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The Caretaker

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,073 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
This play was first performed in 1960. Harold Pinter specializes in the tragicomedy of the breakdown of communication, broadly in the tradition of the theatre of the absurds and this is demonstrated in both The Caretaker and The Birthday Party.
Paperback, 43 pages
Published December 1st 1962 by Dramatists Play Service (first published July 21st 1960)
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Jun 02, 2012 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
It’s funny, you know. As soon as a play is called something like The Caretaker you just know that the person who gets the job of caretaker, who is referred to throughout as the caretaker, won’t be able to take care of anyone, not even himself. You know that he will be the one who is taken care of and he will be incapable of acknowledging the care he is receiving. And so it proves. This, of course, is called irony.

I would like to say this is a funny play – but it isn’t, even though I did smile qu
Jun 17, 2013 Mariel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: he's no friend of mine
Recommended to Mariel by: he's no friend of mine
ASTON. You…er…
ASTON. Were you dreaming or something?
DAVIES. Dreaming?
DAVIES. I don’t dream. I’ve never dreamed.
ASTON. No, nor have I.
DAVIES. Nor me.

If I were in the room with him I would turn the sound down and watch the lips flap to know what he is really saying. Help me, save me, fuck you.

There are stills of the first production of the play from 1960s. I didn't like the expressions of the actors. They looked like they were acting. Fists are raised in threats! or
Billy O'Callaghan
Oct 10, 2015 Billy O'Callaghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, nobel-prize
The Caretaker is the story of two brothers, Mick and Aston, and a crumbling house. Mick owns the place and has plans to renovate. Dreams, really. Aston has spent time in a mental hospital and underwent electro shock therapy. The play begins when Aston brings home Davies, a down and out who is trying to live under the assumed name of Jenkins, and offers him the spare bed (Mick's old bed). Davies talks about his papers, which he's left behind in Sidcup, and speaks of his plans to get down there, a ...more
Omar Manjouneh
بعد ثاني لقاءاتي مع إحدى مسرحيات بنتر بدأت أكتشف أسباب صعوبة تقبلي لها..

ينقذ آستون العجوز الفقير ديفيز من معركه مع أحد العمال الاسكتلنديين في أحد البارات، ويعرض عليه البقاء في شقته ريثما يتمكن من إيجاد وظيفة تكنه من الحصل على سكن خاص.. لكن العجوز سرعان ما تنكشف صفاته الحقيقية فيبدأ بمحاولة الإيقاء بين آستوف وبين أخيه ميك الذي هو في نفس الوقت صاحب الشقة التي يقطنون فيها، لكن الأخوان سرعان ما يتنبهون لذلك ويطردون العجوز المحتال من حياتهم.

حتى الآن لا يبدو هنالك مشكلة في القصة فهي بسيطة ومفهومة تمام
Oct 14, 2013 Beatrix rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
As far as I know Harold Pinter, plot and story are usually non-existent in his works, but I still write a few lines about what goes on in this play.

So, the play is about two brothers, Mick and Aston. Mick works in the construction industry, and leads an average, moderately pointless life; Aston – through no fault of his own – doesn’t work anywhere, and leads an absolutely pointless life. Mick is the owner of a run-down building, and his idea is that he lets Aston live there, and Aston, in return
Zeeshan Ahmed
Dec 22, 2015 Zeeshan Ahmed rated it really liked it
It's absurd, and I loved it!
Felix Purat
Jun 19, 2015 Felix Purat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good play. Strong sense of ambiguity. Good intro to Pinter's works.
Shahad al-ani
أول قراءة لهارولد بنتر.
حصلت على المسرحية من معرض تبادل حين قرأت اسم بنتر عليها، كان عليّ أن أعرف سبب شهرة هذا الرجل، كان جو المسرحية مملاً في البداية وغريباً. يدخل الرجل العجوز ديفز على حياة الشقيقين استون وميك بعد انقاذ استون له ثم تبدأ متطلباته كأي طفيلي نعرفه في حياتنا، الغموض يكمن في شخصيتي الأخوين - ميك خصوصاُ- أما استون فإنه بعد المونولوغ العظيم الطويل الذي يقوله تنكشف بعض ملامحه ومن هنا بدأت قراءتها بشغف
يقول استون أنه بعد العلاج الكهربائي الذي خضع له عندما كان قاصراً صار تفكيره أبطأ!
May 07, 2016 Realini rated it liked it
The Caretaker by Harold Pinter
I am not sure what to say about this play, except perhaps that I didn't really get it...

A short version of this note would be...
I didn't like it and I failed to get the point
But there is an undertone and a feeling that this is not all there is to say about this play.
Why didn't I like it?
Or better said, did I get it?
Because if I did not dig, how can I say anything?

It gave me an impression that I listen to absurd theater.
And I am not crazy about Ionesco...
Beckett wa
Vipin Goyal
Feb 17, 2016 Vipin Goyal rated it it was amazing
Modern Man has three faces- Mike, Aston and Davies in The Caretaker by Harold Pinter. Mike and Aston are brothers and Davies is a tramp. All of them are directionless. In the play Shoes have been used symbolically. They are symbolic of the right path, action and destination, which all the three are utterly lacking. Despite being aimless they are ready to lend shoes and thus show path to others without caring for its appropriateness.

All the three suffer from isolation. At the beginning of Act I M
بسام عبد العزيز
May 18, 2015 بسام عبد العزيز rated it did not like it
بدأت أفهم ماذا كان يقصد المترجم عندما قال بوجود تعريف جديد في المسرح اسمه "البنترية" نسبة إلى هارولد بنتر..

مما قرأته فإن البنترية هى "كتابة مسرحية عبثية لامنطقية ذات حديث غير مألوف ولا مفهوم مع التركيز بشدة على تكرار الجمل بشكل يسبب التثاؤب للقارئ"..
هكذا هى البنترية عندي..

ماذا عن هذه المسرحية؟؟
3 أفراد في منزل واحد.. أخوان و متشرد يدعوه احد الأخوين للحياة معهما.. المتشرد هو الحارس.. أو بشكل أكثر دقة المتشرد هو الشخص الذي رشحه الأخوان لتولي مهام حراسة البيت..

ما معنى المسرحية؟
بالنسبة لي فكرة ظلت مل
Feb 22, 2016 Shanu rated it really liked it
Shelves: get-paper-copy
Il y'a peu de choses que j'aime autant que l'absurde, que ce soit dans l'humour ou le théatre.
Dans le théatre, ce que j'aime aussi, c'est la tragédie, l'espoir étouffé et l'accablement qui l'accompagne.
Et cette pièce rassemble les deux.

Pour ajouter à mon bonheur, alors que je m'appretais à lire cette piece en anglais, je suis tombée sur une adaptation francaise, mise en scene par Didier Long, magnifiquement jouée par Robert Hirsch, Samuel Labarthe, et.... Cyrille Thouvenin!!

Jun 14, 2014 Ahmed rated it liked it
Definitely not Pinter's best. If you're into Absurd Theatre you'd guess that this is probably the story of someone who can't take care of himself. And you'd be correct. Dialogue is funny, but not as witty as The Birthday Party for example and comes off boring in the beginning. No plot as usual, but the play sheds the light on some of the most interesting human characteristics such as greed, ungratefulness and hypocrisy. An interesting read.
Jul 18, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it
First Pinter play I've ever read and found it rather enjoyable. The humour come from the language and the stage directions and the characters have alot of depth to them with some rather insightful, and long, monologues occasionally. A great read for anyone studying theatre, fans of Pinter and Theatre of The Absurd will enjoy this classic play :)
Gina Lyle
Jun 30, 2014 Gina Lyle rated it liked it
The Caretaker is a tragicomedy exploring the dynamics and interactions between two brothers and a tramp in a single location. Power relations are exposed to the audience, and the characters are laid bare before us. In places, the work is reminiscent of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, showing glimpses of the absurd, and occasionally, the work almost slips into farce, particularly a scene involving the passing of a bag. None of the three characters effectively communicate with one another, and so all ...more
Clémentine Coste
Feb 14, 2015 Clémentine Coste rated it really liked it
J'ai eu à lire cette pièce de théâtre en anglais pour le lycée, et je ne regrette pas. J'ai tout de même eu du mal à entrer dans l'histoire, au départ. Je me suis demandée comment on pouvait construire une pièce avec trois personnages sans jamais changer de pièce. Oui, j'ai trouvé ça absurde, puis je me suis souvenue avoir lu Huit-Clos de Sartre, après quoi j'ai repris ma lecture. Ces personnages aux personnalités totalement différentes les unes des autres m'ont beaucoup plu, j'ai finalement tro ...more
Jeff Jackson
Oct 26, 2012 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
Doesn't scale the heights of "The Homecoming" or "Old Times," but the dialogue crackles throughout and a number of startling scenes are both haunting and hilarious.
Henry Fosdike
Nov 13, 2015 Henry Fosdike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A power struggle is at play in this classic play from Harold Pinter. An old tramp is taken in by a well-meaning young man to co-habit in a dingy room of his brother's house in West London. A power struggle is at play in this classic play from Harold Pinter.

Undoubtedly a character piece that actors presumably love, it's a quality slice of writing on the importance of family and includes a nice amount of psychology as well. As for the play itself and my own personal opinions, the ending didn't ex
Julian Munds
Jul 30, 2015 Julian Munds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays-drama, plays-uk
Here's a play I'd like to have seen done by the original cast. Donald Pleasance is an amazing actor and reading those lines...AH! he must have been brilliant. I love Pinter. The way he weaves repetitive topics together and asks the actors to find the subtext is marvellous. I will say that the ending is not as powerful as I'd hoped. It feels like it goes on a scene too long. The monologue where Aston talks about his experiences at the cafe but actually is a story about receiving shock treatment m ...more
Jamie MacDonald Jones
I understand that this play is meant to have something of a Beckettian overtone - rebarbative action that meanders into nothing - but this play really does dissolve into nothing. I had to actively search out analyses after reading this play to see what Pinter was trying to convey, and after reading what was meant to be conveyed, I was still left confused. If there is really was some sort of deep philosophical insight into power relations and banality etc. then I can safely say they escaped me, e ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Ilgvars rated it liked it
For me, Harold Pinter's The Caretaker was one of the plays it is more interesting to read about than to read itself. Sure, the style, language and approach of narrating is appealing in its difference. But again, it is when you read about it or sit down to think about it in retrospective. Otherwise the unfinished sentences, repetitions, odd sounding phrases and choppy dialogues could give a headache. But I guess, it is good to have headache sometimes from a play. Isn't it one of the suggested sid ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
It was a little difficult for me to get a hold on this play. The Caretaker is the story of three men in one, claustrophobic room. Aston, a quiet, somewhat mysterious man brings an old wanderer, Davies, into his room after saving him from some sort of fight. Davies is another mystery, he's a man who goes by a fake name and is always making excuses as to why he can't do better for himself. Aston's kindness in letting him stay in his room is constantly under suspicion and subject to additional dema ...more
Momina Masood
Apr 19, 2015 Momina Masood rated it really liked it
My first Pinter. Though Beckett is more minimalistic, there are still similarities between Godot and this, especially the bag scene. The illusory Sidcup could stand as an equivalent for the elusive Godot, both acting as metaphors for hope, self-deception, or even Sartrean 'bad faith'. Davies constantly blames the weather or the lack of shoes (even after the numerous pairs that Aston gives him) for his not going to Sidcup, even when he's perfectly able to. We're not even sure whether going to Sid ...more
Gilgamesh  Nabeel
Feb 13, 2011 Gilgamesh Nabeel rated it liked it
This three-act play involves interactions between a mentally-challenged man, Aston; a tramp, Davies, whom Aston brings home to his attic room; and Aston's younger brother (Mick), who appears responsible for the house. It shows us how Davies changed after having false sense of dominance; he refused everything and behaved as if this was his own room. He knew their own secrets that Aston was once in a psychiatric hospital and what Mick dreads of. He tried to throw Aston out through deceiving his yo ...more
Jul 01, 2007 علی rated it liked it
سرایدار، 1959، تلفیقی ست روانشناسانه از قدرت، وفاداری و فساد دو برادر و یک آسمان جل. در شبی زمستانی، "استون" بی خانمانی به اسم دیویس را به خانه می آورد. دیویس تردید دارد اسم واقعی اش جنکیز است یا مک دیویس، می گوید اسنادش در خانه است و بمجردی که یک جفت کفش حسابی گیر بیاورد، برای آوردن آنها خواهد رفت. استون چند جفت کفش به او می دهد، ولی دیویس ایراد می گیرد، یکی تنگ است، یکی بدرنگ است و ... سطلی آنجاست که آب باران از سقف در آن چکه می کند. روز بعد، استون به دیویس پیشنهاد می کند سرایدار خانه بشود. در ...more
Wayne Jarman
Mar 05, 2013 Wayne Jarman rated it really liked it
I read this as an actor who was studying the part of Max Davies. I was in awe of the subtle interaction of the three characters and the difficulty of playing those parts to provide the necessary information and emotion to an audience. A great deal is not written ...but infered into the portrayal of the characters.

The play, in the reading, is not that exciting ...but I have no doubt that it would be very absorbing and often tense (sometimes humorous) for an audience.

I would be able to write more
Ayesha Rizwan
The play deals with postwar era and its themes. The moods of the character reveal something very sad and displaced about them. Something almost melancholic...... i wish i can see it performed live..
Davies by the way is one of the most intriguing, annoying yet memorable characters i have ever encountered.
Reading this play makes me want to go through more of pinters works.
Julio Cesar
Feb 15, 2012 Julio Cesar rated it liked it
Esta historia Kafkiana esta estructurada como un guion para teatro,solo cuenta con tres personajes(los hermanos Mick y Anton y el viejo Davies(quien admite que su nombre original es Jenkins) y se desarrolla completamente en un cuarto lleno de cachivaches.Anton ayuda a Davies despues de que este recibe una paliza,ofreciendole techo y zapatos y recibiendo protestas por parte de Davies que parece no estar satisfecho nunca.Anton confia algunos secretos a Davies(haber padecido una operacion cerebral ...more
Peter Jakobsen
Nov 12, 2014 Peter Jakobsen rated it really liked it
Pinter-esque power games, full of menace, pauses, hopelessness and procrastination; we're all still waiting for the weather to break in order to collect those papers from Sidcup!
Jul 20, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, british
“What am I going to do?” cries the scruffy old fellow in a stricken voice, his imploring eyes fixed on the back of the younger man before him. “What shall I do? Where am I going to go?”

Answers never come in “The Caretaker,” Harold Pinter’s classic 1960 play about the peculiar relations among a tramp and two brothers in a cluttered room in a dilapidated London house. But like many other unanswered questions in Pinter plays, the old man’s plea takes on a weird, terrible urgency. Acrid comedy has
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Harold Pinter, CH, CBE, was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, political activist and poet. He was one of the most influential playwrights of modern times. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

After publishing poetry and acting in school plays as a teenager in London, Pinter began his professional theatrical career in 1951, touring throughout Ireland. From 1952,
More about Harold Pinter...

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