Ashes to Ashes (play) – Wikipedia

Ashes to Ashes is a 1996 dally by English dramatist Harold Pinter. It was first gear performed, in Dutch, by Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the Netherlands ‘ largest repertoire company, in Amsterdam, as function of its 1996–1997 season, and directed by Titus Muizelaar, [ 1 ] who reprised his production, in Dutch with English surtitles, as separate of a double placard with Buff, by Gerardjan Rijnders, at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, from 23 through 27 June 1998. [ 2 ] Its English première by the Royal Court Theatre opened after the Dutch première, at the Ambassadors Theatre, in London, on 12 September 1996 .

Characters [edit ]

  • Devlin
  • Rebecca

“ Both in their forties ” ( n. pag. [ two ] ) .

Setting [edit ]

“ clock : Now “ ( n. pag. [ two ] )

place : “ A house in the country [ … ] Early evening. Summer” ( 1 ) .

outline [edit ]

The one-act play opens with Devlin and Rebecca, described as “ Both in their forties “, talking in what appears to be a base live room on an early summer evening. As the free rein develops, it becomes clear that Devlin and Rebecca are credibly married, although their relationship to each other is not defined explicitly ; it must be inferred. initially, Devlin seems Rebecca ‘s conserve or lover, her therapist, and potentially her murderer. Some critics have described their discussion as more between a therapist and his affected role than between two lovers or between a conserve and a wife. [ 3 ] Devlin questions Rebecca in forceful ways, and she reveals personal data and dream-like sequences to him. In their first gear exchange, Rebecca tells of a man who appears to be sexually abusing her and threatening to strangle her ( 1–27 ). Rebecca tells Devlin that she told the killer, “ Put your hand round my throat ” ( 3 ) —an act which Devlin acts out directly towards the end of the play ( 73–75 ), asking Rebecca to “ Speak. Say it. Say ‘Put your hand round my throat. ‘ “ ( 75 ). The inaugural exchange is followed immediately by Devlin asking “ Do you feel you ‘re being hypnotized ? ” “ Who by ? ” asks Rebecca. “ By me, ” answers Devlin, adding “ What do you think ? “, to which Rebecca retorts, “ I think you ‘re a fuckpig ” ( 7–9 ). In response to Devlin ‘s far inquiries about her “ lover ”, Rebecca relates several dream-like sequences involving the homo who she has quoted initially ( 7–27 ). She tells Devlin that this “ lover ” worked as a “ guide ” for a “ travel agency ” ( 19 ). She goes on to ask, “ Did I ever tell you about that set. .. about the prison term he took me to that place ? ” This plaza turns out to be “ a kind of factory ” peopled by his “ workpeople ” who “ respected his. .. purity, his. .. conviction ” ( 23–25 ). But then she tells Devlin, “ He used to go to the local railway station and walk down the platform and tear all the babies from the arms of their screaming mothers ” ( 27 ). After a “ Silence “, Rebecca changes the capable abruptly with : “ By the way, I ‘m terribly upset ” ( 27 ). She complains that a patrol siren which she had just heard has disappeared into the distance. Devlin replies that the patrol are always busy, and therefore another siren will start up at any time and “ you can take consolation in that at least. Ca n’t you ? You ‘ll never be lone again. You ‘ll never be without a police siren. I promise you ” ( 29–30 ). Rebecca says that while the sound of the siren is “ fading away, ” she “ knew it was becoming forte and loud for person else ” ( 29 ) and while its doing indeed made her “ feel insecure ! terribly insecure ” ( 31 ), she hates the siren ‘s “ fade aside ; I hate it echoing away ” ( 31 ). ( At the end of the play, an “ Echo ” of her words occurs. ) Rebecca tells Devlin that she had been writing a note, and that when she put the pen she was using down, it rolled off the table :

rebecca : It rolled right off, onto the carpet. In front of my eyes.
DEVLIN : well God.
rebecca : This pen, this perfectly innocent penitentiary.
DEVLIN : You ca n’t know it was innocent.
REBECCA : Why not ?
DEVLIN : Because you do n’t know where it had been. You do n’t know how many early hands have held it, how many other hands have written with it, what other people have been doing with it. You know nothing of its history. You know nothing of its parents ‘ history.
rebecca : A pen has no parents. ( 33–39 )

In another soliloquy Rebecca describes herself looking out the windowpane of a summer house and seeing a herd of people being led by “ guides ” toward the ocean, which they disappear into like lemmings ( 47–49 ). That leads to her description of a condition that she calls “ genial elephantiasis ” ( 49 ), in which “ when you spill an snow leopard of gravy, for model, it immediately expands and becomes a huge ocean of boom, ” Rebecca says that “ You are not the victim [ of such an event ], you are the cause of it ” ( 51 ). Referring both to the “ pen ” and anticipating the references to “ the pile ” late in the play, she explains, “ Because it was you who spilt the gravy in the inaugural place, it was you who handed over the bundle ” ( 51 ). After an exchange about family matters relating to “ Kim and the kids ” —Rebecca ‘s sister, Kim, Kim ‘s children, and Kim ‘s alienated conserve ( 55–63 ), in which Rebecca may be conveying her own position toward Devlin in commenting on Kim ‘s attitude toward her own husband— ” She ‘ll never have him back. never. She says she ‘ll never share a bed with him again. Never. Ever. ” ( 61 ) —there is another “ Silence “ ( 65 ). Devlin says, “ immediately look, let ‘s start again ” ( 65 ). Rebecca tells Devlin, “ I do n’t think we can start again. We started … a long time ago. We started. We ca n’t start again. We can end again ” ( 67 ). “ But we ‘ve never ended, ” Devlin protests ( 67 ). Rebecca responds, “ Oh, we have. Again and again and again. And we can end again. And again and again. And again ” ( 67 ). That substitute and Rebecca ‘s reference to him early as a “ fuckpig ” show Rebecca ‘s impregnable hostility toward Devlin. After another “ Silence “ and Rebecca ‘s and Devlin ‘s singing the refrain from song alluded to in the play ‘s claim “ ‘Ashes to ashes ‘ – ‘And dust to dust ‘ – ‘If the women do n’t get you ‘ – ‘The liquor must’ ” ( 69 ). After a “ pause “, Devlin says “ I always knew you loved me. [ … ] Because we like the same tunes ”, followed by another “ Silence “ ( 69 ). After it, Devlin asks Rebecca why she has never told him about “ this lover of yours ” and says how he has “ a right to be very angry indeed ” that she did not, “ Do you understand that ? ” ( 69–70 ).

After another “ Silence “ ( 71 ), alternatively of responding, Rebecca describes another sequence, where she is standing at the acme of a build up and sees a man, a boy, and a woman with a child in her arms in a white street below ( 71–73 ). In her monologue, she shifts on the spur of the moment from the third-person “ she ” to the first-person “ I ”, and Rebecca ( not the charwoman ) is “ carry ” in Rebecca ‘s own “ arms ” : “ I held her to me, ” and she listens to its “ heart [ … ] beating ” ( 73 ). At that decimal point ( 73 ), Devlin approaches Rebecca and begins to enact the scene described by Rebecca at the begin of the play, directing her to “ Ask me to put my hand round your throat ” as she has earlier described her “ fan ” as doing ( 73–75 ). The last setting of the play recalls cultural representations of national socialist soldiers selecting women and children at aim stations en route to concentration camps ( 73–85 ). She begins by narrating the events in the third person : “ She stood still. She kissed her baby. The baby was a female child ” ( 73 ), but she switches from the third person to the first person in continuing her narrative. As this narration develops, an “ Echo ” repeats some of Rebecca ‘s words as she recounts the experience of a charwoman who has walked onto a gearing platform with a “ pamper ” wrapped up “ in a pile, ” beginning with : “ They took us to the trains ” ( “ ECHO : the trains ” ), and “ They were taking the babies away ” ( “ ECHO : the babies away ” ), and then Rebecca shifts from using the third person “ she ” to using the first-person “ I ” ( 77 ) : “ I took my baby and wrapped it in my shawl ” ( 77 ). finally, Rebecca ( or the charwoman or women with whom she has identified from such past historical events ) is forced to give her baby wrapped in “ the bundle ” ( “ the pack ” being a synecdoche for the baby wrapped up in a shawl ) to one of the men. As if Rebecca were such a charwoman, she recalls getting on the train, describing how “ we arrived at this locate ” —thus recalling the other “ place ” about which she asks Devlin early in the play, the “ factory ” : “ Did I ever tell you about that identify. .. about the time he [ her purport lover ] took me to that place ? ” ( 21 ). In the final lines of the play, as if the woman ‘s experience were her own, Rebecca shifts again importantly from the third-person “ she ” used earlier relating to the womanhood to the first-person “ I ”, while denying that she always had or ever knew of “ any baby ” :

rebecca : And I said what baby
echo : what baby
REBECCA : I do n’t have a baby
ECHO : a baby
REBECCA : I do n’t know of any baby
ECHO : of any baby
Pause.
REBECCA : I do n’t know of any baby
Long silence.
BLACKOUT. ( 83–84 )

production history [edit ]

World première [edit ]

Ashes to Ashes was foremost performed, in Dutch, by Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the Netherlands ‘ largest repertory company, in Amsterdam, as depart of its 1996–1997 season, and directed by Titus Muizelaar, [ 1 ] who reprised his production, in Dutch with English surtitles, as separate of a double bill with Buff, by Gerardjan Rijnders, at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, from 23 through 27 June 1998. [ 2 ] The translation and dramaturgy were by Janine Brogt, the hardened was designed by Paul Gallis, and light was designed by Henk Bergsma, and the cast included : The project included :

  • Pierre Bokma (Devlin)
  • Lineke Rijxman (Rebecca)[2]

London première [edit ]

The London première was directed by the dramatist Harold Pinter and designed by Eileen Diss for the Royal Court Theatre, at the Ambassadors Theatre, in London, opening on 12 September 1996, with the come frame :
Lighting was designed by Mick Hughes, costumes designed by Tom Rand, and healthy designed by Tom Lishman. [ 5 ]

New York première [edit ]

The american première, directed by Karel Reisz, was part of the 1998–1999 Laura Pels Theatre Season at the Gramercy Theatre, produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, in New York City, from 7 February to 9 May 1999. [ 2 ] [ 6 ] Lindsay Duncan reprised her character as Rebecca, and David Strathairn played the character of Devlin. [ 6 ] Set and costume design was by Tony Walton, lighting design by Richard Pilbrow, and legal design by G. Thomas Clark. [ 2 ]

London revival [edit ]

Ashes to Ashes was revived in form 2001 in a double poster with Mountain Language, directed by Katie Mitchell, at the Royal Court Theatre, which went on to be performed at the Harold Pinter Festival at the Lincoln Center Festival 2001, in New York City, in July and August 2001. [ 7 ]

See besides [edit ]

Notes [edit ]

Works cited [edit ]

Published editions [edit ]

  • Ashes to Ashes at HaroldPinter.org: The Official Website of International Playwright Harold Pinter.
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