“Tom and Viv,” which was made into a 1994 film starring Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson, told the story of Eliot’s calamitous 17-year marriage to a high-spirited but unstable British woman, Vivien Haigh-Wood, and its aftermath, when she was committed to a mental hospital where she eventually died. Meticulously researched and treading carefully on delicate personal matters, the play nonetheless engendered outrage, especially in England, from those who found it an unseemly invasion of private lives. On the other hand it also elicited frustration from those, like the New York Times critic Frank Rich, who found it not invasive enough.

“It’s possible that Mr. Hastings has placed too much stock in his store of dry facts,” Mr. Rich wrote. “Eloquently written as this work can be, it’s also bloodless until its waning moments. It’s as if the playwright were afraid to take the final plunge of imagining, however speculatively or voyeuristically, just what intimacies his couple might have exchanged in all those rooms they unhappily cohabited.”