The two plays in this collection bring fascinating new changes to the well-worn contrast between a writer's life and work.
The biographical play The Pimp is an elegant dance of death for four characters: the poet Charles Baudelaire, his mixed-race mistress Jeanne Duval, his respectable but repressed mother and his hypocritical legal adviser. Each of them has a part to play in the poetry as well as the tragedy of Baudelaire's life.
In the brilliant, often surreal Solitude, the blocked writer Trecci (a character loosely based on the novelist Alexander Trocchi) wishes to be left alone on his barge, only stepping out for a riotous visit to the pub and an occasional sexual encounter with his neighbour's one-legged wife. But when his only friend brings round a potential conquest - an attractive young man who turns out to be an attractive young woman - Trecci is unwillingly drawn back into the world outside.