This play was a sensation on its opening in London. It ran for 25 minutes only, a unique duration for a major play. It portrays a society where totaliarianism has reached its most severe form. Citizens of the country are forbidden to speak their native language, and are imprisoned for the most minor infringements of regulations. Most of the atmosphere is conveyed by recorded sounds, iron gates clanging, helicopters overhead, attack dogs howling, shouts and screams. It's one of Pinter's densest plays, a work of unrelieved terror and hopelessness
I was first introduced to this particular script in my first year of sixth form college, and immediately fell in love with it. Though it is a short piece, measuring in at just over 20 minutes in length, the pace is perfect, and the entire play leaves us wanting to know more - but this is certainly not a bad thing. It is shocking and disturbing, and also confusing, and its absurd nature makes sure that no two performances can possibly be the same.
The script comes with lists of props, lighting and effects, which are minimal. Again, this is no bad thing, and it gives directors a lot of space to play around with.
I would have greatly appreciated any more notes on the staging of the play, and photographs would have been useful. A little extra detail would not have been necessary, but neither would it have gone amiss.