On Monday, September 20 at 7pm the popular series devoted to public readings of the works of the late Nobel laureate Harold Pinter resumes at ACT. Two one-acts comprise the bill on the 20th: The Dumb Waiter and Family Voices.
The Dumb Waiter, written in 1957, is a darkly comical dialogue between a pair of hit men sequestered in a shabby basement room awaiting instructions on the particulars of their next assignment. When the instructions begin to arrive via the medium of a suddenly activated old dumb waiter depositing messages that are weirdly cryptic and unsettling the comedy takes a deliciously sinister turn. If you are delighted by the classic routines of Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and the English music hall comedians of a bygone age, the give-and-take and back-and-forth of Pinter’s Ben and Gus will be right up your alley—a dark Pinterian alley, that is. We are especially gratified to have two of Seattle’s most popular and prolific actors delivering up the goods here, John Aylward and R. Hamilton Wright.
The second work, Family Voices, is an altogether different experience. Written in 1980, and first performed as a BBC radio piece, Family Voices is Pinter at his most evocative, elusive and haunting. One might even call it “bewildering,” albeit in a compellingly poetic and often amusing way. (One of the goals of the series is to present the body of Pinter’s work no matter how immediately graspable or otherwise that may prove to be.) The dramatic terrain of Family Voices is, in my view, the complex dynamics of family interaction between mother, son and father as viewed through the refracting prism of dream. But like much of Pinter, that is for the individual viewer and auditor to decide. What can be emphatically and unambiguously stated, however, is that the three actors who will be giving voice to Family Voices are three Seattle treasures: Susan and Clayton Corzatte—new to the series but iconic figures in the theatre here—and the wonderful Burton Curtis. We couldn’t be more proud to have them join Mr. Aylward and Mr. Wright on the program.
The readings on September 20th will take place in Buster’s at ACT.
Admission is free but reservations are required. Call the ACT box office at 206-292-7676.
We look forward to seeing you.
Frank Corrado, curator Pinter Fortnightly