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A Night Out is a radio play by Harold Pinter. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio on 01 March 1960 and was later adapted as a TV play. A new version was broadcast on the BBC World Service in 1993.

Plot[]

Albert is a loner in his late twenties who lives with his emotionally-suffocating mother and works in an office. After being falsely accused of groping a female at an office party, he wanders the streets until he meets a girl, who invites him to her flat, where he responds to her overtures by angrily demeaning her. Then he returns home to his mother.

Cast[]

  • Albert Stokes - Barry Foster
  • Mrs Stokes - Mary O'Farrell
  • Seeley - Harold Pinter
  • Kedge - John Rye
  • Barman - Walter Hall
  • Old Man - Norman Wynne
  • Mr King - David Bird
  • Mr Ryan - Norman Wynne
  • Gidney - Nicholas Selby
  • Joyce - Jane Jordan Rogers
  • Eileen - Margaret Hotine
  • Horne - Hugh Dickson
  • Barrow - David Spenser
  • The Girl - Vivien Merchant

Directed by Donald McWhinnie

Critical Reception[]

When you say a playwright has a good ear for the banalities of ordinary speech you donít after allí say very much. But if you can go further and say that the reason he has the good ear is because he comprehends the sources of the banality, then you praise him highly.

The contours of talk in Harold Pinterís A Night Out (Third) were beautifully reproduced because the hand of the playwright was at he same time feeling out the motives at a very deep level indeed. It was not only the sound of the office bully at the party, the cannibal mum on the domestic hearth, the genteel whore in the street at night ñ it was not only the sound that Mr. Pinter provided, it was the reason for the sound: not explicit reason, not reason that shoved into the mouths of characters or dumped down in the path of action so that everyone has to climb over it before things can proceed, nut reason that is implicit in the spring and flow of a play itself.

So that at the end you knew ñ though you had not been told ñ that for the people in this play, as for people outside it, the Inferiority Feeling is a very powerful dynamic indeed. In a splendid cast, Mr. Barry Foster as Albert, who is well nigh suffocated by his monologuing mother, was brilliant: his neurotic hesitancies owed nothing to theatricality, he had discovered them for himself. But it is Mr. Pinterís ear that we must chiefly celebrate: it is a splendid ear, and he keeps it to the ground. Robert Robinson, The Sunday Times, 1960.

References[]

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