A: Anthony Minghella Pf: 1986, London Pb: 1986 G: Drama in 2 acts S: Airport, hotel, factory, massage parlour, Bangkok, and launch tied up at Ayuthya, 1980s C: 7m, 9fA group of English travellers arrive in Bangkok: friends Adrian and Gary; a married couple Stephen and Frances Bitter; and Edward Gover, a dentist on his way to work with Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong. Adrian and Gary have come to buy cheap clothing, and Gary is hoping for some cheap sex. They visit a clothes factory, and tensions appear in Stephen and Frances's marriage. Everyone meets in the hotel bar, and Frances gets angry about Adrian and Gary visiting a sex show. Stephen is secretly envious, Edward comments negatively on the political aspect, and Adrian and Frances grow close. While Gary takes Stephen secretly to a massage parlour, Frances and Adrian become lovers. Adrian and Frances arrange to have dinner together, and Gary and Stephen pay for three prostitutes to come to their room. Stephen and Frances have a row, which ends with Stephen hitting her. Edward steps down from his high moral stance to pay for sex with a male hotel worker, and accidentally sets off the hotel's fire alarms. Adrian realizes that Stephen and Gary have abandoned their call girls in the ‘fire’, and rushes to rescue them. The following morning, little is said. Adrian and Gary, having completed their deal in Thailand, are flying home, while the others are going on to Hong Kong, but ‘Nothing can stay the same now can it.’
A: Anthony Minghella Pf: 1986, London Pb: 1986 G: Drama in 2 acts S: Airport, hotel, factory, massage parlour, Bangkok, and launch tied up at Ayuthya, 1980s C: 7m, 9f
Now best known as a film director (especially for The English Patient, 1996), Minghella has written several successful plays, this being the first to be premiered in London. Against a backdrop of sexual and economic exploitation of the Third World, each English visitor to Bangkok reveals both moral corruption and emotional vulnerability.