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39/39 Pinter from the Start

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Is it possible to find a great audition monologue in a Pinter play (for a young woman)? I’m not sure I’m going to mind finding out. I’m discovering a deep love for Pinter. They are difficult to act and stage and provide some serious mental exercise just to read. I think his characters are frightening simply because it is so easy to relate to them. More importantly, I auditioned for a The Birthday Party late last year and found the experience completely terrifying. The script is such a challenge to an actor. So I’m excited to read more (and see more when I can), so that I can better understand this work.

The Room struck me as another take on The Birthday Party. Different cast of characters, different issues at the hart of the problem, but a very similar plot. It was enjoyable, but I think I prefer The Birthday Party, as it’s more menacing and complicated.

A Slight Ache, however, I found delicious. HUGELY challenging, as it’s full to the brim with monologues. There are 3 characters in this play: a husband and wife and a match seller who never speaks. There is hardly any dialogue; it is almost completely monologues. The husband and wife turn steadily over the course of the play, really on each other, but also on themselves and they do it almost entirely to themselves. I didn’t find much monologue-wise here, because most of the wife’s good monologue sections were in past tense, but the husband would be worth a look.

And can I just say that I’m really excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this challenge? I feel like I can start to count down to the end now. It’s been great for me to read so much. I have noticed how much more prepared I am to watch, understand and discuss plays, plus I am way less likely to look at someone blankly when they mention a play or playwright. It is also a lot of work. I’m looking forward to focusing on my monologues soon and then getting back to reading plays for pleasure first, business second. Sometimes you just gotta get your work done.


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