FESTIVAL – Jonathan Pryce in The Caretaker – 4.5K

Blood being thicker than water, generosity being betrayed, desperation and ambition and just getting by in life are the elements of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker. They are ingredients upon which Hollywood may construct a violent blockbuster, but in the classical style of London’s West End theatre this production comes without the gimmicks but with no absence of tension and intrigue.

There is but one setting; middle aged but mentally short changed Aston’s (Alan Cox) messy flat, owned by his younger brother Mick (Alex Hassel) to which a tramp, Davies (Jonathan Pryce) has been invited back one night to give him shelter. In time Davies is encouraged by Mick to take on the caretaker role of the whole block of flats as Mick’s own building business occupies all his time and Aston just doesn’t get things done. Davies seizes upon the potential of the opportunity but needs to produce references that are still back at Sidcup, his last place of permanent abode.

Between the reserved, listless and secretive Aston and the hurried but distracted Mick, the production of this play stands or falls on the performance of Davies, a task for which Pryce more than adequately rises to the occasion. Even from Row N, Pryce can make you smell his man, enter his world of hopes without reason and enjoy his humour, feel his hopes rise and manifest themselves as over reach. His is a tour de force.

Classy, complete and poignant – a night to remember.

We exist a long way from London and while the strong dollar may make it closer than ever, God bless the Adelaide Festival for shipping this production to us and dishing it up for what is quite an extended season.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K

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