grown up. I don’t want my son to be a gay bloke living up in London going to Kylie Minogue concerts, I want you to be Tim, playing in the sandpit in the garden, getting covered in mud. I want to go back to when you were little, when I could carry you upstairs on one arm. But you’re not that kid anymore, you’re a man. And you’re gay. And you’ve gone to live on the other side of the world.
Because I am the King. And Poe is a sycophant. … Yes, yes, Poe, that will do. He is attempting to ingratiate himself with me knowing as he does that as a poet, indeed as a person, he is hopelessly unworthy. But at least he knows his place. He understands the nature of power. Unfortunately because I have compassion and rule with humanity, I am surrounded with people unable to grasp this simple conceit. I have advisers who advise when they should agree. I have courtiers who criticise when they should flatter. When did I last have a whim indulged? If I decided to make my horse chancellor – as is my right – Would I hear ‘Yes, majesty’, ‘Splendid idea, highness’. No. I would not. I would hear ‘You can’t do that, he can’t work the abacus’
Robert Wolfe, a philanderer with an acid tongue, who has used his good looks, wit and charm, to indulge in a life of indulgence, reaches the age of sixty and finds he has cancer. His one area of regret in life is his estrangement from his three daughters. He determines that this illness will give him the impetus, the money and the means, to seek reconciliation with his daughters. He will at last ‘come home’.
In exchange for his money, his three daughters, who lead very different lives, agree to look after him in his remaining months. However, as if he moves from daughter to daughter, rather than reconciliation, he finds anger and hurt as he, once again, disrupts their lives.
Unable to find redemption in his family, Robert ends up on the very fringes of society where he does, in the end, find a kind of peace.
The Dying of the Light is a dark comedy whose plot-line has echoes of King Lear.
Premiered at the Wolsey Theater Ipswich in 1997.
“Pete Barrett an East Anglian Playwright desrves wide recognition for his vivid and imaginative writing” Evening Star
A burned out pop star hides away in a mansion where he lives in fear of the peacocks.
ADAM: OK. So. Money.
GINA: A credit card would be OK.
ADAM: Don’t use them.
ADAM: I did have a cheque book once.
GINA: What do you use for money?
ADAM: Bill. I use Bill for money.
GINA: Where’s Bill.
ADAM: Bill’s not talking to me. I told him I’d written eight songs for the new album.
GINA: And you hadn’t?
GINA: How many had you written?
GINA: Yes roughly.
GINA: You’ve written some lovely songs. I love that one about the diner, in Carolina.
ADAM: Yeah that was good wasn’t it. Only it wasn’t in Carolina. It was in Georgia. Didn’t rhyme see.
GINA: I’m very disillusioned.
ADAM: You, and the rest of the world darling.