Jeffrey Jay Gilpin

Imago’s ‘The Caretaker’ finds the nuance in ‘Pinteresque’

Jerry Mouawad and a crack cast at Imago find the heart in Pinter

Allen Nause and Jeffrey Gilpin in 'The Caretaker'/Photo Jerry Mouawad

Allen Nause and Jeffrey Gilpin in ‘The Caretaker’/Photo Jerry Mouawad

I started to take notes as I waited for Davies and Aston to make it down the hall and enter the particularly shabby and cluttered room in which Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker takes place at Imago Theatre. I even formulated a few descriptions in my mind when Allen Nause (as the tramp Davies) and Jacob Coleman (as Aston, who has taken Davies in off the street) exchanged their first words. But then I folded up my little notebook, clicked my pen closed, and just watched. I don’t do this very often.

Nause was babbling on, a brook of gratitude flowing smoothly (for the moment) over a rocky bed of ego, fear, and hopelessness. Coleman barely responded, verbally at least, though when Davies points out the state of his shoes, Aston rummages around the room and then offers him a pair of better ones. But no, barely looking at them, Coleman decides they don’t fit. Right there, the political/psychological games that Pinter exposes so tellingly begin.


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