Sexual conflict is the main theme of Ted Whitehead's three long plays in this collection. His first play The Foursome appears to be about the war between the sexes, while it in fact excavates the underlying assumptions that make such war inevitable. Alpha Beta is a two-hander about a collapsing marriage, as the traditional view of monogamy comes under attack from a new permissiveness. In The Sea Anchor, sex outside marriage proves even more problematic than sex within it, as two men and two women wait anxiously on a jetty in Dublin Bay for a friend who has decided, for reasons which only gradually emerge, to cross the Irish Sea in a dinghy. In the short play The Punishment an offending student submits without question to the Headmaster's authority. The play asks disturbing questions about that authority.
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