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Prior performances

The Dumb Waiter

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This is one of Pinter’s earliest plays (1958). Even then, Pinter was an expert at mixing the realistic with the absurd, the personal with the political. When the play opens, two men, Ben and Gus, are waiting in a windowless basement room. They are awaiting instructions for their next assignment. While they wait, their conversation is riddled with conflict and miscommunication. Differences between the two men’s attitudes emerge, yet questions remain. Pinter said of his dramas, “between my lack of biographical data about (the characters) and the ambiguity of what they say lies a territory which is not only worthy of exploration but which it is compulsory to explore.”