Composers and their stage works 

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

Robert Anderson


Four one-act plays are held together by their one theme; namely, the sexual alienation which afflicts all of the main characters.

In the first, Jack Barnstable, a successful playwright, argues with his rather philistine producer, Herb Miller, about the acceptability of a scene in Jack's latest play which shows the 'hero' in an unflattering state of nakedness.

The second follows a middle-aged married couple, George and Harriet, on a visit to a bedding store where Harriet tries to persuade George, using the excuse of their different tastes in mattresses, that they should abandon their double bed for a pair of single beds.

Chuck Berringer's isolation from his own sexual identity, and inability to deal with his son's coming of age, dominates the third play. What would have been a difficult transition for Chuck anyway is made intolerably sad by his wife, Edith's, constant pressure on his to talk openly with their children about the role of sex in their lives.

Finally, Herbert and Muriel, a doddering old couple, both of whom have been married several times, sit in rocking chairs, confusing their affairs and previous marriages so completely that each is nostalgic for the other while remembering passion actually shared with former partners.