Caryl Churchill's Hot Fudge was written as a short companion piece to Icecream, her play exploring Anglo-American relations in the late 1980s, first staged at the Royal Court Theatre, London, on 6 April 1989. Hot Fudge was first staged as a performance reading at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in 1989.
Ruby is dating Colin. He thinks she runs a travel agency and she thinks he runs his own media company. Unbeknownst to Colin, Ruby is in fact part of an elaborate financial con. What she doesn't know is that Colin is in fact unemployed and has an acrimonious relationship with his ex-wife, Lena. Over four succinct scenes, the play depicts an amoral world where money is all and lies are the only truth.
The Royal Court production was directed by Max Stafford-Clark, with Gillian Hanna as Ruby, Allan Corduner as Colin, and other parts played by Carole Hayman, Philip Jackson, Saskia Reeves and David Thewlis.
In her introduction to Caryl Churchill: Shorts (Nick Hern Books, 1990), Churchill writes 'I wrote Hot Fudge ten years later [than Three More Sleepless Nights]. Max Stafford-Clark, who was about to direct Icecream, was concerned at it being so short, and suggested I write something to go with it. I made it so the two actors who doubled in Icecream could play the main parts in Hot Fudge and the other four double as their friends. In the end I wasn't sure it did go well with Icecream and was afraid it would somehow spoil it. But when we did Hot Fudge as a reading anyway we found we liked it. So now I feel the two plays can be done either together or separately.'