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Goldsmiths - University of London

Pinter: In Other Rooms

Gordon, Robert J.. 2011. Pinter: In Other Rooms. In: "Pinter: In Other Rooms", University of Maribor, Slovenia, September - December, 2011. [Performance]

Item Type: Performance
Creators: Gordon, Robert J.
Abstract or Description:

Seven rarely performed Pinter plays were juxtaposed to present a world in which party venues become secret places of interrogation and torture. Early and later texts were positioned to test the hypothesis that Pinter’s later, overtly political plays do not forego the metaphorical density of his earlier work but that the trope of interrogation constitutes a hermeneutic code that connects the epistemological compulsion to possess knowledge of the inscrutable other with the will to power by arbitrary control of the subject through language. The elegant guests of Party Time (1991) represent an invisible hierarchy of power from which some are wholly excluded or incarcerated as political ‘untouchables’. Jimmy who speaks from the darkness of prison at the play’s end is the speaker of Pinter’s early The Examination (1955): victim becomes interrogator who in turn becomes the subject of interrogation. In Press Conference a government official (played here as a woman) turns her routine questioning by the press into a chilling display of authoritarian doublespeak, succeeded by two cheerful interrogators who force a hooded victim to imagine his anticipated torture in A New World Order. In this context, a husband’s insistence on his version of the first romantic encounter with his wife in Night reveals language as a private battlefield, as does the comic desperation of a taxi controller in Victoria Station who, from the isolation of his office, tries in vain to persuade a parked taxi-driver to pick up a passenger from the station. Mountain Language shockingly represents the erotic economy of a military regime that dehumanises and tortures political prisoners by denying them freedom to speak their native language. A short coda repeated from Party Time shows ‘the ‘new world order’ as constituted by the power of the wealthiest nations to dictate the meaning of justice to those who lack the means to pay for it.

Contributors: Gordon, Robert J. (Conceptor); Gordon, Robert J. (Director) and Peimer, David B. (Director)
Keywords: Pinter; Party Time; interrogation; torture; political oppression; power; freedom; language; memory.
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Theatre and Performance (TAP)
Theatre and Performance (TAP) > The Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing (PCPCW)
Date: 22 September 2011
Event Location: University of Maribor, Slovenia
Item ID: 8711
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2013 10:41
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2016 11:28
URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/8711
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