Owners is a play about property – about possessing, and being possessed.
Clegg the butcher tries to think of ways to kill his wife Marion, who became a successful property developer after being released from a psychiatric hospital. Marion’s assistant Worsely keeps trying to kill himself, but can’t manage it. He is helping Marion acquire a building where the pregnant Lisa and the impossibly apathetic Alec live. Capitalist drive and hermetic passivity are contrasted as babies, sex and flats are swapped and traded.
A combination of morbid absurdity and blunt, oblique storytelling gives this bitterly comic play moral and political force in its examination of the possessiveness of patriarchy and capitalism.
Owners was first presented in 1972 at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London.