Was that really suppose to be enjoyable?
Posted by Lynn at 1:04 am in Off Topic

I just saw Pinter’s No Man’s Land.  I can’t say I liked it but the acting was good.  The question and answer with the cast and director was very enlightening. I think I would have just hated the play if I hadn’t stayed for the discussion which answered some of my questions.

At first I wasn’t sure who was the main character in the play. Is it Spooner?   Spooner practically on stage the whole show.  When he ends up alone in the locked in the room, I have to wonder is he simply crazy and this is his interpretation of his cell and are these his hallucination? Knowing this was a Pinter play I started to wonder if maybe it was Hirst, since he was the character physically in the center stage and  his name and story remain the same throughout.  So then, were the other character’s real, allegorical or imaginative?

The director pointed out that the viewer brought their own personal experience into the play.  In other post-play discussions people felt that this could have been the result of Hirst’s drinking or that he had dementia or some other mental illness.  However once the director pointed out that Pinter’s wife, Vivien Merchant had a drinking problem it was easier to see it in that light although any of the others would work as well.

Listening to the actors describe how they developed their characters was very interesting.  The actor playing Hirst felt that all the other parts were characters representing different facets of the protag’s life.  This was interesting because their names changed as they play went on as well as their stories, their roles, clothes, accents.  Another actor played his role straight.  Another said that he never built a backstory.  He felt that the whole thing had a dreamlike feel, where the dream reality kept changing and flowing.   All of these different methods meshed together.

Even the set with its subtly skewed perspectives added to the disturbing ambiance.  The doors were slightly askance, instead of four walls there were in effect five. The ceiling radically sloped.  The “floor” came to a point and jutted out over the front of the stage.  The director added a Keyser Söze effect, the picture over the fireplace was painted by Spooner and there is a picture of a jonquil on the wall.

I doubt that I’ll ever really like the play, but I do think I’d like to see another interpretation of it.

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