• Stephen Oliver
  • Bad Times (1975)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by The Greenwich Letter

  • String Quartet
  • Baritone
  • 8 min

Programme Note

BRIEF SYNOPSIS

Bad Times is an affecting portrayal of a successful author who is about to hold a publication party for his new book. In the few moments before the party begins, he dictates a letter to his friend Richard, attempting to justify the inclusion of some of their intimate secrets in the new novel. It emerges that the two men had developed a very close relationship, but that eventually Richard had left to get married. During the bustle and chit-chat of the party he learns that Richard’s marriage has failed. In his excitement he begins to describe his relationship to the guests. They depart in some embarrassment, and the author is left alone. He is convinced that Richard will return to him and that they will resume their relationship. Shocked, he suddenly realises that it is inevitable that Richard will read the book, and that the disclosures it contains will ruin any chance of reconciliation.