Wallace Shawn’s triptych, first performed in 1977 in London, was visited by the London vice squad, led to calls from The House of Lords to cease funding to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and nearly resulted in Shawn’s expulsion from the country! A hue and cry far beyond the nudity and simulated sex of all sorts performed in the second part of this work, “The Youth Hostel.” I’ve never been to a youth hostel, but I’ve stayed—a year after this play’s premiere—at the New York Sloane House YMCA, where I lived through homosexual events not far different from the heterosexual ones played out in Shawn’s play. I guess the Brits just weren’t ready to know what went on behind those easily opened doors. A more recent, 2007, production in Austin, Texas’ Rubber Repertory—although much written about—received a far more felicitous reception.
David: —to the restaurant and—Love dress, love—the—
Sarah: Well? Don’t you think just our chocolates, maybe?
Do we really—
David: Well—it might be nice—Some sort of a soup, or one
Sarah: I’d rather—my skirt’s ripped—
David: Oh really, darling? I was only thinking that maybe some
Sarah: You probably—
Sarah: You could still get some—
David: What? I know, but I really rather would—what? Did you
want to wash?
Judy: “I think I understand you, Judy.” (They sit for a
long time. Both feel cold. Judy shudders. Silence)