Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter - unforgettable moments of quiet, often filled with terror, outrage or the blackest of humor.

A Night Out – Harold Pinter – 1960 – Past Daily World Stage

Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter – unforgettable moments of quiet, often filled with terror, outrage or the blackest of humor.

A Night Out – Radio Play by Harold Pinter – March 1, 1960 – BBC Radio Third Programme – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

First performed as a radio play before being adapted for Television a month later, A Night Out was, like all of the early work of Harold Pinter, considered revolutionary, profound and disturbing – roundly trashed by critics and enthusiastically received by the audience. Harold Pinter was part of that upheaval in society that manifested itself in the arts and in turn, epitomized the 60s as a time of change. Pinter was adept in taking normal everyday speech and turning dialogue laced with contemporary working-class slang into poetry – something that hadn’t been done before. His style of writing won him the the adjective “Pinteresque”, suggesting a cryptically mysterious situation imbued with hidden menace.

The TV version of A Night Out was Pinter’s first foray into video and there has been speculation as to whether the Radio Version was written with television in mind or if the Radio version was later adapted. In either case, it’s vintage Pinter and further evidence the 60s were rife with change.

Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. His writing career spanned over 50 years and produced 29 original stage plays, 27 screenplays, many dramatic sketches, radio and TV plays, poetry, one novel, short fiction, essays, speeches, and letters. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, in the same year, the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry and the Franz Kafka Award (Prague). In 2006 he was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize and, in 2007, the highest French honor, the Légion d’honneur. He died in December 2008.

Here is the cast for this production as it was originally heard on March 1, 1960:

Albert Stokes – Barry Foster
Mrs Stokes – Mary O’Farrell
Seeley – Harold Pinter
Kedge – John Rye
Barman – Walter Hall
Old Man – Norman Wynne
Mr King – David Bird
Mr Ryan – Norman Wynne
Gidney – Nicholas Selby
Joyce – Jane Jordan Rogers
Eileen – Margaret Hotine
Horne – Hugh Dickson
Barrow – David Spenser
The Girl – Vivien Merchant
Directed by Donald McWhinnie

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