Pinter at the Pinter - The Dumb Waiter/A Slight Ache / our review

Truly CHILLING pinter

Feb 7th, 2019

Kitty McCarron

Kitty McCarron

The final instalment of Pinter's One Act Plays reminds us of the polarising and fascinating mind he had.

Jamie Lloyd's Harold Pinter Season has saved the best for last in this double bill of two fantastically Pinteresque one-acters, each displaying the mastery of the late playwright in wildly differing ways.

First, we are treated to A Slight Ache, presented as a radio play starring Gemma Whelan and John Heffernan. Bathed in the nostalgic sounds of a garden in summer, a married couple, discuss how best to spend the glorious day in incredible Received Pronunciation. But this is Pinter, and before long they are both moved to mania by the sight of a mute Matchseller at the back gate. In a nail-biting 45 minutes, we're treated to the breakdown of their wedded bliss, sense of self, and finally, their minds.

With Lloyd's trademark panache and stunningly ominous sound and set design, and of course, smashing performances from Whelan and Heffernan (cementing them both as ONES TO WATCH), this expert commentary on the self-had even this reluctant Pinter go-er wrapt to the very end.

Next up is The Dumb Waiter, starring Martin Freeman and Danny Dyer. As a couple of bickering erstwhile hitmen awaiting their next job in a shabby basement, the two work well as a sort of horrifying Morecambe and Wise pastiche, with the ever effortless Freeman immediately entrancing without having to say a word. Dyer has to work harder, though when he gets into his element, he is quite wonderful to watch and I hope he soon commits to more live theatre. Again, the set and sound design are sublime, with the titular Dumb Waiter becoming a menacing character of its own as Ben and Gus finally realise their instructions.

As a conclusion to Pinter at the Pinter season's of one-act plays, the company has outdone themselves, presenting Pinter at his chilling finest and reminding us all of the polarising and fascinating mind he had.

View our show pages for more information about Pinter at the Pinter - The Dumb Waiter/A Slight Ache, Harold Pinter Theatre.

Pinter at the Pinter The Dumb Waiter A Slight Ache, Harold Pinter Theatre, London

Pinter at the Pinter - The Dumb Waiter/A Slight Ache

4 star rating4 star rating4 star rating4 star rating

Harold Pinter Theatre: Open Run

Jamie Lloyd and co have cooked up a unique new event paying tribute to theatrical iconoclast Harold Pinter for the tenth anniversary of his death - a whole season at his namesake theatre, dedicated to...more info

Book TicketsBook tickets for Pinter at the Pinter The Dumb Waiter A Slight Ache, Harold Pinter Theatre, London

S
M
T
W
T
F
S

Spread the word

Sound good to you? Share this page on social media and let your friends know about it.

Keep up to date

I want email news and updates for events in my area! Read how we protect your data.