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The Dwarfs and Seven Revue Sketches

The Dwarfs and Seven Revue Sketches
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Harold Pinter
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 52
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 0822217333
ISBN-13: 9780822217336

About the Play:

The Dwarfs and Seven Revue Sketches is a collection of one-act plays by Nobel prize-winner Harold Pinter. Another masterly study in mood and character exposition by England's most exciting and original playwright. Some are mere minutes, such as Trouble in the Works, while others, like The Basement, are much longer. They were first produced on British radio or television and then brought to the stage on London's West End.

The Dwarfs: The play, adapted from his then unpublished novel of the same title, was first broadcast on BBC radio in 1960, then adapted for the stage. It is concerned with three young men, Len, Pete and Mark, and the scene of action shifts back and forth between Len's house and Mark's. Sometimes all three come together, sometimes only two, and often Len is on stage alone. There are conversations and soliloquies filled with the brilliant convolutions of thought, the sudden flashes of truth that distinguish Pinter's unique style, with the mood ranging from calm introspection to explosive outpouring. Much of what is said hints at deeper thoughts left unspoken, and the sense of horror and alienation that often emerges is a searing indictment of our life and times. We meet, we talk, we tear at each other, but our insularity is seldom penetrated. We are together but alone, as though life were a mirror that reflects only our own image. But there is humour too, again distinctively Pinteresque in its startling swings from the direct to the illusive, and, in the end, there is a promise of perfectibility in the inescapable fact of change that dominates all. (Premiered in 1963 at the New Arts Theatre in London; Cast: 3 male)

Trouble In The Works: A worker tells the boss that the men in the mill are satisfied with working conditions – its the products they object to. (Written in 1959; Cast: 2 male)

The Black And White. Two old buddies, with little to do and nowhere to go, make small talk over soup in a crowded milk bar. (Written in 1959; Cast: 2 female)

Request Stop: A brief monologue by a "lady" waiting at a bus stop. Is it her fault if the men she asked directions of should race to the wrong conclusions? (Written in 1959; Cast: 3 female, 2 male)

Last To Go: A coffee-stall owner and an old newspaper in a late night conversation about which of his newspapers was the last to be sold, a desultory exchange that situates these two traders as a still point in the ceaseless bustle of metropolitan life. The Guardian described it as "Pinter's miniature masterpiece." (Written in 1959; Cast: 2 male)

That's All: "Mrs. A" and "Mrs. B" chatter on about a third party who used to come around on Wednesdays, but changed to Thursdays, because she wanted to go to her old butcher shop – or something of that sort. (Written in 1959; Cast: 2 female)

That's Your Trouble: Two men in a park engage in a heated discussion about where a man carrying a sandwich board will feel the strain first – and most. (Written in 1959; Cast: 2 male)

The New World Order is a dramatic sketch that The Independent described as "10 nerve wracking minutes" of two men threatening to torture a third man who is blindfolded, gagged and bound in a chair. The insinuations and threats about what will become of – and what will be done to – this third man represent the forces in today's world that stifle freedom in its many forms. The fear and uncertainty conveyed by this short piece powerfully remind us that the evils of the world will always try to conquer us if we don't heed the warnings. (Premiered in 1991 at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in London; Cast: 3 male)

About the Playwright:

Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, theatre director, poet, and Nobel laureate. He wrote 29 plays including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, and Betrayal, 15 dramatic sketches, 21 screenplays, as well as books of poetry and fiction, and directed 27 theatre productions. He continued to act under his own name, on stage and screen. His genius was recognized within his lifetime as a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 (the highest honour available to any writer in the world), the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D'Honneur, the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D'Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, in addition to 18 other honorary degrees.

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