Ida's family is throwing her a tea party for her eighty-sixth birthday. Their efforts to be cheerful and make the event a success verge on the desperate. Ida is racked with pain and feels she has lived too long. As the rather laboured celebrations go on, her third daughter Susan returns unexpectedly after an absence of 25 years.
Tensions immediately flare between the sisters, whilst Ida struggles to even recognise her. As the party comes to an end, the family disperse leaving Katherine remembering the pact she made with Ida not to let her suffer into old age... When the family returns, old prejudices and rivalries are forced into the open in a hilariously painful and moving picture of a family in turmoil.
Last performed in 1987, Curtains won Stephen Bill the London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.
The play is directed by the Royal Court's former Associate Director, Lindsay Posner, whose theatre credits include Abigail's Party, The End of Longing, Hay Fever and Relatively Speaking.