Other Places - 1985

Programme Cover

Other Places, (Collection of Three Plays), Theatre Royal, Brighton, Jan - Feb 1985, transferred to the Duchess Theatre, London, March 1985

Victoria Station
Controller - Colin Blakely
Driver - Roger Davidson

One for the Road
Nicholas - Colin Blakely
Victor - Roger Davidson
Gila - Rosie Kerslake
Daniel Kipling

A Kind of Alaska
Deborah - Dorothy Tutin
Hornby - Colin Blakely
Pauline - Susan Engel

Director - Kenneth Ives
Sets - Eileen Diss
Costumes - Sheelagh Killeen
Lighting - Mick Hughes

Victims in no-man's land
John Peter
Harold Pinterís triple bill at the Duchess, Other Places, contains two of his best short plays, which are also two of the finest short plays in the English language. I'm not quite sure what the third, Victoria Station, is doing in this company: itís like an enormously clever parody Pinter used to write in his twenties, and he could probably still write one like it before breakfast, with one eye closed. The other two are the works of a master.

Programme Cover

When One for the Road opened last year if was suggested that Pinter had somehow discovered the outside world: that the dramatist of private claustrophobia suddenly woke up to the reality of real power, terror and torture. This naïve view wouldn't survive a good production (or close reading) of The Caretaker, The Homecoming or even Old Times. All these plays simple ripple and heave with the language of sinuous intimidation: Pinter has always perfectly understood the devious ways and the almost erotic cruelties of people whose indispensable pleasure is the fear and pain of others. Not one blow is struck in this 45-minute long, scorching little play; no bodily pain is inflicted; but he brutality and the terror implied by its steely language blows at you with the sweaty breath of inhumanity.
In a different way, A Kind of Alaska also takes place in a no-man's land between life and death. This play, with its chilling economy of language, both elusive and haunting, is like nothing else Pinter has written. It is both a realistic account of someone waking after 29 years, from the nearly dead; and a grimly symbolic tale of a marriage based on a shared burden, and of the strange, bleak desolation of salvation and release.
Both plays are the work of a savage imagination and a harrowing sense of pity; their humour is both warm and cruel. The acting, by Colin Blakely (who is in all three plays), Dorothy Tutin and Susan Engel has no equal in London.
The Sunday Times, 10th March 1985

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