A: Harold Pinter Pf: 1963, London Pb: 1963 G: Com. in 1 act S: A middle-class home near Windsor, 1960s C: 2m, 1fRichard, leaving for work, asks his wife Sarah whether her lover is coming that day. She replies that she will be seeing him at home that afternoon. That evening, Richard chats about Sarah's lover and is surprised to see her wearing very high-heeled shoes. Richard then admits that he regularly sees a prostitute. The following afternoon, Sarah has prepared herself for her lover, wearing a tight low-cut dress and her high heels. She greets her lover as Max, and Richard enters. He gets out some bongo drums, and they play a sensuous game, tapping out a rhythm with entangled fingers. They play more games: Max/Richard pretending to accost Sarah in the park, then rescuing her. They disappear under the table and have sex. Later, Max/Richard alarms Sarah by saying that they will have to stop their game, because their children will soon be home from boarding school. That evening Richard returns ‘from work’ and insists that Sarah should not receive her lover any more and that he has ‘paid off’ his whore. Sarah becomes desperate that their game must end, and Richard ‘finds’ the bongo. Tapping it, he starts to confuse Sarah by assuming the role of Max. She enters into the new game and offers to change her clothes for him. He calls her: ‘You lovely whore!’
A: Harold Pinter Pf: 1963, London Pb: 1963 G: Com. in 1 act S: A middle-class home near Windsor, 1960s C: 2m, 1f
First shown on television, The Lover, with its middle-class setting and sophisticated humour, is not typical of Pinter's early work. However, Pinter is able to explore his favourite themes of game-playing and reality, which here become dangerously confused.