|The Caretaker (2010)
by Harold Pinter
London Classic Theatre
Tour of Britain and Ireland, 14 April – 9 July and 9 September – 20 November 2010
Directed by Michael Cabot
I was very happy to return to The Caretaker after six years. Michael Cabot revived it for the tenth anniversary of London Classic Theatre, and for the fiftieth anniversary of the play itself. It was a little disturbing, having done a tour lasting 12 weeks, to learn so much MORE about the play in the first two days of rehearsal this time, but as things were still falling into place in the last week of the 2nd part of this tour it just goes to show what a brilliant and complex piece it is. Joined, as before, by the inimitable Nicholas Gasson for both parts of the tour, Mick was played by the wonderful Nicholas Gadd for the first part, and the indescribable John Dorney for the second.
"Richard Stemp was impressive as the kindly but vulnerable Aston, bringing a staccato, blunted edge to the role that is undoubtedly the most complex in the play. Of course, we don’t believe he’ll ever get round to building the shed he talks of, but Stemp’s sympathetic portrayal meant his self-deception became something to pity rather than hold in contempt."
—Robert Gibson, Hexham Courant
"This was an immensely satisfying production in which the superb performances were matched by high technical standards. By far the most effective interpretation of Pinter's work that I have ever seen..."
— Graham Williams, South Wales Evening Post
"Stemp, playing the gentle, mentally-challenged Aston, gives his character a quiet dignity… [he] talks and walks with a stiffness that turns to steel at the end."
— Rachel Andrews, Sunday Business Post
"Last night's sell-out performance of Pinter's The Caretaker by London Classic Theatre is a good example of the standard of drama now on offer… The play focuses on Davies, an elderly drifter, played here by the brilliant Nicholas Gasson, who is given shelter by the vulnerable Aston, played to hair-raising perfection by Richard Stemp."
— Roddy Phillips, Aberdeen Press & Journal
"Richard Stemp gives Aston a beautifully understated character, whose monosyllabic conversation gives way in a fabulous monologue where he reveals the horror of his electroconvulsive therapy treatment."
— Helen Brown, The Northern Echo
“Stemp in a low-key, understated performance is convincing as the wistful, gentle but ineffective Aston. He flares up but once and it’s a memorable moment.”
— Hugh Homan, The Stage
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