Theater: Primal Pinter

THE HOTHOUSE by Harold Pinter

Every Pinter play—from his earliest one-acter, The Room (1957), to his latest drama, Betrayal—begins on a note of nervous apprehension. What proceeds after that is not the unfolding of a plot but the revelation of a state of being, a kind of black comic hell consisting of menace, panic, boredom and absurdist non sequiturs. His characters are caught in seemingly desperate and openly despairing situations that cannot be ameliorated and that may end in psychological or physical violence.

Except that it is Pinter's funniest play, The Hothouse conforms to all...

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