Roger Michell’s staging of Harold Pinter’s 1978 play is the perfect translation of Pinter’s dry playwriting style. Scenic elements are reduced to the minimum necessary and the different settings are cleverly told from each other with repositioning of props. Michell also had a great cast and it seems he has taken advantage of that to work on a very rigid palette of theatrical postures. This gives great strength to their every utterance and is particularly helpful to show the audience the development of the characters’ attitude in a story told backwards.
Although the three actors are outstanding, I must single out Dervla Kirwan, a magnetic presence on stage. This is an actress who knows how to radiate energy even when still or silent – a rare talent. Toby Stephens and Samuel West are aptly contrasted . While the former explores a more extrovert and vocally varied approach, the latter goes for a more restrained attitude – both do it to the manner born. A great show.