Once upon a time I went to a show called Old Times, and it is at Strawdog Theatre. The play is one of the confusingest plays in the world because Pinter does lots of very confusing plays that take place in small rooms. I wish I could meet him. He died when I was four years old. In this play it is all about this lovely lady named Anna (Michaela Petro) that comes over to celebrate this friendship that she had with this husband's wife Kate (Abigail Boucher) twenty years ago. Then the husband Deeley (John Henry Roberts) falls in love with Anna and tells everybody that they've met before in a place called the Wayfarer's Tavern. We don't know what happens to Anna at the end. She might be d-e-a-d at the end, but nobody knows. It is a mysterious play.
The first scene in the whole entire play is the scene where they are talking about what Anna will be like. They are talking about it and they have a cool fight about what she is like. Their disagreement is that he says, "You haven't seen her in twenty years," and then she says "Well, you've never seen her," which is wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. And Anna was looking out the window, but she wasn't supposed to be there yet. I'm not like, "It's a mistake in the play." I think they thought it was interesting to have someone who wasn't supposed to be there looking out the window. But everything that she had on, including her hair, was black, so that means she kind of blends into her surroundings. Black blends in with the darkness. Deeley has not seen Anna yet, and he doesn't know that he met her before.
There is this scene where Deeley says that the beds are awesome and they are like the awesomest things in the world. And then he says, there's one great thing about these beds, and then he shows them all the ways that you can sleep, "and the castors make all this possible." And I think this part of the scene is funny because most people don't show people how their beds work. Kate is in the bath and they are talking about how Kate gets out of the bath. And they say that she floats out of the bath, she floats out of everything. Everything that they talk about, she floats out of everything. She doesn't just get out. She floats and she floats, and did I mention that she floats. She takes a long time in the bath, and that is an important part of the play because then they get a nice long talk. And they talk about what they should do when she gets out of the bath. There is a really funny part in this part of the scene where Deeley says, "She gives herself an equally good scrub but can she give herself a equally good rub? And this happens to be NOT the case." So then they talk about what they can do to make sure she can be more dry when she gets out of the bath. They both think she is very pretty and they both like her. Anna and Deeley are in love with each other. I think he is in love with both of the girls.
Odd Man Out is a very famous movie. It has to do with this play because there are two versions of the same story about them going to see Odd Man Out. One of them is a true story, and one of them is a false story. The false story is the story that he went to the movie with Kate. An actor in the movie made him fall in love with Kate because he was somebody that brought them together because he said "Wasn't Robert Newton great?" and she says "Robert Newton was great!" and that's how he brought them together. But that is wrong, in my opinion. The true story is, in my opinion, that he actually went out with Anna because she was pretending to be Kate. In the play he says that she was pretending to be Kate at the Wayfarer's Tavern. That means that Anna was the person at the movie too.
In the play, at the very end, there is a scene that is upsetting for most people because there is somebody crying and you see the scene where the man comes over and looks at Anna and she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. I don't think she's dead if she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. It is upsetting to see people cry for most people, except for Estella in Great Expectations. It is confusing because nobody knows what has happened. Maybe Anna has died; maybe she just doesn't want anything to do with him; maybe she is asleep; maybe she is just rude. We don't know what Kate is going to say about what is happening. Nobody knows why Deeley is crying. Maybe he doesn't like the thought of Anna dying because he is in love with her. Maybe he wants to see what's happened to her and that is why he goes over and looks at her. It's kind of cool but kind of scary. It's cool because if you like mysteries this is a good play to go see. It is scary because somebody is crying and you think maybe somebody is dead, and stuff like that.
Old Times is sad, exciting, and funny in some parts. I heard that some people think Pinter is boring, but I don't think so. You have to use your imagination. It is not like you know know know know know everything. Not every play you have to know everything that happened. You want to have a mystery in the story. You want it to be exciting. You don't want it just to go pop! pop! pop! you know everything! I think people that would like this show are people who like mysteries, movies, betrayal, and people talking about beds.
Photos: Chris Ocken