New Pinter Radio Play on Torture and Interrogators to Air

Voices, by Harold Pinter, a musical composition by James Clarke with words by Harold Pinter (composed from several of his recent plays), will be performed live on BBC Radio 3, on October 10 in honor of Pinter's 75th birthday.

The plays from which he has culled his lines share a preoccupation with the power relationship between bully and victim, torturer and tortured, master and slave. Against a backdrop of unspecified totalitarian states, Pinter focuses on interrogators, torturers and guards and their violent mistreatment of innocent prisoners.

The broadcast will be accessible on streaming audio live. Here's an interview with Pinter. Metafilter has this description:

Harold Pinter at 75.

In One for the Road, the protagonist is Nicolas, a whisky-sodden interrogator who has brought in a family for questioning (and, it is implied, raping and torturing). In the short, sharp shock of The New World Order, we eavesdrop on a conversation between two torturers, held over the top of their mute, blindfolded victim's head ("We haven't even finished with him. We haven't begun."). In Ashes to Ashes, the interrogation of Rebecca by Devlin takes a sinister turn as we learn that her ex-lover participated in state-sponsored violence. In Mountain Language, a sadistic guard plays power games with a group of mountain dwellers, who are forbidden from speaking in anything but the language of the state. In Party Time, Pinter lampoons the smug security of the middle classes, portraying an insufferably élite party which carries on regardless of the violence and terror on the streets outside.

Now, for Pinter's 75th birthday, some of the tormentors and the tormented so potently etched in his later plays are assembled together in a new dramatic work with a musical setting by the composer James Clarke.

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    Thank you very much for posting this information on TalkLeft. Harold Pinter's official website provides more information about his work for those who would like to explore it further. BBC Radio 3 broadcast an interview with Sir Peter Hall (dir.), Patricia Hodge (actor), and Ian Smith (scholar and cricket teammate of Pinter's) on Wednesday, 5 Oct., followed by a "definitive" 1990 version of his play Betrayal, with Patricia Hodge (Emma), Michael Gambon (Jerry), and Harold Pinter (Robert), which is still accessible online through the BBC Radio Player here. The Dublin Theatre Festival is currently hosting "Pinter 75: A Celebration," including this weekend's birthday party in Harold Pinter's honor and productions and staged readings of his work at the Gate Theatre (Sneak Preview).

    Re: New Pinter Radio Play on Torture and Interroga (none / 0) (#2)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    I'm glad that there are writers like Pinter who have spoken out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Thank you for posting that, John Horse! :-) Apparently, the Nobel Prize selection people thought so too!! This morning they announced that Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Congratulations to Harold Pinter! New York Times/AP Online News Wire More information accessible at the Harold Pinter Forum (an ezboard "The Harold Pinter Community"), part of Harold Pinter's official website, HaroldPinter.org.

    Harold Pinter has been and is an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. He has also spoken out for there being "a fair trial" for Milosevic. His plays satirize dictators not only in the "third world" but in the rest of the world as well. "Charley" needs to educate himself more about Harold Pinter. Perhaps he could begin by reading some of Harold Pinter's work. I believe that the Nobel Academy, in awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature to Harold Pinter, is suggesting that others do that as well.

    Re: New Pinter Radio Play on Torture and Interroga (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:57 PM EST
    Pinter has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. link

    Re: New Pinter Radio Play on Torture and Interroga (none / 0) (#10)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:57 PM EST
    That would be the Nobel Prized for literature that Pinter was awarded. The Nobel Peace Prize was won by Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director of the IAEA.

    Re: New Pinter Radio Play on Torture and Interroga (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:57 PM EST
    dw-oops, literature.... thanks. The ELBaradei Nobel Peace Prize plus Pinter's Lit prize are both well deserved and spot on.