The idea of failed relationships in the first play, Mother Figure, comes across very strongly. Lucy seems to have lost contact with the outer world, ‘I didn’t get dressed today’, and, ‘I just wasn’t going anywhere’ and also she doesn’t like to answer the phone almost knowing it will be her husband. Also in Mother Figure one more couple is included, Rose and Terry. Rose and Terry go over to Lucy’s house to tell her her husband rang. Lucy immediately rejects her husband, which surprises Rose. Then they start talking and the conversation leads to an argument between Rose and Terry. This reveals that the distance between this couple is large as she complains that he is always out.
The play then moves on to ‘Drinking companions’. This includes Harry, Lucy’s wife. Harry appears in the scene with a young girl called Paula. He starts to come across as desperate, ‘Bernice-pretty name. Paula and Bernice-lovely names-and I thought to myself, hallo, they don’t belong here. They look right out of place. Two lovely personalities like yours just don’t go together with masons. No, I thought to myself-there from London I wouldn’t mind betting. Up for a visit promoting that what it is you were selling’. This long quote explains that Harry is deeply interested in the girls and as time goes on and more drinks are served Harry starts to open up more under the influence of drink, ‘249, if you want it come and get it’. Now Harry is trying to force the girls to his room. The failed relationship in this play is Harry. He is lonely and is led to believe he has a chance with the girls and makes a fool out of himself.
‘Between Mouthfuls’ now follows the waiter and two couples. The waiter switches between the couples and as he goes to each couple you hear their conversation. One of the couples, Martin and Polly, are talking about Martins work, ‘-so in the end I did the only thing possible. I took on entire responsibility for the whole a, d and j project. Took on both jobs. Did the whole lot myself’. Polly is clearly frustrated with Martin. She wants a closer relationship but Martin is just too concerned with his work. As the conversation moves on we find that Polly has had an affair with Martins boss. Polly does not get the reaction she was expecting, as Martin is only concerned with his job perspectives. To make matters worse Martins boss Mr. Pearce and his wife Mrs. Pearce are eating at the same restaurant. They also are arguing. She has worked out that her husband has had an affair with a woman on his holiday but she doesn’t stay long enough to find out it was Polly, ‘Mrs.Pearce goes out of the restaurant hurriedly, blowing her nose’. The structure of this play is significant because the action keeps being interrupted by the activities of the waiter- especially when the conversations begin to get serious. This creates a comic element.
Mrs.Pearce then starts ‘Gosforths Fete’. She turns out to be a local councillor. In this play a couple called Stuart and Milly are the centre of attention for failed relationships. Milly is pregnant by Gosforth. Milly and Gosforth are discussing their situation when a microphone becomes live. Everything they say is heard for acres and obviously Stuart hears. He is devastated and starts to swear at Gosforth and gets really drunk. This shows a failed relationship in the sense that an affair has occurred and Milly is now pregnant with another mans baby.
All the relationships in this play have failed, but for different reasons. However there is a lack of communication between them. It is interesting that ‘Mother Figure’ is rather tragic throughout whereas ‘Gosforths Fete’ contains almost slapstick humour and ultimately seems to offer a little more hope for the characters concerned.