The Birthday Party & The Roomby Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter’s first plays, considered by critics the earliest example of his “comedy of menace.”
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In The Birthday Party, a musician escapes to a dilapidated boarding house, where he falls victim to the shadowy, ritualized violence of two men who have followed him from his sinister past. In The Room, a derelict boarding house again becomes the scene of a visitation from the past when a blind man suddenly arrives to deliver a mysterious message. Both plays are invested with the elements that make Pinter’s work unique: the disturbing familiarity of the dialogue, the subtle characterization, and the abrupt mood and power shifts among the characters, which can be by turns terrifying, moving, and wildly funny.
Winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature