Pinter Seven | A Slight Ache / The Dumb Waiter
Pinter at the Pinter
About Pinter Seven
When a mysterious figure enters their elegant country home, the lives of Flora and Edward are changed forever.
Gus and Ben, two hit-men, await their next job in a derelict building - but what is the cost of their quest for meaning?
A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter, both written in the late 1950s, are directed by Jamie Lloyd.
Cast includes Danny Dyer and Martin Freeman.
Tell Me More
“A Slight Ache” and “The Dumb Waiter,” though both quintessentially Pinter, are lighter fare compared to the playwright’s standard style of menace and dread. Martin Freeman of BBC’s “Sherlock” and “The Hobbit” stars alongside John Heffernan, and television’s Danny Dyer, who was also a personal friend of Pinter’s.
In “A Slight Ache,” a middle-aged married couple, Edward and Flora, appear to be having a typical, pleasant afternoon before a mysterious Matchseller arrives to disturb the evidently imperfect bliss.
The title of “The Dumb Waiter” is a surprisingly playful pun to go with the surprisingly playful Pinter play. The one-act centers on two hit men, both dumb and waiting for their orders to come through the literal dumbwaiter, though neither realize what they’re ultimately in for.
This exciting double bill of dark comedies are part of the Pinter at the Pinter series. The one-of-a-kind season is produced by the Jamie Lloyd Company over the course of a year to pay homage to the famed playwright on the tenth anniversary of his death.
What To Watch For
- “A Slight Ache” was originally broadcast on the radio before it was produced onstage. The medium greatly changed the interpretation of the play because the entirely silent Matchseller character, who appears as a real figure in the play, seems to be a figment of Edward’s imagination on the radio.
- As a young actor, Danny Dyer was mentored by Harold Pinter (who was a prolific actor in addition to being a playwright). On Pinter, Dyer told “The Guardian,” “He was the only person who I feared but loved… He was a fucking tyrant, too, you know, but he could get away with it because he was so enchanting. He was a poet.”
- Although Martin Freeman is most known for his screen roles as Bilbo Baggins in the blockbuster “Hobbit” trilogy and John Watson in the BBC series “Sherlock,” he also has a respected stage career. His credits include the titular role in “Richard III” at Trafalgar Studios and most recently, a starring role in last year’s “Labour of Love” in the West End.