Reviewed by Janice Bailey
The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild’s current production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, directed with sensitivity by Warwick Cooper is a traditional drawing-room comedy. The aptly named Little Theatre is perfect for this play. As soon as we enter the theatre we are drawn into Max Mastrosavas’s superbly designed set of meticulous detail and the illusion of being part of this drawing room is immediately created. Joe Sperenini’s Lighting Design enhances the illusion.
Harold Pinter always liked to make his audience think. However, don’t try to make meaning out of the meaningless with No Man’s Land. The two main characters of Spooner and Hirst, played with conviction by Michael Baldwin and John Edge make a persuasive case for conversation as both the liveliest and loneliest of arts. They like to hear themselves talk – it’s how they know they’re alive as they swap memories that may or may not be accurate. Their conversation, interspersed with a lot of drinking, covers the gamut of contrasts – poetry and ageing, wealth and poverty, reality and illusion and confusion. Jonathan Pheasant as Briggs and Matt Houston as Foster are admirable in the portrayal of their characters and maintain the frenetic energy and intrigue. Don’t try to determine what draws these people together in this drawing room – just enjoy the ride and the rich language which Pinter has provided for his characters. No Man’s Land is well worth the trip to the Little Theatre at Adelaide University.