Celebrating their 10th year in business, the London Classic Theatre (LCT) company will showcase the legendary work of Harold Pinter this Tuesday and Wednesday, April 20th and 21st, when they perform “The Caretaker” at the LPAC.

One of Pinter’s earlier plays, “The Caretaker” tells the story of brothers Mick and Aston who take into their home the lonely drifter Davies.

Michael Cabot, the LTC’s artistic director, decided to revive the play after first putting it on five years ago, and said that the play’s magnificence was the reason it was chosen again for production: “This play is a little polished gem that Pinter came up with quite early on in his career.

“It follows three characters living in this tiny little attic in London and what comes from this very simple situation. The layers of deceit and the texture of the play are just phenomenal and generally, this is just a fantastic piece.”

All of the characters have contrasting personalities, and the play explores the minds of all three men who are locked together in a tiny attic: “It’s almost like Davies becomes the two brothers’ play thing,” Cabot says.

“They start to push him mentally – they make him go into his past and they go through theirs. It’s very compelling when you get into the way these characters think and the relationships just get darker and darker.”

Pinter’s notoriously dry and dark humour isn’t easy to grasp when reading from the pages, but there are features in this play that come to life onstage: “You don’t always get it when you’re reading the play, but when you see it unfold before your eyes it can be absolutely hilarious, as well as quite dark at times. There’s a very serious edge to ‘The Caretaker’ and it can be quite menacing,” Cabot says.

Though there are some features that the audience expect to see when going to view a Pinter play, namely his famous pauses, Cabot says he doesn’t necessarily try to be different or innovative, but rather stays respectful to the original copy: “With Pinter, you mess with him at your peril.

“I think you just find the nuances that appeal to you but really, you go in there and respect not only his words in terms of what the characters say, but also his stage directions and the way he structures the rhythm of the dialogue because it just works. To try and play with it would be doing him a disservice and would ultimately compromise the production.”

Cabot describes using Pinter’s work as “an unmitigated pleasure” and aims the show at everybody: “I think the one thing that’s forgotten about Pinter is that he’s terrifically funny and ‘The Caretaker’ is a comedy. Once the audience start to buy into the logic of it, it appeals to people of all ages – it’s certainly not highbrow.”

Playing the LPAC this Tuesday and Wednesday, “The Caretaker” will no doubt thrill its audience as an intense piece of dark comedy that explores the psyche of three very different individuals.

Tickets for the show are priced £10 and £7 concessions. Doors open at 7pm and the performance begins at 8pm. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the LPAC’s website.

One thought on “Pinter’s ‘The Caretaker’ to play the LPAC”
  1. I confess, I’m not a student although I was a long time ago. I enjoy your website. I enjoyed this play too although perhaps not as much as the reviews suggested I might. At two and a half hours including the interval this play was probably a bit long for an eight o’clock start, we were certainly flagging by the end.

    My wife wanted to make a run for it at the interval, but I persuaded her not to as there was bound to be a clever twist at the end that would explain everything, there wasn’t. It just petered out.

    This was a brave choice for a Lincoln audience, definitely BBC 4 rather than BBC1 territory. With the benefit of hindsight perhaps one night would have been sufficient. There were plenty of spare seats, presumably tonight will be the same. A three-quarters full theatre would have upped the atmosphere although we tried our best.

    The Caretaker is billed as a comedy, I chuckled a bit. Some of the audience were obviously finding it a lot funnier than I was. There’s no accounting for my lack of taste.

    The write up said Davies’ past was delved into. Was it? I learned very little about him other than he was a romancer who would say pretty much anything to keep a roof over his head. In the end I thought Aston was the one who seemed to be losing out certainly we learned about him, what haunted him and shaped his life. Davies was bouncing about agreeing with whoever had spoken last, amusing but Paul Whitehouse was a lot funnier as the bar room protagonist in The Fast Show.

    I was glad I went but I wouldn’t rush back. I’ve got tickets for Ardal O’Hanlon in the Lincoln Comedy Festival. Now he will be funny.

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