The play I read was a version by David Greig. The play opens in the lounge of a seaside hotel, and the two male characters Adolph (Tom Burke) and Gustav (Owen Teale) are deep in conversation. Adolph is sculpting a statue whilst Gustav watches and passes comment. Gustav, we find, has persuaded Adolph to move from painting to sculpting, but now he is advising that sculpting might not be his genre either. We constantly hear Gustav manipulating Adolph's gullible mind, and conversation turns to Adolph's wife who has gone away for a few days. As we watch the insecurities of Adolph's mind develop, we, as an audience start questioning Gustav's motives. What is his relationship to Adolph's wife? Why is he so intent with filling Adolph's mind with such dark thoughts?
Half way through the play we are introduced to Adolph's wife, Tekla (Anna Chancellor) a bright and somewhat flirtatious character. Gustav has left the stage, and so Tekla is unaware of his presence as Adolph moves the conversation from light greeting, to darker vexatious exchanges whereby he is pulling her character to shreds. Adolph leaves the stage confused and frustrated, and Gustav then reappears, and we realise that Gustav and Tekla have a history as old wounds are laid bare, and the darkening psychological exchanges continue.
I found this to be a compelling play to read. It was comical, but also dark and at times disturbing; especially as it shows how easy it is to manipulate someone. An interesting play about getting revenge and obsessional love.