BREWER — Harold Pinter’s plays may be famous for their pauses, but in between his dialogue is sharp, smart and witty. Two of his short plays that crackle with energy are “The Lover” and “The Collection,” both being presented by Ten Bucks Theatre in November and December.
The “Pinter pause” is famous because it allows space to reveal the characters’ internal psychological struggles, organizers said. The characters in these plays are brittle and vulnerable, loosely drawn yet complex. Their veneer of sophistication masks the raw emotions and desperation underneath. As they work their way through a maze of sexual power politics, the audience is taken on a journey into the darker side of modern marriage.
Director Irene Dennis, who recently finished a stint as Truvy, the hairdresser in Penobcot Theatre’s production of “Steel Magnolias,” is working with a cast of four accomplished local actors.
Marty Kelley plays both the sexually adventurous housewife Sarah in “The Lover,” and Stella in “The Collection,” the former fashion model wife whose tale of a one-night stand is the catalyst for all the play’s action. She has appeared previously with Ten Bucks in “The Attempted Murder of Peggy Sweetwater” and “Here We Are.”
Bernard Hope plays the shape-shifting husband in “The Lover,” donning about eight different personas in the course of one 40-minute piece. He also appears in “The Collection” as the embittered husband of Stella, trying to sort out the truth about his sexual life. Hope has performed with Ten Bucks many times, notably in last fall’s “The Duck Variations.”
Rounding out the cast are Padraic Harrison and John Greenman, also Ten Bucks veterans.
Harrison plays the sexually ambiguous, self-interested Bill, a fashion designer implicated in Stella’s adultery in “The Collection.”
Greenman plays the wealthy, aging Harry Kane, a man in danger of losing everything he cherishes.
A Nobel Prize winner for literature in 2005, Harold Pinter, who passed away in December 2008, is considered one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century. His edgy themes and minimal dialogue paved the way for other cutting-edge writers such as Sam Shepard, David Mamet and Tom Stoppard. For those who appreciate great writing as well as great theater, there is a treat in store in these productions.
Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, and Dec. 4-5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22 and Dec. 6, at Brewer Middle School Auditorium, 5 Somerset St. Tickets are $10, $5 for students with ID and will be available at the door.
Call 884-1030 to request seats. Reserved seating is not available.
These plays contain mature themes and are not suitable for children.