by Harold Pinter
sez says -- I keep pondering Pinter..what is he up to? Here is a setting, a room, and four men who carry on conversations in that room. There is a poet (some what down at the heels); a successful man of letters (drunk most all the time); and two men who are the successful man's caretakers-one of whom might, or might not be, his son.
Some of the time the first two men are strangers who have just met. At other times the conversation pertains to their long history. Most of the time they are both drinking heavily. And what do they talk about? Male things, or at least things from a male perspective: women in their life and their past competitions for women; liquor; work; loneliness; who will be in whose favor ... but they do not talk about much of anything in a liner fashion; questions are asked and not answered; one man is locked in a room alone overnight with no explanation. (Is how power operates between individuals one of the non-verbal topics?)
And in the end..well, we "Change the Subject, Now and Forever" --and when the meaning of that is explained it is clearly horrifying. Certainly you'd be in No Man's Land at that point.
Language matters a lot in this play--and it might be worth reading it BEFORE you see it. I wish I had. The conversations slip and slid so much that it is a little hard to get your baring sometimes. I think I'd have gotten a lot more out of it if I'd read it first. But taking it on with no prep provides quite a ride -- it is worth the time. Fascinating stuff.
Te acting was all round solid--except Wm Hurt continues to mumble too much of the time. (He did this in Long Day's Journey Into Night also) He is a great actor, the physicality he puts to a character is fabulous..but we need to hear him better so I'd suggest he work a little harder at enunciation .
John Street Cafe (Grade A)
7 years ago