Rupert Graves Online.
Media Bank

2000 - Taking Care Of Pinter's Plays.

Author: Rupert Graves.
Publication: Hot Tickets: The Evening Standard.

What a great job - the part of Mick in the production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker which will celebrate the play's 40th anniversary.

(It was originally produced at the Arts Theatre Club in 1960, with Donald Pleasence as Davies, Alan Bates as Mick and Peter Woodthorpe as Aston).

And it also celebrates Harold's 70th birthday. This production is directed by Patrick Marber, who I also worked with on Closer in New York, and stars Michael Gambon as Davies and Douglas Hodge as Aston.

The Caretaker was Pinter's first big hit, but only his second full-length play. We're setting it in 1959 when it was written and just trying to realise it as truthfully as we can. It's a brilliant play. It feels like listening to conversations in the pub. You get drawn into it. I'm finding you have to be disciplined in holding back and letting the menace of the play work, not clouding it with too many of your own colours.

You have to just do it.

What is intimidating is having Harold around, because he's such a great writer and the God of the English theatre. He came to the read-through and saw a run-through, too. He just gives you a few notes. But he is charming and has been very positive.

It is fun working with Michael Gambon, or the Great Gambon as Ralph Richardson once dubbed him. I did a film with Michael before. A terrible film called The Innocent Sleep.
Still, we had a laugh on that one, too. He is a great bloke.

©2000 The Evening Standard.