It is winter. The play begins with Mick sitting on a bed in the room, but when he hears a door open and shut somewhere offstage, he leaves. Aston , his brother, and Davies , an old tramp, enter. Aston has helped Davies in a fight at the cafe where he was working an odd job. Aston offers Davies clothes, shoes, and a place to stay the night. Davies is loud and opinionated, complaining about the "blacks" and people of other races.
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Were you dreaming or something? I dont dream. Ive never dreamed. No, nor have I. Nor me. If I were in the room with him I would turn the sound down and watch the lips flap to know what he is really saying. Help me, save me, fuck you. There are stills of the first production of the play from s. They looked like they were acting. Fists are raised in threats! Another day another you pay for it.
They look like they are wearing costumes. The pants are torn and bully leather. It might be absurd to judge a performance from a few photographs. Donald Pleasence has the look of a guy who believes himself to be a cunning con man. This part is correct. More helplessness, even if he was cleaned up. The atmosphere would swallow them up in are you kidding me?
No one and nothing would take that shit from you. When we meet him he was going to get the shit beat out of him. He may have even had it coming. I know he had it coming. Aston smiles at him when he thinks he is asleep. I thought this was great, that smile.
That kind of made it for me. I was disappointed in photographs of Mick from a recent production of The Caretaker. It is the scene when they first meet. It reads that he puts Davies in his place. He responds to the whimpering and struggling tramp with instinctive violence.
The actor is too dramatically grimacing, too theatrical. In my mind it is just how he is. It is something he does on sight. Davies will later suck up and tell Mick that with him he knows where he stands. It is true that Mick is honest in treating the man like an animal. If the type of person who keeps a big dog in their back yard and torments them with a big juicy bone is honest. Work for me, you could be my caretaker, what do you really think of my brother?
A stone body standing over him in the morning. He gives him shoes, a few bob, also suggestions of this caretaker job in the air. What is Davies doing there? What makes Aston rise is his plan to build that shed in the yard. He might want to kill the man who performed a mental hospital operation out of his head. I see a nightmare wrestling match on a bed. They get him standing up and he can no longer look to his left or to his right.
The homeless man could never understand the old saying "home is where the heart is". It is set to self pity and a belly full of hunger. Mick seems to suggest that Davies will have a place there in his new building.
What do you think of my brother? What was he thinking? I could see Davies having the shit kicked out of him coming repeatedly. And I had these headaches. I used to sit in my room. That was when I lived with my mother. And my brother. He was younger than me. The thing is, I should have been dead. I should have died. Anyway, I feel much better now. Pinter does breathing threats so well it would be easy to take it for granted or stage it as all there is.
Nor the grasping of Davies, his belly sliding to a dark tunnel. He could only sink further. His position in life is not what is interesting about him. It is the way he looks at everything and everyone else as shit. He wants the hand out and he wants to feel he got one over on you. He tries to think of that shed. He was born falling down, Aston. His kindness to Davies turns into taking this stinking user who keeps you up all night with strange old man noises.
A nonstop track of racism and begging and bragging. A man who lives on a pulpit and the ground, shining and spitting on your shoes at once. Davies asks Where am I going to Go? I wish that it had worked out for Aston that he could have gotten on with someone else, had something else.
What really knocked my socks off about The Caretaker was that smile Davies watches through the blanket.
The Caretaker Character List
Were you dreaming or something? I dont dream. Ive never dreamed. No, nor have I. Nor me. If I were in the room with him I would turn the sound down and watch the lips flap to know what he is really saying.
He speaks haltingly and has trouble finishing projects. He reveals that when younger he was subject hallucinations, and then, against his will, was put into a mental facility and given electroshock treatment. He confesses he has difficulty ordering his thoughts. He is also very compassionate, offering Davies a place to stay and a job.