Review: Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

By: Sep. 27, 2022
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Review: Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

"I think I'm coming to the conclusion that you're an old rogue" by Mick in The Caretaker

Visit The Shakespeare Theatre in Madison to experience the very best in theatre. Harold Pinter's The Caretaker is now onstage through October 9. The play is directed by the Theatre's Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte who has once again shown her remarkable talent for assembling an excellent cast and giving a production its full life on the stage. The company's veteran actors, Paul Mullins, Jon Barker, and Isaac Hickox-Young are superb as they perform Pinter's thought provoking play with its ingenious mix of drama and comedy.

Review: Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

The story is set in a West London house during two weeks in winter. Davies is a wayward homeless man who is given shelter by two brothers, Mick and Aston. Mick develops real estate and Aston is charged with making some repairs on his brother's run-down building. Even though he has been offered a place to stay and sleep, Davies proves to be difficult and demanding. Aston is too mild-mannered to deal with Davies while Mick seems to have unrealistic expectations for the houseguest. The brothers each offer Davies the role of the dwelling's caretaker but tensions soon rise, communication breaks down, and the living situation becomes untenable.

Review: Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

The dialogue in The Caretaker, impeccably delivered by the cast, is lively, at times surprising and always captivating. Paul Mullins is exceptional in the demanding role of Davies, a character with plenty of quirks. Isaac Hickox-Young portrayal of the empathetic young man, Aston is completely genuine. And Jon Barker brings just the right dynamism to his part as the menacing brother, Mick.

Review: Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

Unforgettable moments in the play include Aston first bringing Davies to the house; Davies speaking of his plans to travel and recover identification papers; Aston offering Davies a bed by the window; Davies' insistence on a proper fitting pair of shoes; Davies sporting a smoking jacket; Mick questioning his brother's work ethic to Davies; Aston telling Davies of his hospitalization; and Mick's grandiose plans for the home's interior design.

Review: Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is Riveting Theatre at its Best

The design team has creatively brought The Caretaker to the Madison Stage. The team includes set design by Sarah Beth Hall; lighting design by Matthew Adelson; sound design by Karin Graybash, and costume design by Bonnie J. Monte. Julie Foh is the Dialect Coach and the Production Stage Manager is Denise Cardarelli.

We congratulate The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey for continuing to bring metro area audiences must-see classic theatre. The Caretaker is a jewel of a play, staged and performed to perfection.

The Caretaker runs just over 2 hours with one intermission. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road on the campus of Drew University) in Madison, NJ. Single tickets for The Caretaker range in price from $39 to $69 and check out the Theatre's cost-saving opportunities for patrons. For ticketing and current policies, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or call the Box Office at 973.408.5600.

Photo Credit: Sarah Healey



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