Posted by scadmin On July - 26 - 2004

The Caretaker

by Harold Pinter

Directed by Daniel Toyne

The Caretaker
26-31 July 20048.00 p.m.
Guinness TheatreSubstation
Power games played between Mick and his fragile brother Aston take a sinister turn when Aston brings a tramp, Davies, to their squalid flat. As the brothers strive to manipulate Davies, the vulnerability and inadequacy of all three men are exposed through their ever more complicated power games. Pinter’s plot, which is revealed as much between the lines as through them, cannily grabs our attention and holds it; every scene seems to contain an unexpected explosion. Both linguistically and thematically, this is a perfect introduction to Pinter’s early work. Punctuated by heavy, telling silences, the colloquial dialogue is full of threat. Treating potent themes such as territory, deception and self-delusion, the narrative is concerned with role-play as much as role reversal. It’s also shot through with dark humour; and, often, discomfiting.

The Stage Club’s production of this show is led by veteran director Daniel Toyne (The Rivals, The Tempest), and stars Phil McConnell (A Chorus of Disapproval, Servant of Two Masters), well-known playwright and actor Musa Fazal (Our Journey Home), and Brian Liau (currently appearing in Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse).

The Caretaker was Pinter’s second full-length play, written in 1959. It was first performed at the Arts Theatre in London in 1960, and established him as a major talent. A film adaptation was made in 1963, starring Donald Pleasance, Alan Bates and Robert Shaw.

Harold Pinter was born in 1930. He has written a number of absurdist masterpieces including The Lover, Betrayal, and The Dumb Waiter. His screenplays include The French Lieutenant’s Woman and The Handmaid’s Tale. He has received numerous awards including the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear for The Caretaker. His sparse style and gift for creating tension and horror through the most economic of means has made him one of the most respected playwrights of our day.


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