The play is set in May in the late 80’s, in a smart area outside London, at the home of Charles and Vivien Brookes. He is a very senior civil servant, and she is reputed to be of substantial means. The occasion is their twentieth wedding anniversary to which eight guests have been invited, but when the first couple arrive there is no sign of their hostess and catering staff, and the host is in no fit state to entertain anybody.. As the play develops great efforts are made to cover up, for various reasons, the probable truth, and whispers and insinuations imply unsavoury rumours about the hosts and some of the guests.
The police eventually arrive to investigate a fairly routine matter involving one of the guests and the host, but an indiscretion by another guest leads to an unbelievably staged explanation, and a twist at the end leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
The play is written with Neil Simon's wonderful flair; it has great pace, and superb one-liners.