World premiere, Pinter classic and journey to hell all in one night
A TRIO of short plays comes to the Old Mill Theatre this spring – Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit and the world premiere of Noel O’Neill’s Snow and Ash.
Directed by Susie Conte, The Dumb Waiter, features Gus and Ben in a Birmingham basement, awaiting instructions for their next job. Gus needs matches while Ben has a newspaper – and both men have revolvers.
“The Dumb Waiter takes place in a single, prison-like room and it creates a feeling of claustrophobia and unease,” Conte said. “There were certain nuances that drew me to it.
“Pinter’s plays blend comedy and drama and often focus on jealousy, betrayal, and sexual politics. But it’s his dialogue – and lack of it – for which he is known.”
“The play primarily deals with the theme of people being persecuted simply for being who they are and how far you might have to go to survive,” Dragojevic said.
“It’s absurdist theatre, which I love, because the characters are not mainstream nor stereotypical and the plot is not a fairytale: it just is – or isn’t.”
Directed by Maree Grayden and adapted by Chris Thomas, No Exit is a depiction of the afterlife where three dead characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity – it’s the play that coined the phrase “hell is other people”.
“It’s a play that gets you thinking and stays with you in the sense that you keep coming back to consider the play’s thematic concerns,” Grayden said. “The famous quote about hell being other people begs the question: who would be in the room with me and why?
“That question inspired me to direct the play – I find it a disturbing yet intriguing thought that my hell would involve torture by self-examination and cross-examination by others.”
Snow and Ash and The Dumb Waiter play at 8pm, September 19 and 20 and October 3, 4 and 5 with a 2pm matinee September 22.
No Exit plays on the same dates except October 4 and 5 when it will be replaced by Jerome McDonough’s Juvie on those two nights. Set in a juvenile detention centre, young suspects come out of their cells to tell why and how they were caught.
The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on Mends Street, South Perth, opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post.