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Gate Theatre


by Wendy MacLeod

Director Ian Rickson
Lighting Tim Mitchell
Composer Stephen Warbeck

Photography by Simon Annand

On Thanksgiving in the early 1980s, Marty Pascal returns to his family's home in McLean, Virginia, to visit his mother, younger brother Anthony, and twin sister Jackie-O, who adopted her name as a result of her obsession with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Marty has brought with him his new fiancé Lesly, shocking the family with the revelation that he is engaged. The news destabilizes Jackie-O, who has recently been released from a psychiatric hospital.


As the play progresses, it transpires that Marty and Jackie-O are involved in an incestuous relationship; their father left the family the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and as teenagers Jackie-O and Marty would re-enact the assassination as a form of ritualistic foreplay. The play concludes with Marty and Jackie-O again re-enacting the assassination, though Jackie-O intentionally uses a gun loaded with real bullets instead of the previously used blank cartridges, killing Marty.

‘Lucy Hall’s clever set equates lack of privacy in the house with the collapse of normal
psychological barriers. Ian Rickson’s production, cast and paced with an impressive, quirky
precision makes a thought provoking evening out’.

Claire Armistead, The Guardian

‘Lucy Hall’s set, on which bedroom, lounge and various offices occupy the same floor space,
is furnished in white satin, and it is soon apparent that we are within a whited sepulchre
where one body already lies interred and another must surely follow unless the incestuous
chain is broken. Ian Rickson’s production, ingeniously using the multiple set, paces and
balances the wit and horror so that by the end one dreads and longs to reach the inevitable

Jeremy Kingston, The Times

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