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The Lover

The Lover
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: Harold Pinter
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 28
Pub. Date: 1965
ISBN-10: 0822207044
ISBN-13: 9780822207047
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

The Lover has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male/Male Scenes.

The Lover is a one-act drama by Nobel prize-winner Harold Pinter. A seemingly staid British couple play a psychological game of needs and wants, making up the rules as they go along, and taking on lovers while exploiting each other's weaknesses in this comic drama. As ever in this absurdist playwright's work, there are two distinct plays taking place... the verbal and the nonverbal... and what the characters do not say is as important as what they do say.

The Lover follows the married couple Richard and Sarah as they struggle for balance and control, each bending the rules and risking instability as they come dangerously close to destruction. A respectable businessman, Richard leaves for work every day and agrees not to return before six so that Sarah can enjoy her lover after lunch. He visits a call girl in this time. But when Richard suggests the four of them meet, the role-playing games get out of hand and lead to unexpected conflict. The lover tires of his mistress and their worlds collide. Harold Pinter leads the audience to believe that there are three characters in the play: the wife, the husband and the lover. But the lover who comes to call in the afternoons is revealed to be the husband adopting a role. He plays the lover for her: she plays the call girl for him. The play contrasts bourgeois domesticity with sexual yearning. Another Off-Broadway success by one of the theatre's most inventive and versatile writers. A subtle blending of artful nuance, veiled menace and zany humour.

The Lover premiered in 1963 at the Arts Theatre Club in London as a part of a double bill with The Dwarfs. Its US premiere was in 1964 at Cherry Lane Theatre off-Broadway in New York City. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 2 male

What people say:

"...dazzling ... the little play works simply beautifully... he uses his personal brand of dialogue to distil wit. The menace is there, too, perhaps under the surface of the wit; and the wit, in any case, is not vapid. It is peculiarly revealing and provocative." — The Financial Times

"Mr. Pinter's play is a brilliantly seasoned use of theatricality." — The New York Times

"…a bizarre theatrical evening." — New York Post

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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