Returning to Roots: Pinter as Alternative Theatre Playwright
Keywords:theatre, Pinter, Betrayal, The Caretaker
The theatrical oeuvre of Harold Pinter has its origins in the alternative theatre movement in Britain in the late 1950s. This paper will examine two later, well-known plays, The Caretaker and Betrayal, as case studies for an examination of how the alternative theatre elements which informed Pinter’s early work continue to be present in plays which are generally regarded as more theatrically conventional and mainstream. The theatrical context in which Pinter first developed has become obscured by his commercial success and political notoriety. It can be argued that the natural position for this playwright on the theatrical spectrum lies within the fringe and alternative theatre communities. This paper explores the idea that Brook, Brecht and Grotowskian techniques may be more effective, and more organic, to Pinter’s work than the mainly realistic interpretations which became the norm as the playwright’s celebrity increased.
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