Harold Pinter Plays - Download as Word Doc .doc), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. the cambridge companion to harold pinter. Harold Pinter was one of the world's leading and most controversial writers, and his impact and influence continues to . PDF | This article introduces Pinter as an early practitioner of the Theater of the Absurd as well as an existentialist. In his plays The Dumb.
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The Caretaker 1 This page intentionally left blank Mansoor Ahmed Khan University of Karachi The Caretaker was irst presented by the Arts Theatre Club in. "Pinter did what Auden said a poet should do. He cleaned the gutters of the English language, so that it ever afterwards flowed more easily and more cleanly. Harold Pinter, the son of a tailor, was born on October 10, at Hackney in. London The solitude of Pinter helped him in developing dramatic urge to create.
My mother called him Sid too. Full of stuff. Get away-y-y-y-y! To the right of the window, a mound: You have to ix it on to a portable drill.
No, no, I never smoke a cigarette. He comes forward. ASTON handing him the tin. Go on. Take some out of that. He takes a pipe from his pocket and ills it.
I had a tin, only … only a while ago. But it was knocked off. It was knocked off on the Great West Road. He holds out the tin. Where shall I put it? I saw him have a go at you. Go at me? Yes, I saw him have a go at you. All them toe-rags, mate, got the manners of pigs. I keep myself up. Fortnight after I married her, no, not so much as that, no more than a week, I took the lid off a saucepan, you know what was in it? A pile of her underclothing, unwashed. The pan for vegetables, it was. The vegetable pan.
DAVIES turns, shambles across the room, comes face to face with a statue of Buddha standing on the gas stove, looks at it and turns. I remember the days I was as handy as any of them.
Coming closer. Did you see what happened with that one? I only got the end of it. Comes up to me, parks a bucket of rubbish at me tells me to take it out the back. They got a boy there for taking out the bucket. He crosses down right, to get the electric toaster. Yes, well say I had! Even if I had! Even if I was supposed to take out the bucket, who was this git to come up and give me orders? We got the same standing.
What was he, a Greek? Not him, he was a Scotch. He was a Scotchman. ASTON goes back to his bed with the toaster and starts to unscrew the plug. You got an eye of him, did you? I told him what to do with his bucket. You heard. That was after the guvnor give me the bullet.
Making too much commotion, he says. Commotion, me! Look here, I said to him, I got my rights. I told him that. Anyway, he give me the bullet. He sits in the chair. When I ind myself around that direction. ASTON crosses to the plug box to get another plug. All of them, the lot there was, you see, in this bag. Every lousy blasted bit of all my bleeding belongings I left down there now. In the rush of it. ASTON goes back to his bed and starts to ix the plug on the toaster. He looks about.
This your room? You got a good bit of stuff here. Must be worth a few bob, this … put it all together. You sleep here, do you? What, in that? Would be. Nothing but wind then. Yes, when the wind gets up it. Gets very draughty. Are you? Always have been.
You got any more rooms then, have you? I mean, along the landing here … up the landing there. Get away. They need a lot of doing to.
Slight pause. What about downstairs? Needs seeing to. I was lucky you come into that caff. I might have been done by that Scotch git. I noticed that there was someone was living in the house next door. I noticed.
Yes, I noticed die curtains pulled down there next door as we came along. This your house then, is it? You the landlord, are you?
He puts a pipe in his mouth and puffs without lighting it. Yes, I noticed them heavy curtains pulled across next door as we came along. I noticed them heavy big curtains right across the window down there. I thought there must be someone living there.
Family of Indians live there. Blacks, eh? ASTON moves downstage right. Them bastards at the monastery let me down again. Down in Luton. Monastery down at Luton. I might have a pair. In the con venience. Well, he was in the convenience. Run about the best convenience they had.
Run about the best one. Always slipped me a bit of soap, any time I went in there. Very good soap. They have to have the best soap. ASTON emerging from under the bed with shoes. Pair of brown. He was the one who put me on to this monastery. Just the other side of Luton. I had to go all the way to Luton in these. What happened when you got there, then? I used to know a bootmaker in Acton. He was a good mate to me. You know what that bastard monk said to me?
How many more Blacks you got around here then? You got any more Blacks around here? ASTON holding out the shoes. See if these are any good. He looks over to the shoes.
Would they? Not bad trim. Nothing worse. I heard you got a stock of shoes here. Piss off, he said to me. I went round to this kitchen, see?
Meal they give me! A bird, I tell you, a little bird, a little tiny bird, he could have ate it in under two minutes. I said, what do you think I am, a dog? Nothing better than a dog. What do you think I am, a wild animal? What about them shoes I come all the way here to get I heard you was giving away? One of them, an Irish hooligan, come at me. I cleared out. Got onto the North Circular, just past Hendon, the sole come off, right where I was walking. Try these. Not a bad pair of shoes.
He trudges round the room. Not a bad shape of shoe. Very hardy. Some bloke tried to log me some suede the other day. Suede goes off, it creases, it stains for life in ive minutes.
Good shoe this. I got a very broad foot. These are too pointed, you see. He takes them off and gives them back. Thanks anyway, mister. Good luck. Where you going to go? Oh, I got one or two things in mind. ASTON attending to the toaster. Would … would you like to sleep here? You can sleep here if you like. How long for? Till you … get yourself ixed up. Ay well, that. Get yourself sorted out.
Where would I sleep? The other rooms would … would be no good to you. ASTON rising, pointing upstage right. Oh, I see. You got enough furniture here. I picked it up. Just keeping it here for the time being. Thought it might come in handy. This gas stove work, do it? What do you do for a cup of tea? You building something? I might build a shed out the back. Carpenter, eh? He turns to the lawn-mower. Got a lawn. Have a look. ASTON lifts the sack at the window. They look out.
Looks a bit thick. What you got, ish? Where you going to put your shed? ASTON turning.
Carpentry, eh? ASTON standing still. I like … working with my hands. ASTON taking and studying it. Get on. I quite like it. Picked it up in a … in a shop. Looked quite nice to me. What do you think of these Buddhas? Yes, I was pleased when I got hold of this one. This the bed here, is it? ASTON moving to the bed. They put the ladder under the bed. What about this? They lift it. Under here.
This in use at all, then? They place the sink under the bed. We can put this stuff over there. They begin to move the coal bucket, shopping trolley, lawn-mower and sideboard drawers to the right wall.
They live next door. ASTON puts a drawer against the wall. You see a blue case? Blue case? Down here. By the carpet. ASTON goes to the case, opens it, takes out a sheet and pillow and puts them on the bed. ASTON stands upright, takes out his tobacco and begins to roll a cigarette. He goes to his bed and sits. How are you off for money? Oh well … now, mister, if you want the truth. ASTON takes some coins from his pocket, sorts them, and holds out ive shillings.
Thank you, thank you, good luck. I just happen to and myself a bit short. I went into a pub the other day. Ordered a Guinness. They gave it to me in a thick mug.
I only like it out of a thin glass. ASTON picks up a screwdriver and plug from the bed and begins to poke the plug. If only the weather would break!
Why do you want to get down to Sidcup? I got my papers there! Your what? What are they doing at Sidcup? A man I know has got them. I left them with him. You see? They prove who I am! They tell you who I am. You see! You see, what it is, you see, I changed my name! Years ago. I been going around under an assumed name! What name you been going under? Bernard Jenkins. I got no rights.
I got an insurance card here. He takes a card from his pocket. Under the name of Jenkins. Four of them. Four stamps. They should have stamped your card. It would have done no good! If I take that card along I go in the nick. Mac Davies. That was before I changed my name. It looks as though you want to sort all that out. If only I could get down to Sidcup!
Oh, must be … it was in the war … must be … about near on ifteen year ago. He suddenly becomes aware of the bucket and looks up. Any time you want to … get into bed, just get in. Eh, well, I think I will. He steps out of his trousers, and holds them out. Shall I put these on here?
I see you got a bucket up here. You getting in? Bit heavy. He tests his weight and length. Not bad.
A fair bed. He turns and puts the cover up. ASTON sits, poking his plug. ASTON is fastening his trousers, standing by the bed. He straightens his bed. He coughs. Oh, yes. ASTON goes to his bed, picks up the plug and shakes it. Sleep well? Dead out. Must have been dead out. ASTON goes downstage right, collects the toaster and examines it.
You … er. Were you dreaming or something? No, nor have I. Nor me. Why you ask me that, then? You were making noises. Who was? You were. He wears long underpants. Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute, what do you mean?
What kind of noises? You were making groans. You were jabbering. Nobody ever told me that before. What would I be jabbering about? You got hold of the wrong bloke, mate. ASTON crossing to the bed with the toaster. You woke me up. I thought you might have been dreaming. I never had a dream in my life. Maybe it was the bed. Nothing wrong with this bed. Might be a bit unfamiliar. I slept in beds. I slept in plenty of beds. I tell you what, maybe it were them Blacks.
Them noises. What Blacks?
Them you got. Next door. Maybe it were them Blacks making noises, coming up through the walls. ASTON puts dorm the plug and moves to the door. Where you going, you going out? Wait a minute then, just a minute. What you doing? I better come with you. I mean, I better come out with you, anyway. What for? You mean … I can stay here? Do what you like.
He goes to a box by his bed and inds them. This door and the front door.
Thanks very much, the best of luck. ASTON stands. A little … kind of a shop. I quite liked the look of it. A jig saw, mate? Could be very useful.
A jig saw? Well, it comes from the same family as the fret saw. You have to ix it on to a portable drill. They are, yes. I happened to be sitting at the same table as this woman. Well, we started to … we started to pick up a bit of a conversation. Anyway, we were just sitting there, having this bit of a conversation … then suddenly she put her hand over to mine … and she said, how would you like me to have a look at your body?
Get out of it. To come out with it just like that, in the middle of this conversation. Struck me as a bit odd. Have they? What did you say your name was? Bernard Jenkins is my assumed one. No, your other one? Welsh, are you? You Welsh? Well, I been around, you know … what I mean … I been about. Where were you born then? What do you mean? Where were you born? See this plug? Switch it on here, if you like. This little ire. Right, mister. Just plug in here. ASTON goes towards the door. What do I do?
I tell you what. No trouble. Should work. Eh, I was going to ask you, mister, what about this stove? What I got to watch is nudging … one of them gas taps with my elbow when I get up, you get my meaning?
He goes round to the other side of stove and examines it. You leave it to me. Eh, mister, just one thing … eh. I gave you a few bob last night. Eh, so you did.
So you did. I forgot. Went clean out of my mind. Thank you, mister. I might get down to Wembley later on in the day.
I was there, see? I know they were a bit short-handed. They might be in the need of a bit of staff. When was that? If only I could get down there. ASTON moves to the door. ASTON goes out and closes the door. DAVIES stands still He waits a few seconds, then goes to the door, opens it, looks out, closes it, stands with his back to it, turns swiftly, opens it, looks out, comes back, closes the door, inds the keys in his pocket, tries one, tries the other, locks the door.
He looks about the room. Bit pointed.
He puts them back under the bed. He sees paint buckets at the top of the bed, goes to them, and examines them. He puts the bucket down, comes to the centre of the room, looks up at bucket, and grimaces. He crosses right, and picks up a blow-lamp. He picks up the Buddha and looks at it. Full of stuff. Look at all this. His eye falls on the piles of papers. Damn pile of papers.
He goes to a pile and touches it. The pile wobbles. He steadies it. Hold it, hold it! He holds the pile and pushes the papers back into place. MICK comes in, puts the key in his pocket, and closes the door silently.
Had a sheet and pillow ready in here. He opens the case. He shuts the case. Still, I had a sleep though. He looks at the window. He picks up another case and tries to open it. MICK moves up stage, silently.
He puts it down and moves downstage. Must be something in it. He picks up a sideboard drawer, rummages in the contents, then puts it down.
MICK slides across the room. MICK lets him go. MICK holds out a warning inger. He regards him, then stands looking down on him. MICK turns slowly to look at the room. MICK presses him down with his foot and stands over him. Finally he removes his foot.
Nothing, nothing. A drip sounds in the bucket overhead. They look up. Jen … kins. You sleep here last night? I beg your pardon? A drip sounds in the bucket. He was always on the move, that man. Never without his passport. Had an eye for the girls. Very much your build. Bit of an athlete. He had a habit of demonstrating different run-ups in the drawing-room round about Christmas time.
Had a penchant for nuts. Nothing else but a penchant. Had a marvellous stop-watch. Picked it up in Hong Kong. The day after they chucked him out of the Salvation Army. Used to go in number four for Beckenham Reserves. That was before he got his Gold Medal. Had a funny habit of carrying his iddle on his back. Like a papoose. I think there was a bit of the Red Indian in him. I mean that my uncle was his brother and he was my uncle. But I never called him uncle. As a matter of fact I called him Sid.
My mother called him Sid too. It was a funny business. Your spitting image he was. Married a Chinaman and went to Jamaica. I hope you slept well last night. What bed you sleep in? Now look here— MICK.
That one. Not the other one? How do you like my room? Your room? Actually he lived in Aldgate. I was staying with a cousin in Camden Town. This chap, he used to have a pitch in Finsbury Park, just by the bus depot. When I got to know him I found out he was brought up in Putney.
I know quite a few people who were born in Putney. His old mum was still living at the Angel. All the buses passed right by the door.
She could get a 38, , 30 or 38A, take her down the Essex Road to Dalston Junction in next to no time. I used to leave my bike in her garden on my way to work. Yes, it was a curious affair. Dead spit of you he was.
Did you sleep here last night? Did you have to get up in the night? Now look here! A violent bellow from MICK sends him back. A shout. Sleep here last night? I slept— MICK. Now look— MICK.
What bed? That— MICK. Not the other? Again amiable. What sort of sleep did you have in that bed? All right! MICK stands, and moves to him. You a foreigner? Born and bred in the British Isles? I was! What did they teach you? How did you like my bed? From the bed? No, now, up your arse. MICK turns swiftly and grabs them. MICK holds out a hand warningty. You intending to settle down here? Give me my trousers then. You settling down for a long stay?
Give me my bloody trousers! Why, where you going? I was brought here! Brought here? Who brought you here? Man who lives here … he. I was brought here, last night … met him in a caff … I was working … I got the bullet … I was working there … bloke saved me from a punch up, brought me here, brought me right here.
This is my room. What about that, then? MICK moving to him. Keep your hands off my old mum. Well, stop telling me all these ibs.
Now listen to me, I never seen you before, have I? Never seen my mother before either, I suppose? Listen, son. Listen, sonny. You stink. You got no business wandering about in an unfurnished lat. I could charge seven quid a week for this if I wanted to. Get a taker tomorrow. Three hundred and ifty a year exclusive. No argument.
Rateable value ninety quid for the annum. You can reckon water, heating and lighting at close on ifty. What do you say? Bathroom, living-room, bedroom and nursery.
You can have this as your study. Yes, just about to start. So what do you say? Eight hundred odd for this room or three thousand down for the whole upper storey. No strings attached, open and above board, untarnished record; twenty per cent interest, ifty per cent deposit; down payments, back payments, family allowances, bonus schemes, remission of term for good behaviour, six months lease, yearly examination of the relevant archives, tea laid on, disposal of shares, beneit extension, compensation on cessation, comprehensive indemnity against Riot, Civil Commotion, Labour Disturbances, Storm, Tempest, Thunderbolt, Larceny or Cattle all subject to a daily check and double check.
Who do you bank with? All plays and sketches are in chronological order. The Room Old Times The Birthday Party Monologue The Dumb Waiter No Man's Land A Slight Ache Betrayal The Hothouse Family Voices The Caretaker Other Places A Night Out A Kind of Alaska Night School Victoria Station The Dwarfs One For The Road The Collection Mountain Language The Lover The New World Order Tea Party