The Birthday Party and The Caretaker: Text and Performance by Ronald Knowles (auth.)

By Ronald Knowles (auth.)

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BBC. 5. The Caretaker, Arts Theatre, 1960. ©Times Newspapers Ltd. 6. The Caretaker, Mermaid Theatre, 1972. ©Donald Cooper. 7. The Caretaker, The National Theatre, 1981. © Donald Cooper. 49 Part Two: Peiformance embodied the greater actuality ofform potentially there in the text. This is one aspect of the primacy of performance, but it could be applied generally to many other playwrights. With Pinter's drama in particular is the additional all-important relationship of naturalism and theatricality.

Delivered naturalistically this fell flat. ', provoking laughter again. Dandy Nichols's performance as Meg was a matchless triumph. At no time did she run the risk of patronising the character and no lines were simply played for laughs. The problem here for an actress lies in presenting a character study without resort to a comic performance, when the character is so seemingly empty, without a further dimension to develop. True to the play, Dandy Nichols saw the maternal instinct as the root ofMeg's relationship with Stanley.

3 7). Goldberg betrays the childlike trust of Lulu by seduction. Finally, Goldberg invokes the injunctions of his dying father, the Jewish version of middle-class mores, to validate his own activity as false father, to make a new man of Stanley in the image of bourgeois society. Thus it can be seen that the complementary correlatives of the social and domestic, the public and private, the political and psychological, constitute a dialectic from which the play derives its dramatic power. A Slight Ache The characters of A Slight Ache are quite different from those in Pinter's other early plays where he explores lower-class character, language and milieu.

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