Harold Pinter: Two short plays – The Room & Celebration
“This place is like a womb to me. I prefer to stay in my womb. I strongly prefer that to being born.”
After a COVID-enforced absence, the ECB theatre ensemble is pleased to announce its return to the stage with these two short plays by Harold Pinter. Set side by side, these two pieces present two worlds which are mirrored by their similarities as much as by their differences. Replete with characters who are condemned to an existence closed off from others, these plays explore the connected themes of isolation, loss, memory and escape.
The Room (1957) offers us the dark life of a woman who seeks the security of confinement within her own home, lest the outside world catch up with her. Celebration (2000) presents the apparent glamour of dining in the most refined restaurant in town, only for this image to be hilariously upended through the crass dialogue of its wealthy patrons. Are the Room and Celebration respectively a horror and an absurd farce, or is one a dark comedy and the other a critique of modern society? Do the characters in these plays prefer the bleakness of the familiar, or are they willing to face the uncertainty that comes with escape? These are amongst the questions that Pinter seeks to answer in these two pieces.
In presenting the first and last plays of Harold Pinter, the ECB ensemble would like not only to honour the work of a writer who is synonymous with twentieth century literature, but also to provoke reflections on life during COVID and the enforced isolation, fear and anxiety that has beset these times. We invite you to the theatre as a way of once again sharing an evening with friends and strangers, and looking forward together to a brighter future.
Director: Christopher Morahan
Cast: Simone Bottarelli, Leah Coburn, Anna Liimatta, Sophie Melekidou, Christoph Moritz, Charles O’Donnell, Panos Papapaschalis, Rosana Plaza, James Roberts
Performance rights: Concord Theatricals GmbH