The "Brit a Day" series

What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Brit a Day [#589]

I've been a fan of Harold Pinter's plays since I designed sets for a couple of them at a Pinter festival in the 80's. A forgotten Pinter piece has recently resurfaced, and it is brief enough that I could post it in its entirety here.  The timeliness of this short play from 1960, in light of the current uprising of the 99%, is uncanny.  As usual, I can't resist casting it for your enhanced enjoyment.  Here is "Umbrellas" with Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of A and Matt Smith in the roll of B--

Two gentlemen in deckchairs on the terrace of a large hotel. Wearing shorts and sunglasses. Sunbathing. They do not move throughout the exchange

 A: The weather's too much for me today.


 B: Well, you're damn lucky you've got your umbrella.

 A: I'm never without it, old boy.


 B: I think I'd do well to follow your example.

 A: Yes, you would. Means the world to me. I never find myself at a loss. You understand what I mean?

 B: You're a shrewd fellow, I'll say that for you.


 A: My house is full of umbrellas.

 B: You can't have too many.

 A: You've never said a truer word, old boy.


 B: I haven't got one to bless myself with.


 A: Well, I can forsee [sic] a time you'll regret it.

 B: I think the time's come, old boy.

 A: You can't be too careful, old boy.


 B: Well, you've got your feet firmly planted on the earth, there's no doubt about that.


 A: I certainly feel secure, old boy.

 B: Yes, you know where you stand, all right. You can't take that away from you.


 A: You'll find they're a true friend to you, umbrellas.


 B: Maybe I'll buy one.


 A: Don't come to me. It would be like tearing my heart out, to part with any of mine.


 B: You find them handy, eh?


 A: Yes ... Oh, yes. When it's raining, particularly.


 © The estate of Harold Pinter 2011

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