In 1962’s The Collection, Harry (West) and dress designer Bill (Cox), who share a house in Belgravia, are disturbed by an anonymous phone call from James (Coyle), whose model wife Stella (McKee) has confessed to a one-night stand with Bill. In 1963’s The Lover, husband and wife Richard and Sarah (Coyle and McKee) use the fantasy of infidelity to spice up their romance, but the charade spills over into real life.
Jamie Lloyd, who directed the recent revival of Pinter’s The Caretaker at Sheffield Crucible and the Tricycle, helms the double bill, which is designed by Soutra Gilmour and produced by Howard Panter for the Ambassador Theatre Group, Tulchin/Bartner Productions and Sweet Pea Productions.
First-night critics all noted the plays’ television origins and, with a few misgivings, thought that, under Jamie Lloyd’s direction, they had weathered the screen-to-stage transition well. The pair also served as a reminder that a) early Pinter survives well, b) the playwright has a “sharply comic eye and ear”, and c) as a former actor, he’s adept at writing challenging roles for actors. In response to the last, the four-strong cast here deliver “pristine” performances in a piece that is “strongly recommended”.
- by Tom Atkins & Terri Paddock
** Don’t miss our Whatsonstage.com Outing to The Lover / The Collection on 25 February 2008 – including a FREE programme, FREE drink & post-show Q&A – EXTRA tickets now added to this previously sold-out event!!! - click here to book now! **
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