Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Secret of My Success

Harold Pinter on his plays, 1963 (pinched from Dangerous Minds):

I’m not a theorist. I’m not an authoritative or reliable commentator on the dramatic scene, the social scene, any scene. I write plays, when I can manage it, and that’s all. That’s the sum of it.
I’ve had two full-length plays produced in London. The first ran a week, and the second ran a year. Of course, there are differences between the two plays. In The Birthday Party I employed a certain amount of dashes in the text, between phrases. In The Caretaker I cut out the dashes and used dots instead. So that instead of, say, “Look, dash, who, dash, I, dash, dash, dash,” the text would read, “Look, dot, dot, dot, who, dot, dot, dot, I, dot, dot, dot, dot.” So it’s possible to deduce from this that dots are more popular than dashes, and that’s why The Caretaker had a longer run than The Birthday Party. The fact that in neither case could you hear the dots and dashes in performance is beside the point. You can’t fool the critics for long. They can tell a dot from a dash a mile off, even if they can hear neither.


Blogger Ken Houghton said...

It's Pinter, about whom at least one actor has told the story of going through a full rehearsal and asking him for comments being told, "Very good, but at [names point] I wrote a three-dot pause and you're only doing a two-dot pause."

Which is why Nick Roeg was his perfect cinematographer, maybe.

July 10, 2011 11:16 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts