Sacred Texts, Mr Bond

I have a very eclectic mix to share over the next few days, but I will start the weekend with a short note from the Alice Jones’ Arts Diary in The Independent newspaper:

Daniel Craig on Pinter’s pauses: ‘If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it’

The Broadway production of Betrayal starring real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall finally opens on Tuesday night.


The play, about an affair which runs in reverse from break-up to first kiss, is one of Harold Pinter’s finest.

But Craig isn’t overly reverent towards the late playwright’s script. “I think if the pause doesn’t feel right, don’t do it,” he told New York Magazine. “He’s not around anymore, so it’s tough s**t.”

My response to this? Two things specifically (as well as “how dare he!”). Firstly, I recently read some advice for budding playwrights (which I will share at a later stage). The final point  made was

You have not written A Play. You’ve written A Script.

And generally I would agree, the art of theatre making being about interpretation. However, Pinter’s pauses are not to be messed with. You do so at your peril and if you do, you totally ruin the whole rhythm of the writing.

Secondly, Betrayal is one of my favourite Pinter plays, which unusually works on the page as well as the stage. This sounds a little odd, but I know when I read play texts,  I am reading something that will only come to life when put on the stage. Betrayal works in both worlds.

I would suggest Mr Craig has forgotten his roots and should stick to the film set.

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