The New Theatre Co-op . . . The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter . . . Directed by Susan Williamson . . . with a stunningly caring hand she has shaped a classic of modern theatre into a edgy parable of deceptive & poignant terror . . .
. . .brilliant Pinter . . . the cliché, language of silence, made visible by the controlled and imaginative voice of the actor . . . brilliant Pinter . . . each moment, the precise choice of actions shatter our illusions (delusions) that we can celebrate the mundane daily existence . . . beat a drum, dance a waltz, play blind man's bluff, sing an irish song, make a toast . . . our glasses will be broken in the end . . . happy birthday. . . celebrate birth?
. . . brilliant Pinter . . . scene after scene gnaws at the borders of our attempts to construct meaning . . . the entire cast flawlessly touches Pinter's claustrophobic, almost archaic and ancient, soulscape with moments of intensity that open into the heart with an ease and immensity.
. . ."the nerves break" as each word is mercilessly articulated with a passionate cadence, an unexpected irony and cruel laugh . . . the characters jostle and juxtapose in complex relationships ranging from the recognizably banal to perpetually mysterious . . .
. . . the insignificant to sit or not to sit . . . relentless interrogation . . . thoughts repeated . . . meanings twisted . . . questions dissolving without resolution . . . the actors weave a seamless web physicalizing existential angst that emotionally permeates like a cold cup of tea . . . and we laugh at ourselves, moved by the humour - whether subtle & nuanced or bizarre & outrageous . . .
. . . plunged into darkness the voices pierce and startle, echoing chaotically against all hope and reason, defying rationality but inevitably lurching us towards a deterministic conclusion . . . death
. . . brilliant Pinter, a brilliant cast, brilliant direction . . .
Thank you Henry and Susan for sharing your skill, knowledge and wisdom. Your lights are a beacon for us all. The way of the actor lives with you. Amen.