"Pinter’s brooding atmospheric memory play"
by Jill Lawrie for remotegoat on 17/10/19

Artistic Director Michael Cabot of London Classic Theatre is part way through a 2-month 22 venue UK tour with Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land”. This play has been performed by such theatre heavyweights as Ralph Richardson/John Giulgud and Ian McKellen/Patrick Stewart and now Moray Treadwell and Nicholas Casson take the roles in his famous ‘memory play’.

Harold Pinter, who died over a decade ago, was one of our greatest dramatists, his works include “Betrayal”, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”, “The Caretaker”, “The Birthday Party” to name but just a few.

This 2-act play covers one evening and the following morning and is set in an opulent room in Hirst’s West Hampstead home. He has got into conversation in a nearby pub with potman (Spooner) and brought him back to his home where the mismatched pair of writers continue drinking heavily. Their reminiscences cover Oxford University days, their mothers, wives and friends until Hirst collapses on the floor. Two younger servants materialise, one purporting to be Hirst’s son and the other with a somewhat sinister and menacing air about him.
With virtually no action this contemplative play offers a thought-provoking bleakness to the conversations of the two men as they discuss, amongst other things, old age.
Bek Palmer’s attractive book-lined interior complete with leather button-backed chair and globe bar make a fine backdrop for the subtle alcohol-fuelled power games.
Joel Macey gives imaginative flair to the dapper Foster, while Graham O’Mara (Briggs) bristles with an uncomfortable polite hostility throughout. Nicholas Gasson plays the ingratiating minor poet Spooner while Moray Treadwell the successful, melancholy writer Hirst. Both men shine with dramatic tension creating a brooding, menacing atmosphere for their complex dialogue and bleak outlook.
A cleverly crafted and powerful drama well executed by this talented foursome into a dark twisting confection of moody undercurrents.

Jill Lawrie ~ theatre reviewer

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