Continuing with the ‘Leaning on Mantlepieces’ theme, the next playwright we looked at was Harold Pinter. The purpose of this session about Pinter was to learn a brief biography and to read through a section of one of his pieces, ‘The Lover’ (1962).
Harold Pinter was born in 1930 and died in 2008 (1), his career started off with acting before deciding to switch to writing instead, this occurred in the 1950’s with his first play, ‘The Room’ (1957). Apart from ‘The Lover’ and ‘The Room’, other works by Pinter are:
- The Birthday Party (1957)
- The Dumb Waiter (1958)
- Tea Party (1964)
- Betrayal (1978)
- Other Places (1982)
- Moonlight (1993)
- Remembrance of Things Past (2000) (2)
Pinter’s plays are more naturalistic, unlike the play we previously looked at by Noel Coward, ‘Blithe Spirit’ and his work won him a Nobel prize for Literature in 2005 (1).
I already knew that he was well known for his pauses but I didn’t realise until this session that it was because he didn’t know the difference between a beat and a pause. This is very apparent in the section of ‘The Lover’ we looked at between Sarah and Richard. It made me think about the difference between a pause that can have a real tense effect and one that can last too long which may create an uncertain moment between the audience and the actors. I wanted to portray Sarah as playful as that was my interpretation of the text as beforehand, she had spent the day with her ‘lover’ and was then talking to Richard about his ‘lover’.
Overall, I think this was portrayed well through the performance, we were able to work well and go through the scene, rehearsing what we felt was more natural instead of directing each other. To improve, I think the interaction between myself and James could have been greater because our characters are together. Despite that, we received positive feedback which can be seen in the second video below.