THE FIFTH STAGE is a two-hander which immediately creates an intimate atmosphere and a theatrical dynamic. As wife, ANN, implores her husband, ROB, to stay with her whilst he gently rebuffs her. Her panic increases and her movements and speech patterns become more and more frantic; she is desperate for him to remain. The reason for his departure is known to both of them but undisclosed to the audience. Rob is not leaving of his own volition but nor does he resent the inevitability of his going: he is as quiescent as Ann is obstinate.