“I think I have been preparing to write Alice in Bed all my life.
A play about women's problems and impulses, and ultimately a play about imagination.
The reality of spirit imprisoned. The triumph of imagination.
However, an imaginary victory is not nearly enough.”
This is what Sontag writes in her notes on the piece. And on stage, she invites us to meet a special and sensitive person, Alice. Alice never leaves her room – she is sick. Seemingly she has no illness; she just can't get out of bed. She travels through thought in space and time.
What can the people surroundings her do with such a woman? Care for her? Condemn her? What do her father, brother, mother, imaginary and real lady friends do? And what will happen to her? Will we find out what's wrong with her? Does brilliant cleverness always find its way and succeeds?
The inspiration for the play, Alice James, was an actual historical figure, the sister of world renowned American writer Henry James and the great American psychologist William James. She lived in the late 19th century, died young and did not become great or world renowned. At that time, her illness and suffering were considered to be symptoms of hysteria.