It wasn’t until later that I realized how, subconsciously, I had made a judgment, based on a simple internalized CHECKLIST of what actors have to do, totally unaware that Pinter’s script demanded those pauses.
Since that time I try to listen with ears, less clogged by wax and rules, and I try to ask, rather than make snap judgments. As a theatre critic, I spend significantly more time and energy researching and writing reviews than before, often with the script right next to me, and with interview transcripts that may reveal whole new aspects I may have overlooked.
Writing theatre reviews under those circumstances also comes with another price: unlike some of my colleagues who churn out witty and often devastating judgments within hours of opening night, my articles may have lost those deadly stings, those lethal hits which sell like ringside seats at caged wrestling matches in London, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles.
And yet I write, listening to the silence, the unspoken word–not only in Pinter’s plays–leaving old checklists where they belong: in the bottom drawer, next to earnest instructions on how to operate a phonograph and crumpled maps to Shangri-La.
For my theatre reviews, click here.
Originally published on March 24, 2013.