The Arcata Promise

David Mercer edited by Stuart Laing

DOI: 10.5040/9781408161357.00000092
Acts: 2. Scenes: 37. Roles: Male (2) , Female (1) , Neutral (0)

The Arcata Promise is a study of the grotesque self-pity of an unstable actor, a merciless account of individual self-delusion and failure.

Once a successful actor, Gunge now lives in a grimy basement, arguing with a disembodied Voice and fantasising about violence. Glimpses of him prowling the stage as Richard II are intercut with memories of his relationship with Laura, a young woman who believed his promise of eternal devotion, but became gradually disillusioned as his alcoholism and hostility emerged. The sudden appearance of Tony, a valet, in Gunge’s squalid residence fractures Gunge’s reality and psyche even further, bringing Mercer’s story of tortured attraction to a destructive conclusion.

The Arcata Promise was first presented by Yorkshire Television in 1974.

From Mercer Plays: 2


Bloomsbury Publishing

David Mercer edited by Stuart Laing

ISBN: 9780413652003

Series: Contemporary Dramatists

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