‘All you have do is shut up and enjoy the hospitality.’ Terry
Harold Pinter’s Party Time(1991) is an extraordinary distillation of the playwright’s key concerns. Pulsing with political anger, it marks a stepping stone on Pinter’s path from iconic dramatist of existential unease to Nobel Prize-winning poet of human rights.
G. D. White situates this underrated play within a recognisably ‘Pinteresque’ landscape of ambiguous, brittle social drama while also recognising its particularity: Party Time is haunted by Augusto Pinochet’s right-wing coup against Salvador Allende’s democratically elected government in Chile. This book considers the playand its confederate works in the dual context of Pinter’s literary career and burgeoning international concern with human rights and freedom of expression.
White contrasts Pinter’s uneasy relationship with the UK’s powerful elite with the worldwide acclaim garnered by his dramatic eviscerations of power.
1. Incident at Dinner 2. Party Time 3. Wentworth Days
Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best loved works. They take a subjective but easily digestible approach to their topics, allowing their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who are being asked to study a play more deeply.
Each book in the series looks at a specific play, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics while prioritising original, insightful writing over complexity or scholarly weight. While other cultural products such as albums and films are well served by this kind of writing, the Fourth Wall series aims to find room between rigorous analysis and the short format of reviews or articles. They are extended accounts that get to the heart of their chosen works without being bound by the density that academic treatments can often require.