Clare McIntyre's play Low Level Panic is considered a modern feminist classic, examining the effects of society's objectification of women. It was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in association with the Women’s Playhouse Trust on 11 February 1988, winning the Samuel Beckett Award the following year.
The play is set in a bathroom in a house shared by three women: Jo and Mary (both in their twenties) and Celia ('possibly older but not much'). There are two scenes set outside the house, and the voices of two men are heard in scene two. Jo is worried that she is fat; she doesn’t have as much sex as she would like but fantasises about having rough sex with lorry drivers and being a beautiful, mute woman with amazing legs having sex with a yacht-owning millionaire. Mary, however, is the recent victim of a sexual assault, and wonders if the way she was dressed contributed to her assault. Celia believes that the right shade of eye shadow can secure life-long happiness. Forced to share the bathroom, the three women confide in each other, as well as with the mirrors, revealing their private fantasies and anxieties.
The premiere production was directed by Nancy Meckler and designed by Lucy Weller. It was performed by Caroline Quentin as Jo, Lorraine Brunning as Mary and Alaine Hickmott as Celia.