Last to go and other stories
by Harold Pinter
Fifteen sketches in order of appearance:
1.That’s Your Trouble 2.That’s All 3.Interview 4.Request Stop
5.Special Offer 6.Trouble in the Works 7.Applicant 8.The Black and White 1
9.The New World Order 10.Precisely 11.The Black and White 2
12.Last to Go 13.Problem 14.Dialogue for Three 15.Night
ON THE SUBJECT OF A PRODUCTION (text written on the occasion of the 4th performance)
The first performance of Last to Go and Other Stories took place in the month of November in 1992. Since then we have put it on several times. This is the fourth.
The situations depicted in the brief sketches are mostly drawn from everyday life: two women talking about the butcher, a newsvendor and a barman discussing the last copy of the newspaper to have been sold, someone applying for a job, a woman has an unpleasant encounter waiting for the bus, etc. Everything turns around the grand themes of life and the theater: betrayal, temptation, suspicion, threat, intrusion, memory... The event has sunk out of sight, all that remain visible are a few snatches, situated at odd moments in the unfolding of the story. Pinter presents us with individuals and situations that are unknown to him and that he describes only in partial images because “to enter into someone else’s life is too frightening.” Distance provides leeway for humor and irony. Pinter’s reality is steeped in mystery: what we see and hear is very little of what is actually going on. In our production, sketch by sketch, we find ourselves in a big city, sometimes in the day, with the people of the daytime and their situations, sometimes in the evening or at night, with the denizens of the dark. Bars and stores, offices and homes. The space is broken up under our eyes into rapid scenes, while time passes and fragments of daily life, viewed with Pinter’s pitiless gaze, emerge, remaining briefly with us and then vanishing.