Unknown to each other, Linda and Dave have decided to have their respective hen and stag parties in the same tacky Liverpool club – or more accurately, in its toilets. With the girls applying make-up, doing their hair and crying in cubicles, and the boys puking into the lavatory and drawing on the walls, the whole of Stags and Hens takes place in the Ladies and Gents.
Both parties are out on the pull, after a night (or even just a few minutes) of passion – with the exception of the groom, who is throwing up after the curry, and the bride, who is having second thoughts. Russell’s raucous, coarse, and very funny play is a brilliant depiction of what passes for courtship, and the squeals, jeers and flings considered a necessary prelude to getting married.
Stags and Hens premiered in 1978 at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool; the updated text, entitled Stags and Hens – The Remix was produced at the Royal Court, Liverpool, in 2008.