Friday, January 9, 2009

Play of the Week: No Man's Land

In tribute to the late Harold Pinter, we are presenting his play No Man's Land this week. Pinter once again plays with the idea of memory. Memory is only what we make of it. How we choose to remember something colors its meaning. If someone chooses to remember something differently, we arrive at a quarrel because of our different experiences.

On top of this, Pinter adds the idea of how we remember someone in opposition to how they appear to us now. If someone has let themselves go and we don't choose to acknowledge this, they become a strangers. If they are not as we remember them, they are someone else and unfamiliar.

In this play, a man shows up at another man's home. They begin talking like old friends. Reminiscing as if they had spent half of their life together. Somewhere in the middle the man whose house it is turns to his guest and says "I don't know you."

No man's land is the purgatory or limbo between growing old and finally dying. It's a Samuel Beckett play set in a more realistic world. The play where you are simply waiting, alone, for whatever it is that comes next. In Pinter's world it's not a friendly place - but it is fascinating.

Happy Birthday: Thomas William Robertson (1829-1871), Brian Friel (b. 1929), Karl Capek (1890-1938) & Heiner Mueller (1929-1995)

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