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Word Count: 556
One recurring motif in Harold Pinters work is the image of the single room Pinter himself spoke of this form as being one of the most pure for the theater For Pinter one room a few characters and a door and the fear of what will come through the door next is all that is necessary for a good play Two people in a room- I am dealing a great deal of the time with this image of two people in a room The curtain goes up on the stage and I see it as a very potent question What is going to happen to these two people in the room Is someone going to open the door and come in Esslin 235 Pinters first full-length play The Birthday Party perfectly embodies this single room purity The play takes place in a single room whose occupants are threatened by forces or people whose precise intentions neither the characters nor the audience can define The Birthday Party was produced in 1958 at the Arts Theater in Cambridge The play centers around Stanley an apathetic man in his thirties who has found refuge in a dingy seaside boarding house which has apparently had no other visitors for years Meg one of the owners cares for Stanley in a very motherly fashion that at times appears to border on incest Petey her husband is a kind old man who rarely speaks and is employed as a deck chair attendant Little is revealed about Stanleys past besides the fact that he was once a piano player and may or may not have once had a concert This ambiguity becomes the driving force of the entire play In the middle of the first act the comic duo of Goldberg and McCann arrives and it soon becomes clear that they are after Stanley Like Samuel Beckett Pinter refuses to provide rational explanations for the actions of his characters
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