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'the Birthday Party' By Harold Pinter

1149 words - 5 pages

The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter is a play composed of three acts, and is set in an old boarding house, run by Meg and Petey, who are a couple in their late sixties. There is only one boarder, Stanley, a scruffy, depressed-looking man in his late thirties who has apparently been a professional pianist. Three people arrive in the boarding house from the outside world: Lulu, a young woman who tries to get Stanley to go out with her with out success, Goldberg a powerful and threatening Jewish man in his fifties and McCann, an Irishman in his thirties who is quiet and menacing. It becomes clear that they have come in pursuit of Stanley and that they work for a shadowy organisation. Although ...view middle of the document...

When they finally proceed to take him away, Petey mounts a faint protest at the removal of Stanley, but backs down in the face of a threat to himself. Meg outwardly remains unaware that anything untoward has taken place as the play ends.The lighting of the play was excellent all of the scenes and characters were appropriately lit and in the right amount of shadow, one of these scenes was when Goldberg and McCann were torturing him, the spotlight is on Stanley and Goldberg and McCann are walking in circles around him. This also happens at the beginning where Stanley does a monologue talking about his past experience being a pianistHe is lit by just the right amount of light, not so much as it is over bright but enough to draw the audience’s attention to him. There was also a light shining on Meg as she listened to him, it was subtly diminished so that you knew that Meg was listening to him and the audience was able to see her when she interrupted.I enjoyed the over exaggeration of sound in the play. For example when there was an awkward silence and McCann was polishing his shoes. The scraping sound that was played was way too loud for someone who was quietly polishing his shoes. Although this scene wasn’t important it questioned the audience of whether the sound they were hearing was actually coming from him polishing his shoes. Another was when characters lighted a match to smoke a cigarette. It was exaggerated to the same extent of when McCann was polishing his shoes, which gave the same effect.One of my favourite scenes and also one of the most powerful was the ending just before Goldberg and McCann take Stanley away in their car. They had just made a mockery of him by taking digital photos of him with his pants down. While watching this it reminded me of the Iraq war of how the Americans are badly mistreating the Iraqi citizens and prisoners of war. I knew this wasn’t originally part of the play and thought it was very clever and included more...

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