Oral sex. Hairstyles. Verbatim snatches of the secretly taped girl-talk that brought the U.S. presidency to its knees. The appropriately named Snatches is a gripping one-act New York play — fresh from an outing at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival — based on the events leading to President Clinton's extraordinary impeachment and, specifically, the taped phone conversations between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp.
New York playwright/director Laura Strausfeld, who listened to all 22 hours of the tapes, has fashioned a theatrical piece out of them that goes beyond satire to examine the dynamics and ethics in female friendships.
"I just love reading real dialogue," she says. "It made me laugh at them, and then at myself, because of the crazy stuff I do on the phone with my friends. . . I just thought, 'I've got to make this into a play.' "
The American critics have agreed with her premise: "Shrewd, stylish, intelligent and touching" (NY Time Out Critics' Choice), "Imaginative and witty, with a point scarily worth making" (Village Voice) "Between the laughs...loyalty, honesty, manipulation and betrayal!" (The New York Times).
Having proved a hit at Edinburgh, too, this unusual and entertaining take on the guys and dolls of the Washington political scene is now set for a short run at the New End Theatre, Hampstead. There will be a preview on Aug. 29, a press night on Aug. 30, and the play will run until Sept. 7.