In the heat of a blazing summer, three physically and spiritually exhausted Americans: Tom, a famous tennis pro; Dinah, his beautiful, cosmopolitan, not-yet divorced lover; and their mutual pal, Michael, a gay writer (first introduced in The Boys in the Band
), try to "get away from it all" by visiting Dinah's enormously wealthy retired friends - the older, imperious Irene and her terminally ill husband, Ray - at their fabulous cliff-side villa on an island in the Mediterranean. But it turns out to be far from the perfect, restorative holiday they were so desperately seeking. This odyssey has not brought them or their hosts anywhere near the paradise they were seeking, but rather to an inferno where a painful, purgatorial breakthrough occurs, releasing them all and providing true escape from this distant and deceptively idyllic haven.
Remote Asylum is a play which observes the classical unities of time, place and action, which remorselessly exposes a group of bruised souls - wanderers all, and forces them to deal with their fears of loneliness and mortality, to open past emotional wounds not yet healed. The event is one of forceful, dynamic transfiguration; the conversation is intelligent and adult, both witty and grave, best described as a kind of orchestrated tone poem.