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Topic Summary

Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: January 01, 2009, 07:47:48 PM »

The play was exceptionally well done, one of the best versions I have seen- a previous version I saw had Pinter acting.  Gambon played the first Act as if in a drunken stupor, which brought out the Pinter humour.  The two henchmen (Foster and Briggs) provided the menace.

Only one criticism, the first Act ends with Foster saying to Spooner "Listen, you know what it's like when you're in a room with the light on and then suddenly the light goes out?  I'll show you.  It's like this.  [He turns the light out]  BLACKOUT".  The scene ends.

I think this should be menacing- as the scene ends Spooner is left in a room in the dark with a violent person, Foster.  But in the performance there was no menace here, and it seemed simply a clever piece of stagecraft to close the scene for the interval.  But this is minor, all the actors were good in their roles.

Now the play and performance becomes special because the lines from the play were used at Pinter's funeral, read by Michael Gambon the lead actor in the play.  I've posted the lines elsewhere but I will repeat here:

"I might even show you my photograph album.  You might even see a face in it which might remind you of your own, of what you once were.  You might see faces of others, in shadow, or cheeks of others, turning, or jaws, or backs of necks, or eyes, dark under hats, which remind you of others, whom you once knew, whom you thought long dead, but from whom you will still receive a sidelong glance, if you can face the good ghost.  Allow the love of the good ghost.  They possess all that emotion... trapped.  Bow to it.  It will assuredly never release them, but who knows... what relief... it may give to them... who knows how they may quicken... in their chains, in their glass jars.  You think it cruel... to quicken them, when they are fixed, imprisoned?  Deeply, deeply, they wish to respond to your touch, to your look, and when you smile, their joy... is unbounded.  And so I say to you, tender the dead, as you yourself would be tendered, now, in what you would describe as your life."
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: November 27, 2008, 11:22:17 PM »

I go and see it tomorrow, so am rereading the play.  Nice how some things get new meanings since 1975 when it was first performed:

"frequented by highwayman... Notably Jack Straw.  The great Jack Straw"  (for non Brits, Jack Straw is a British politician, currently Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice).

and talking about a wife playing cricket "did she google?"

Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: July 02, 2008, 11:14:27 PM »

Pinter's No Man's Land is coming up at the Duke of York's Theatre London.

Previews are from 27 Sep 08 and it runs 7 Oct 2008 to 3 Jan 2009.

The actors are Michael Gambon (Hirst), David Bradly (Spooner), David Walliams (Foster) and Nick Dunning (Briggs)  The director is Rupert Goold.