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Dumb Waiter & Victoria Station

Drams 2
Venue The Smirnoff Underbelly
Address Edinburgh Central Library, George IV Bridge. Entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street.
Reviewer Daniel Winterstein

Oh joy; a double bill of Pinter plays.
Victoria Station is the better piece: shorter, tighter, more interesting, and the cast play it well. Alone in an office, a taxi cab controller (Sebastian Fernandez-Armesto) attempts to persuade Giovanni Palmiero's driver no. 274 to pick up a fare. Gradually 274's unhelpful monosyllabic answers cause him to unravel at the seams.

Dumb Waiter works less well. The cast are too young and fresh faced to pull off this piece about two hit men waiting for an assignment. Moreover they lack the confidence to play it at a slow pace. Their silences lack menace. The threat of violence is there, but it isn't credible enough.

The main flaw though is in the bloody play itself. Pinter is a poor pastiche of Beckett. He says nothing himself, and the only question he prompts us to ask is 'Why are we here?' - not in a philosophical sense, but in the more specific sense of here watching this play. One of the characters is in search of a cup of tea. This I understand. Otherwise, it's all silence and fury, signifying nothing.

© Daniel Winterstein, 20th August 2002.


© Daniel Winterstein 1998-2008

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