(Included in the volume SWEET EROS AND WITNESS)
THE STORY: SWEET EROS is a monologue delivered by a poet, with interruptions, in the form of sobs (at first), muffled protests (at first), and the croaking of a song, 'Plaisir d'Amour' (at the end). The poet, formerly a math teacher, has kidnapped a young woman and driven her to a remote house in the country. When we first see her, she is gagged and bound to a chair, and in the course of the action she is on the receiving end of a nonstop spate of reminiscence, personal philosophy, sharp instruction, and true confessions and observations, many of them repulsive. Nothing her captor does stems the tide of his own conversation. He strips her bare then goes over her face with a magnifying glass. Eventually he frees her of gag and bindings, and takes her to bed, and as time progresses she minds less and less.
The Off-Broadway presentation of this provocative play (on a double bill with Witness) was hailed as a milestone of the "new" theatre. Sensitive yet boldly frank, the play explores the dark recesses of an unsettled young man who kidnaps and enslaves an unsuspecting girl. "…demonstrates some real theatre." —Women's Wear Daily. "…he is funny and ingenious in nicking his targets." —The New Yorker. "…has an emotional unity and force." —Newsweek.