2 X Pinter,” An Evening of Early Harold Pinter Plays

by Adele Jones

Performing Arts of Woodstock will present “2 X Pinter,” an evening of early Harold Pinter plays, opening Thursday, November 29 at 8 P.M. at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church Hall ( the A-​​frame church), 2578 Route 212, Woodstock.

Harold Pinter, a prolific writer, director and actor, was born in a poor section of London in 1930. He began his theatrical life as an actor, all the while writing poetry. His plays have been produced all over the world, and have become known for their power to capture everyday speech and for his “commanding silences.” The famous Pinter pause is bursting with meaning. Harold Pinter also directed and wrote for films, notably “The Quiller Memorandum,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” and “The Servant.”

Pinter, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, is always concerned with humanity’s failure to communicate, but this concern is often hilariously played out. Discussions and misunderstandings escalate, highlighting the isolation that all individuals experience sometimes. In “A Slight Ache,” originally a BBC radio play, fantasy grips the characters, startlingly revealing their inner yearnings and frustrations. In “The Dumb Waiter,” two assassins passively await their next assignment. In both plays, questioning can lead to destruction. Acceptance appears to maintain the power balance in their world.


The Dumb Waiter

L; Robert Burke Warren, R; Clay Tyson

Sometimes referred to by critics as “comedies of menace,” these plays are both set in confined spaces where apparently nothing particular is happening. Yet there is an unseen threat, “a weasel under the cocktail cabinet,” as Pinter put it. An intruder, by his very existence — or not— is a threat which will change the lives of the people in the room.

A Slight Ache

L; Adele Calcavecchio, R; George Allen

A Slight Ache” features George Allen and Adele Calcavecchio with Brandon Hargrove; The Dumb Waiter stars Clay Tyson and Robert Burke Warren. The production is designed and directed by Robert McBroom.


The performances are scheduled for November 29, 30, December1; December 6,7,8; and December 14, 15, and 16. Evening performances on Thursdays-​​Saturdays are at 8 P.M.; the special Sunday matinee on December 16 is at 2:30 P.M. Ticket prices are $17, $14 for seniors and students. Reservations are strongly suggested as space is limited. Please call at (845) 679‑7900 .

For more than 48 years, Performing Arts of Woodstock has been mounting quality productions of both new and classic plays — artistically challenging plays such as True West, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Dresser, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Twelfth Night, Breaking the Code, Endgame, to name just a few from the last several years. —taken from PAW’s website

You can find us online at www​.PerformingArtsOfWoodstock​.org.


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