London Classic Theatre have toured a startling array of productions ranging from Marivaux’s early 18th century comedy of manners The Double Inconstancy to contemporary classics by Patrick Marber and Martin McDonagh. But it was to Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, originally produced by the company in 2004, that artistic director Michael Cabot returned for London Classic’s tenth anniversary programme.
‘I’m a huge fan of Pinter’s work,’ says Cabot. ‘I find his plays incredibly relevant and working with such fantastic writing is always a privilege. I had great memories of the 2004 tour – I think it was the first time we had really shown what we were capable of as a touring company, in terms of the ambition of the kind of work we wanted to produce. When I realised it might be possible to get most of the original team together, everything just fell into place.’
Pinter’s play, in which three social misfits convene in a West London house, has been fascinating and baffling audiences for nearly 50 years with its characteristic mix of dark humour and creeping menace. Cabot attributes its enduring appeal to the truth that underlies the writing.
‘We do our best to make the play come alive and make the words and the situation as real and clear as we can,’ he says. ‘The audience can connect with the humour on many different levels, but I think when they start to trust the actors and engage with the characters, everything falls into place and the comedy just happens. It’s all there in the writing – it’s our job to trust what is on the page.’
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Fri 25 & Sat 26 Jun