Theatre of Politics

I went to a production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land this weekend. I wanted to see if the last forty years had made me more receptive to Pinter’s dialogues. The main actors were Ian Mc Kellan and Patrick Stewart.

I often read that Pinter is a north Londoner of high principle and fine social values.

At the interval, one theatre goer, who had travelled from Manchester to Cardiff, told me that she was finding the play self- indulgent gobbledygook. My only additional thought was to refer to its surprising misogyny.

The theatre audience was by far the youngest I had seen in decades. When I asked a person half my age what had drawn them to the play, it transpired that they had come to see Gandalf and Star Trek’s Picard.

I found their performances disappointing – lacking any emotional or intellectual impact. The show was almost rescued by a Welsh actor called Owen (Teale) who at least provided a bit of oomph.

The young audience had come to see a messiah and they were determined not to be disappointed. There were standing ovations and queues at the stage door for McKellen and Stewart. If this was Star Trek I would be lost in a parallel universe.