Dan Sandman

17: Betrayal by Harold Pinter

In Books, Fiction, Plays on 26/04/2013 at 12:00 pm

Reading plays can be a great way to activate one’s imagination. Play-script books give readers a direct connection with the dialogue and stage directions. Libraries often have a very good selection of play-scripts filed under literature or drama.

Betrayal is a naturalistic play based upon real events in Harold Pinter’s life. It is about a love affair and the story is told in reverse chronological order. As is common in Pinter’s dramatic works; the play use uses pauses and questions to create tension and conflict between the characters. It’s a good play – as an introduction, it’s worth finding the 1983 film version starring Jeremy Irons.

The book version is small, compact and requires no additional persons or equipment. Reading it will concentrate one’s imagination, focus one on the power of words, and enhance one’s appreciation of drama. The book version is static, it waits to be given life through interpretation.

Betrayal by Harold Pinter

I have spent most of my life living above my local library with my loving and supportive parents. Primrose Hill Community Library, with its well organised and well loved rooms, shelves, books and staff, is a good library. It is funded by a charity and run by volunteers. It was previously run by Camden Council until it fell victim, like many good things, to austerity measures.

Someone should write a play about my local library’s story. It would include a local celebrated author, a leading political figures, and a broadcaster. Perhaps the broadcaster – who would have interviewed leading political figures – might have had a play written about them by a celebrated author. All three would be caught up in a campaign to save a local library.

If I don’t do it, someone else will.


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