The Caretaker

The Caretaker

Harold Pinter's The Caretaker premiered in London in 1960, and was put on only a year later by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

A wheedling, garrulous old tramp comes to live with two neurotic brothers, Mick and Aston. His attempts to establish himself in the household upset the precarious balance of the brothers' lives, and they end up evicting him.

This photograph from the 1961 Birmingham Rep production is of a young Derek Jacobi, in the centre, playing Mick, with Arthur Pentelow as the tramp, Davies, and Stephen MacDonald as Aston. Like much of Pinter's work, the play is more about words and silence than action. The tension is built through the mind games between the characters, and dense closely worded dialogue loaded with subtle menace.