'A Number' is a fantastic play that deals
with identity through genetic reproduction.
Salter is an old man who never learned
how to raise his son properly, even though he tried many times. He
tried many, many times to raise the ‘same’ son over and over.
Okay, maybe they weren’t exactly the same son, but they were
The audience meets three sons. The
first we meet turns out to be a copy. He has discovered he is a copy
and is trying to understand why his father would do such a thing.
They father is a compulsive liar and we can only guess.
The second son we meet is the original.
He has not turned out well either, because the father neglected him
by not spending enough time on him. He finds out about the copies and
this bothers him greatly. He murders the copy we met.
Lastly, we meet another copy, who has
magically turned out to be somewhat normal. The father wants
attention from this one, but this son does not need his father. He
managed to grow up without him and is not about to change now. This
greatly bothers Salter.