The Mistress Contract


Writers: Abi Morgan


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
The Mistress Contract by She and He (2011)
Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Comedy
Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
West California, 1981-2010
Cast Size
Ideal for
Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast
Casting Notes

Includes mature adult characters


She and He are the pseudonyms of a real-life couple who lived separately on the west coast of America but were in a contractual relationship for thirty years. She is 88 and He is 93. Abi Morgan’s The Mistress Contract is based on their best-selling memoir.

The anonymous couple, who've known each since grad school but became lovers twenty years later, decide in 1981 to formalize their relationship. She is a twice-married feminist, concerned about her role in their relationship, while He is a wealthy, divorced businessman who enjoys sex without emotional or domestic ties. Their ‘mistress contract’ becomes an experiment; an agreement through which She agrees to provide "mistress services" as long as He provides a house, related expenses and periodic companionship. However, the question of whether this is a radical, forward-thinking arrangement or a betrayal of her feminist beliefs lingers throughout the play. What is clear is that the couple know this is an unusual experiment and they therefore decide to record their conversations over a period of thirty years. As time goes by and the couple enter old age, their business arrangement becomes a creature of comfort as they come to rely on, and need each other more and more. By taping their conversations, the couple turn them into a marketable commodity when they offer their transcripts to an eager publisher.

Lead Characters

The Mistress Contract guide sections