Other Plays by Harold Pinter
- Ashes To Ashes-Pinter-1m1f
- Black And White-The-2f
- Dialog For Three-2m1f
- Dumb Waiter-The-2m
- Family Voices-2m1f
- Kind Of Alaska-A-1m2f
- Kreskin Be Damned-1m
- Last To Go-2m
- Me And My Friend-1m1f
- New World Order-The-3m
- One For The Road-3m1f
- Slight Ache-A-2m1f
- Special Offer-3m
- Thats All-2f
- Thats Your Trouble-2m
- Trouble In The Works-2m
- Unexpurgated Memoirs Of Bernard Mergendeiler-The-1m1f
- Victoria Station-2m
Pinter, Harold (English playwright, b. Hackney, London, England, October 10, 1930-____),
“The Basement,” a __-minute area-stage comedy-drama in twelve episodes in English, set in a carefully furnished basement flat, 1966,
© 1966 by Harold Pinter;
• in Harold Pinter’s The Lover. Tea Party. The Basement. Two Plays and a Film Script, An Evergreen book, E-432 (New York: Grove Press, 1967), LCCN 67027884, 112 pp.;
• also, in Harold Pinter’s Tea Party, and Other Plays, Methuen’s Modern Plays series (London: Methuen & Company, Ltd. [since, Routledge, Chapman & Hall], 1967), 21 pp., containing “Tea Party,” “The Basement,” “Night School”;
• also, in Harold Pinter’s The Basement, acting edition (New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1969), LCCN 70-13767, (New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1969) LCCN 70-13767;
• also, in Harold Pinter’s Tea Party and The Basement, acting edition, ISBN 0-8222-1115-7;
• also, in Complete Works: Three: The Homecoming, Tea Party, the Basement, Landscape, Silence, Revue Sketches (New York: Grove Press, 1990), reprint edition vol. 3, ISBN 0802150497;
• script/rights available from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 440 Park Avenue South, New York City, New York 10016, U.S.A., telephone 212-683-8960, fax 212-213-1539, http://www.dramatists.com, DPS 4420.
• Cited by Allen L. Hubby via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, March 20, 1997; the citation says,
Law (m), fussy, spinsterish bachelor; Stott (m), bachelor’s former roommate; Jane (f), a young girl with the former roommate.
“. . . [A] fussy, spinsterish bachelor . . . [has his] carefully furnished basement flat . . . invaded late one night by his former roommate with a young girl in tow. Host is effusive in his welcome—to former roommate, that is. Girl and former roommate strip naked and get into bed, as host, terribly rattled, continues to chatter. (The chatter is absolutely fine.) The intruders move in permanently, and soon the host’s old pictures and bits of sculpture are replaced by a huge, bright, modern abstract. And there are other innovations. As the action progresses, the roles of lover and leftover switch back and forth, and the girl, like the old bum in The Caretaker, tries to set the men against each other and succeeds. . . . There are scenes at a beach, in a cafe, and at a bogus deathbed, and there is a duel, which is fought on a dark stage with lighted broken bottles.’—Edith Oliver, The New Yorker.
• First published with “Tea Party” by Metheun & Co. in 1967.
• First produced at the Duchess Theatre, September 17, 1970.
• Requires rapid cuts between the flat (two total changes of furnishings), the seashore, and an open.
• “The play itself gains its main resonance by exploring an ambiguous zone of shifting allegiances, in which the tenant’s lust for the girl is deflected by his loyalty to his old pal: so that at one moment he is slobbering over the friend’s supposed death bed, and at the next, panting towards a climax on the floor. It is a glacially funny and ferocious piece, marred only by Pinter’s compulsive sense of neatness which brings it to an unprepared cyclic conclusion.”—The Times, September, 18, 1970, www.haroldpinter.org - Plays, http://www.haroldpinter.org/plays/plays_basement.shtml, accessed September , 2001.
• “In the end we are, it seems, back where we started. But not quite. We have seen, if only for a moment, the rather pathetic, trembling animals who lie beneath the veneer of the shaved, powdered exteriors, and we know that it is not relief that will come to them just continuation. A successful off-Broadway production (in tandem with ‘Tea Party’), which offers a uniquely Pinteresque combination of bizarre humor and silken violence as it details a series of startling reversals on the eternal triangle theme. . . . ‘[T]he single, most stimulating playwright in the English-speaking theatre today.’—George Oppenheimer, Newsday. . . . ‘[E]xquisite theatre.’—Martin Gottfried, Women’s Wear Daily. . . . ‘[F]ascinating to the point of audience hypnosis.’—Edith Oliver, The New Yorker. . . . Area staging.”
• Ran in tandem with “Tea Party” in successful off-Broadway production. Contains nudity, probably expensive to produce.
• Not to be confused with Murray Schisgal’s (American playwright, 1926-____), “The Basement,” a __-minute comedy-drama in English, 2m1f.
• Research should include Harold Pinter - Bio-bibliography, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-bibl.html, accessed August 2, 2006.
• Photograph of Harold Pinter from http://www.dieneueepoche.com/articles/2005/10/13/5687.html, accessed August 2, 2006.
beach, cafe, deathbed, duel, manipulation, nudity, roommates, visitor.