The play depicts three men — a tramp named Davies and two brothers, Mick and Aston — who each in their own way seem trapped entirely in their own individual worlds. The plot is minimal: Aston brings Davies back to his junk-filled flat after the latter has been involved in a fight. And it is impossible, in the current climate, to tell any story about the search for a home without feeling aware of the shadow cast by the burnt husk of Grenfell Tower. This has striking resonance in a world where we see a virulent and xenophobic nationalism arising in response to a global refugee crisis and the perceived challenges of mass migration. And what makes this issue feel particularly alive in our rehearsal room is the fact that the actor playing Davies, Patrice Naiambana, is himself a migrant to the UK.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Caretaker by Harold Pinter. The Caretaker by Harold Pinter.

This play was first performed in Harold Pinter specializes in the tragicomedy of the breakdown of communication, broadly in the tradition of the theatre of the absurds and this is demonstrated in both The Caretaker and The Birthday Party. Get A Copy. Paperback , 43 pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about The Caretaker , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Caretaker. Jun 02, Trevor rated it really liked it Shelves: literature. You know that he will be the one who is taken care of and he will be incapable of acknowledging the care he is receiving.

And so it proves. This, of course, is called irony. There is an underlying nastiness and aggression to the play that is all too masculine and all too disturbing. And Pinter has an unfailing eye for cognitive dissonance and for the lies we tell ourselves so as to reduce the torments of this dissonance. He has ways of holding a mirror up to ourselves, well, if we are brave enough to look, brave enough to see beyond what is actually being shown.

For instance, how we believe that if we just did that one thing right before us then everything would work out.

It would all work out if we could just do it in exactly the right way and on exactly the right day. Except, well, the problem is that there is no right day.

Deep down we know that there is no chance we will ever do that one thing. We will never actually do it. And why? Well, because having that one simple thing always looming as a possibility before us is the only thing that offers us any hope at all. What if we go down to get our papers or go to see the man about the job he is keeping especially for us or head off to the church where they were going to give us a brand new pair of shoes and it turns out, after all our efforts in getting there, that they tell us, after looking us up and down with a gaze that's impossible to misinterpret, to piss off?

What then? No, it is better never to go. Better to be always just about to go. That way the hope is still alive. Is it better to be Tantalus or Prometheus? Is it better to have what you desire always within sight and always just out of reach? Or is it better to have snatched at the prize, to have known the victory of holding it in your hands, only to be caught and given your punishment of eternal torture that spans out forever without a shred of hope. The Gods find punishments appropriate to our own self knowledge.

Aston is the person most obviously in need of care in this play — although, I do understand that everyone is in clear need of care here. This is a play of the lost and trapped. All the same, Aston is the only character to really offer any care to anyone else — and everyone else, even his own mother, lets him down in ways that are beyond belief, even when it would seem just as easy to provided him with care as to deny it him.

And this is a play about the fear of difference. Of the need to belong by proving that there are others who belong even less than you do. Is it any wonder Davies spends his time in mortal fear of the blacks? Is it any surprise that he cuts off his nose to spite his face? This is, in so many ways, an absurdist play — but sometimes the absurd is the easiest way to highlight certain terrible truths about what it means to be human.

View all 6 comments. Jun 14, Mariel rated it really liked it Recommends it for: he's no friend of mine. Were you dreaming or something?

No, nor have I. Nor me. If I were in the room with him I would turn the sound down and watch the lips flap to know what he is really saying. Help me, save me, fuck you. There are stills of the first production of the play from s.

I didn't like the expressions of the actors. They looked like they were acting. Fists are raised in threats! Pinter's play in my mind exists as your ugly humanity you wear on your bones to push through lava, leather, any skin money could buy or borrow. Another day another you pay for it.

They look like they are wearing costumes. The pants are torn and bully leather. It might be absurd to judge a performance from a few photographs. Donald Pleasence has the look of a guy who believes himself to be a cunning con man.

This part is correct. He's not a good actor, Davies. He's too pathetic his the asking to tell the cost of selling yourself.

His fuck yous aren't believable because it fucks himself. More helplessness, even if he was cleaned up. The atmosphere would swallow them up in are you kidding me? No one and nothing would take that shit from you.

When we meet him he was going to get the shit beat out of him. He may have even had it coming. I know he had it coming. Aston smiles at him when he thinks he is asleep. He doesn't know that Davies is watching him through the blanket, only pretending to be asleep.

I thought this was great, that smile. That kind of made it for me. That Davies is in this guy's room, pretending to sleep in the bed he gave him. Yet he didn't give it him. He's only borrowing it for an undetermined time. He doesn't know Aston, or what he wants from him. I was disappointed in photographs of Mick from a recent production of The Caretaker. It is the scene when they first meet.


The Caretaker Review 2010

Nothing much really happens in 'The Caretaker'. There's no complex plot with surprising shifts, tantalising twists or skeletons that leap out of cupboards. What actually happens is that a man called Aston brings an older man, Davies, back to his room in a house owned by his brother, Mick. Aston allows the older man — who seems to be homeless — to stay in his room.



The Caretaker is a play in three acts by Harold Pinter. Although it was the sixth of his major works for stage and television, this psychological study of the confluence of power, allegiance, innocence, and corruption among two brothers and a tramp, became Pinter's first significant commercial success. First published by both Encore Publishing and Eyre Methuen in , The Caretaker remains one of Pinter's most celebrated and oft-performed plays. Aston has invited Davies, a homeless man, into his flat after rescuing him from a bar fight 7—9.


Pinter's The Caretaker: an outsider's tale for xenophobic times

The Caretaker , three-act play by Harold Pinter , published and first produced in The action of the play occurs in the flat of Aston and Mick, two brothers. Aston, who is slow-witted, befriends a wheedling, garrulous tramp named Davies. Individually, both brothers offer Davies a role as caretaker.


How mental illness and colonialism haunt Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker

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