New World Order - Premiere

Cover illustration by Andrez Klimowski

First produced at the Royal Court, Theatre Upstairs 9 July 1991

Des - Bill Paterson
Lionel - Michael Byrne
Blindfolded Man - Douglas McFerran

Directed by Harold Pinter

Designer - Ian MacNeil
Lighting - Kevin Sleep

See Politics Campaigning against Torture



Bill Paterson,Michael Byrne and Douglas McFerren

Ten Nerve Racking Minutes of Pinter
Robert Cushman
A man sits gagged and bound in his chair. Two guys lounge behind him, discussing in debonair fashion what they are going to do to him, never getting specific. This is the new Harold Pinter, who has re-harnessed his great genius for smart intimidation in the cause of political protest.

The New World Order lasts 10 nerve wracking minutes and gets closer to the nerve of torture than any play I know. Quite possibly Pinter can turn this kind of thing on and off at will; but I doubt that any imitator, however adept could do it. No other writer has so fastidious an ear, and in his own production the results are served up with impeccably casual cruelty by Bill Paterson and Michael Byrne. The only false note is the reference to the Gulf war that may have set the play off. The interrogators start blubbing about making the world safe for democracy (ie, they're American). So a precise evocation of a universal scourge becomes thinly partisan.
Independent on Sunday 21 July, 1991

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