The Dumb Waiter

4
Pinter's classic at The Print Room.
By Orlando - 25th Oct 2013

Dumb Waiter reviewThe Dumb Waiter: the third silent, yet ever-intrusive, character in Harold Pinter’s simmering two-hander, which deals with boredom, domesticity, faux-friendship, hierarchy and entrapment… to name but a few themes. Tension within silliness and threat from faceless managements must abound if this dark, humorous standoff is to hold our attention and empathy in any way.

Intricate character and situation work is wonderfully realised by the father and son, master and servant, good cop bad cop relationship of the ever-brilliant Clive Wood and Joe Armstrong’s textured Ben and Gus. My only doubt is the windowless and airless environment they are supposed to inhabit. Perhaps just a little too open, a little too knowing of the audience and, by consequence – a little too ‘big’ for the first half. That said, the interplay and tension was capitalised once the third character took occupancy and started to deliver external obstacles to an internal banality. Beautifully paced in a very simple production with rumbling pipes and misfiring toilet systems.

Jamie Glover did a sterling job in serving the text; adding nothing else in dressing or fancy sound design to try and make sense of the senseless. That is, senseless on the surface. Underneath bubbles and boils a tempest of repression and dreams. Glover serves The Dumb Waiter on a silver salver. Highly recommended.

Orlando Weston for UK Theatre Web


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