Philip is a “bachelor don”. He is a philologist, pleased and fascinated by words. A friend of Philip’s, Donald, brings over a young playwright, John, to read from his play. Philip’s critique of of the play is misinterpreted and John attempts to prove the credibility of his storyline by reenacting a scene, and everyone’s life changes.
Christopher Hampton became involved in theatre at Oxford University and moved on to become the youngest writer ever to have a play performed in the West End in 1966. During the 1980s, his stage writing was also combined with television work. In 1985 he adapted the Choderlos de Laclos novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses for the RSC which ran for nearly 2000 performances in the West End.
The action of the place takes place in Philip’s living quarters.