Name that Play Script
March 17, 2021 12:42 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to remember a one-act-type play script I read or saw in the mid 1990s, but given the situation, it was probably a relatively well-known play from anywhere from the 1960s to the 1990s. It is a small, intimate setting. There are four actors, and the entire play takes place at a restaurant table.

Scenario: Two couples, sitting at a restaurant table. They talk about relationships, and after each conversation, a few actors switch places and then the romantic relationships have changed, but they're all still at the table. I believe there are two or three changes of position between the actors, and they're supposed to be slightly older in each progressive scenario.

This has been impossible for me to Google. Any ideas?
posted by erst to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pinter's Celebration?
posted by TheRaven at 2:02 AM on March 17

Best answer: Any chance it is David Ives' "Seven Menus" from All in the Timing? Similar idea but I think they're going back in time, not forward ...

"Two couples, one married, one dating, are dining together, only to be replaced, one by one, (in a series of flashbacks) by an assortment of former friends, lovers, and suitors — all leading to a very funny and revealing study of a chain of tangled relationships in the manner of an up-to-date La Ronde." (link)
posted by tarshish bound at 4:03 AM on March 17 [3 favorites]

Was it Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing"

I too first thought of All in the Timing, but that has many more shifts than two or three, more like 50-100. in The Real Thing (Spoiler alert) we first see a married couple in conflict - but as that scene ends, it is revealed that the husband and wife were two actors in a play-within-the-play and the character of the actress in scene one is revealed to be in conflict with her husband, the playwright. This kind of frame of reference popping-out continues thematically through the show, but only three or so.
posted by sol at 4:57 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]

Dinner with Friends?
posted by Melismata at 7:20 AM on March 17

Best answer: I believe "Seven Menus" has only something like seven different scenes, although "Sure Thing," also from "All in the Timing," has more like 50-100.
posted by tarshish bound at 1:04 PM on March 17

Response by poster: It had to have been some version of Seven Menus. The plot is absolutely correct and everything about it is familiar, but I'm also absolutely sure it was only 4 actors (2 men, 2 women) so it must have been some interpretation where people played multiple roles.

Thank you!
posted by erst at 10:52 PM on March 20

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