Allies. Warmongers. Lovers?

New satire depicts US-Britain alliance as a gay love affair
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 11:41 AM CDT
Samuel West, left, and Scott Cohen perform in a scene from "Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?" The play by Caryl Churchill is currently on view at off-Broadway's Public Theater in New York.    (AP Photo/The Public Theater, Joan Marcus)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – What if the "special relationship" were a sexual relationship? In Caryl Churchill's 45-minute play, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, a codependent love affair between a reticent, adoring older Englishman and a young, brash, dominating American (called Sam, as in Uncle) stands in for a certain US-British alliance that led to the Iraq war. Churchill's new play, which opened last night at the Public Theater in New York, is both uncontrollably angry and surprisingly tender, writes the New York Times' critic.

The Briton loves it when his American boyfriend talks dirty—seducing him with sweet nothings about Salvador Allende, cultural supremacy, and the efficacy of torture. It's a "brief and bilious" political satire, but by the curtain, Ben Brantley writes, one ends up caring deeply about "characters who could easily be papier-mâché figureheads." Tension builds subtly as shards of conversation are delivered with such Pinteresque precision, Jeremy Gerard writes on Bloomberg, that in the end one pines for a little anarchy.