Remy Bumppo’s Old Times

By Harold Pinter

Old Times
Old Times by Pinter

Directed by James Bohnen

Produced by Remy Bumppo think theatre

At the Greenhouse Theatre

“There are things I remember which may never have happened but as I recall them so they take place.”—Old Times

Fabulous threesome of actors reach depths of nuance in Pinter’s Old Times

Ramy Bumppo’s production of Old Times works to explore Harold Pinter’s glimpse into the tricks memory can play on each of us. Meet Kate (Jenny McKnight) and her husband Deeley (Nick Sandys) as they grapple with their estrangement when an old friend of Kate’s arrives after many years for a visit. The couple lives in an isolated house in England near the sea. When Anna (Linda Gillum) arrives the drudgery is shaken. Old Times is a memory play enriched with realistic dialogue filled with long silences, start and stop responses—just as we often speak in life. This gives power and credibility to the work.

Old Times
Old Times

We witness the cruel gamesmanship being played for dominance between the three. The premise involves how each recalls past events in terms of how they want the present to evolve. Did memories actually happen or are they mind tricks? As Deeley and Anna spar over possession of Kate, we wonder where the truth lies? Pinter once explained Old Times: “It happens. It all happens.” Just what you’d expect from Pinter.

This verbally dense psychological battle of wits is superbly played by three “A” list Equity actors. Nick Sandys’ emotionally explosive Deeley is thwarted by the coolly effective Linda Gillum (as Anna) who conveys much with her eyes. Jenny McKnight’s Kate is subtle yet combative. Pinter’s dialogue is in fine hands here. Old Times is a compelling work effectively presented. The space between the lines speaks as much as the words. Old Times takes audience concentration but once you are ‘tuned-in,’ it delivers.

Recommended

Tom Williams

At the Greenhouse theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL, call 773-404-7336, www.remybumppo.org, tickets $35 -$45, Wednesdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm, running time is 1 hour, 25 minutes with intermission, through May 31, 2009