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A Play can be confrontational challenging and disturbing to the values and assumptions of an audience Discuss with close reference to The Caretaker The Caretaker written by the British playwright Harold Pinter in the late 1950s and early 1960s disrupts the audiences perceptions of existence and their understandings of it The play deconstructs perceived notions and conceptions of reality and disturbs the audiences perception of their own identity and place within a world which is primarily concerned with the search and need for identity Pinter was clearly influenced by the fashionable philosophic review of human condition that was prominent in the 1950s and 1960s - existentialism The play attacks the notion that there are no absolute truths or realities Pinter is therefore concerned with what exists as unknown and intangible to humanity His theatre interrogates the truth of nature and realities of language and demonstrates that much of what the audience regards as fact is fiction as he explores the uncertainty of human existence When an audience of the 1960s went to the theatre it can generally be assumed that they had preconceived ideas about what they expected and what they are going to gain from the theatrical experience The traditional attitudes towards theatre and the conventions of realist drama are disrupted by Pinter This confronts the assumptions and values of the audience an experience which would be disconcerting and frightening to many Pinter divorces and exposes societys codes institutions and human relations Throughout the play the audience is rarely comfortable This disruption is established from the outset of the play when Mick a character who at this stage of the play the audience knows nothing about sits on the bed and stares at the audience in silence for 30 seconds Traditionally in realist drama such as Henrik Ibsens Hedda Gabler characters use simple exposition through language and non-verbal elements to let the audience in and enlighten them on what is happening
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