Things I learned while at the theatre listening to pauses
It was 'The Caretaker'. There were a lot of conversations about shoes. On and off. And then there were pauses. And general awkwardness. And there was a lot of talk about someone making noises in the night. On and off. And then some more pauses. And more awkwardness. And there was a fair bit about how to do up a rundown flat. On and off. With lots more awkwardness. And then it finished. On a pause.
But it was good. I quite like that kind of absurdist, nonsensical, what-the-hell-are-they-on-about? thing. But you probably won't be surprised to hear that.
Anyway, while I was at the theatre, I learned some stuff which I thought I'd pass on.
1. When drying your hands after visiting the ladies toilets before the play begins, it is best not to put your theatre tickets on the shelf just under the hand dryer. Theatre tickets, with a good wind behind them, can fly a long way and, although it is entertaining for all the other ladies to watch you lunging for them before they reach a wet basin, it is not good for your own self-esteem. Or your dodgy knee.
2. On the other hand, if this is the first time the said ladies have seen Pinter, and if they are about to find they are not the biggest fans of Pause-for-a-Bit-Lit, your ticket-lunge may well be the best entertainment they get all evening.
3. Theatre seats placed very close together are only suitable for serious dieters or for people who like their thighs and upper arms to be welded to the thighs and upper arms of others so that parting at the interval takes some time, like separating Chelsea buns fresh from the oven.
4. On the other hand, being welded to another person helps you to stay upright when the Pinter pauses really set in and you are tempted to lean sideways for a short nap (or indeed a good half-hour's deep slumber) until the actor begins speaking again.
5. Drinking a large glass of wine in an interval of fifteen minutes may seriously limit your understanding of the second half of the play.
6. On the other hand, it will make you less inhibited about the thigh/upper arm welding process and you may even enjoy it. It is probably worth hoping that the other person involved has also necked a large glass in the interval. Two-way enjoyment of thigh/elbow-welding is better when between consenting adults.
7. It is best to prepare yourself at the end of a Pinter play for when the actors come out for their bow. Their smiles and normal facial expressions may well come as a big shock.
8. On the other hand, knowing that the person welded to your limbs is also experiencing this moment of shock may well give you a couple of seconds in which to take advantage of their distracted state. You can then unweld yourself and run like the clappers before the weirdo you've been welded to turns and says, 'I hope you've enjoyed sharing my skin cells, hot breath and dandruff. Now we've gone nearly all the way, how about dinner and then back to my place?'