The Playgoer: Some Pinter

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Some Pinter

Three years after the man's death, they're still finding new stuff by Harold Pinter. Well, old stuff, really, but previously unpublished. The Guardian last week reprinted a 1960 comedy sketch, "Umbrellas," with intro and commentary by critic/Pinter-man, Michael Billington.

So, without further ado...

Two gentlemen in deckchairs on the terrace of a large hotel. Wearing shorts and sunglasses. Sunbathing. They do not move throughout the exchange
A: The weather's too much for me today.
B: Well, you're damn lucky you've got your umbrella.
A: I'm never without it, old boy.
B: I think I'd do well to follow your example.
A: Yes, you would. Means the world to me. I never find myself at a loss. You understand what I mean?
B: You're a shrewd fellow, I'll say that for you.
A: My house is full of umbrellas.
B: You can't have too many.
A: You've never said a truer word, old boy.
B: I haven't got one to bless myself with.
A: Well, I can forsee [sic] a time you'll regret it.
B: I think the time's come, old boy.
A: You can't be too careful, old boy.
B: Well, you've got your feet firmly planted on the earth, there's no doubt about that.
A: I certainly feel secure, old boy.
B: Yes, you know where you stand, all right. You can't take that away from you.
A: You'll find they're a true friend to you, umbrellas.
B: Maybe I'll buy one.
A: Don't come to me. It would be like tearing my heart out, to part with any of mine.
B: You find them handy, eh?
A: Yes ... Oh, yes. When it's raining, particularly.
© The estate of Harold Pinter 2011
Love that suddenly sentimental "tearing my heart out"--pure Pinter.

Okay, maybe not why he won the Nobel. But, beats SNL at least.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A: Reading, are you?
A: Are you?
B: What?
A: Reading.
B: Blog.
A: Ah.
A: What's a blog?
B: It's too bloody easy, isn't it, cod Pinter? I mean, when the man himself sounds like a...
A: Fish dish?

© The estate of Anonymous 2011

Continue, renga-style, at will.