Friday, December 16, 2016

No Man's Land ...

No Man's Land
Harold Pinter

 ... what fantasic cosutming
in Stewart's dressing gown ...
Rebecca asked me if I had seen any Pinter plays a couple of weeks ago.

She asked the question because I was out reading about No Man's Land, which was coming through NT Live.

I had to tell her that I would have to see a list of his plays, first, to know what he had written.  And then I showed her the book where I began to keep a list of events I have attended:  musical theatre, drama, concerts, operas, biopics, ... there were pages for each.

However I can't even keep up with maintaining the list.  The obvious thing to do is add each event when I come home at night.  But when I get into the house, all I want is a warm drink and someone to chat with about the event that I have just seen.

I did have someone to chat with last night.  Greg, Wyona and I went to the show together.  And then on the way home, Wyona asked Greg to turn right and into the Dairy Queen parking lot, probably first of all to enjoy their crushed peppermint blizzard, but second to laugh with each other about what we had seen.

The play is one thing.  But then to have a question and answer period afterwards with the players upped the enjoyment of the show.  Without the Q&A we would not have known, but their dialogue revealed to us, events that surprised even the actors in the show.

For example, Hirst, the upper-class literateur, threw a glass and it fell beside the door and shattered.  Later he crawled on his hands and knees through and around the glass.

He told us afterwards that in 400 performances, the glass has only broken 4 times.  Later in the play he is drinking tea and in this performance it spilled on his knee.  He took out a handkerchief and wiped it off with such drama that one would have thought the event had been written into the play, but evidently not.

One of the play's themes is about growing old and dementia.  Each laugh that could be generalized, involved a bit of pain that was particularized for me.

Growing old?  Such an adventure.  And delightful to see it on the screen.


PS.  I wanted to say one more thing about the title to the play.  This morning I was reading that the phrase "no man's land" refers to the territory between 2 lines that have been drawn, referring in particular to trenches in World War I.  The land between the trenches was "no man's land", the land no one wanted to claim for it would involve getting out of the trench, fighting for it, and perhaps being killed.    I wonder if Pinter was meaning the title to refer to those years when dementia sets in?

And a second P.S.  The Diary Queen at Hilltop Strip (by walkover to get to the Stadium) serves a mean peppermint blizzard.  "Look," said Wyona, "peppermint all the way down.  Usually the topping only goes half way!"


  1. I went with Duncan and Alex. We all three LOVED the play. Wow to the Q&A, as well as the intro film about the play. I want to go again on Saturday!

  2. I liked the play. Charise and I went to see "Waiting for Godot" in London with the same leading characters. It was even more fabulous, much better. Charise was the person who made me go. She had studied the play in high school and wanted to see it. There were so many laughs in "Waiting for Godot". The laughs in "No Man's Land" were painful, just like Arta said.

  3. Hey Rebecca? What happened here. We didn't get an intro film and I think we were there early enough for it. Wyona and Greg had their popcorn and drinks and stayed down low. I like to get up high in the IMAX theatre. Most of my laughs were painful ones. Hurts to watch old people and know that you are one of them and probably look just like that -- lurching as we walk, trying to go in a straight line but being off by 45 degrees. I loved the first part of the second act when they began to brag about the halycon days of their youth. I was laughing so hard at Hirst and Spooner trying to one-up each other. Oh, just so funny. I see that there is an Encore in January. Perhaps I will head out to that as well, for one viewing of this play isn't enough. And now that I know the plot, I don't have to worry that someone is going to hang themselves or be shot.