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It is the version used for the play’s premiere at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, though it was subsequently revised for later productions and for the final published text.
The extract digitised here includes the interrogation scene (pp. is set in a shabby seaside boarding house run by witless landlady, Meg, who dotes on her only guest, Stanley, a shambling recluse.
Two strangers turn up (Goldberg and Mc Cann), a birthday party put on for Stanley turns into a nightmare, and, at the end of the play, he is carted off by the two men in a near-catatonic state.
Though funny on the surface, is loaded with ambiguity which creates an unnerving atmosphere of doubt and fear. Until 1968 every new play in Britain required a licence from the Lord Chamberlain's Office before it could be publicly performed.
Unlike other absurdist writers such as Ionesco and NF Simpson, Pinter seemed more interested in menacing than amusing his audience.
But in actual fact it was a very good education for me because it was such a cold shower.” Instead of abandoning his writing career, which he seriously considered, Pinter accepted a commission from BBC radio drama that became A Slight Ache (1959), later adapted for the stage and revived by the National as recently as 2008.
Two sections in the famous interrogation scene are marked by the censor’s blue pencil for removal on the basis that they are blasphemous.