AnglistenTheater: "Landscape", "Night", "Family Voices" -- Three Short Plays by Harold Pinter
And here you can take a glimpse at our programme.
Lots of information on Pinter at haroldpinter.org.
And here is a link to the Sensemble Theatre, which hosted our performance.
Martin Middeke: Three Strolls Down Memory Lane
In their present production at the Sensemble Theatre in Augsburg, the AnglistenTheater is revisiting the work of the British Nobel Prize laureate Harold Pinter. Landscape, Night, and Family Voices belong to a larger body of work and a phase of immense productivity and aesthetic versatility ranging from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, in which Pinter experimented with the nature of human memory.
Landscape still fell victim to censorship by the Lord Chamberlain and, despite being conceived of as a stage play, was first broadcast on the radio by the BBC in 1968. Night was premiered at the Comedy Theatre in London in 1969, and Family Voices was written for the radio and broadcast first by the BBC in 1981.
Like all other plays by Pinter, these three short plays are characterised by minimalism, scarcity, ambiguities, absurdities, and epistemological as well as ontological uncertainties leaving the spectators behind in unresolved tensions and contradictions. These memory plays challenge the authenticity of truth, as they render all attempts at remembering and recreating the past through language and narration as essentially subjective and, hence, unreliable.
Landscape, after all, is a love story centering on a past romantic episode that is present in the memory of the protagonists, but, of course, entirely out of their reach. Likewise, the married couple in Night and their memories reveal different versions of their falling in love in a distant past, thus echoing the old Krapp in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape and his futile attempts to reconnect to his earlier selves. Such incommensurability of past and present also shines through the interrelationships between a mother and her son and their dead husband and father in Family Voices. While these ‘family voices’ are trying to communicate, their communication simultaneously is breaking down.
In the theatre, all three plays get us entangled in potentially tragic and comic moments. Dialogic situations, in fact, turn out like lonely monologues and create a melancholy atmosphere of transitoriness reifying an irretrievable flow of time.