A Guide to Modern Playwrights, Plays, and Productions

"Moonlight," which premiered at the Almeida Theater in London in 1994, is a family play like "The Homecoming" and "The Caretaker."  Here Ian Holm brilliantly portrayed a dying former civil servant, being visited by a friendly couple whom he dislikes, and speaking on the phone to his n'er do well sons, possibly gangsters, who refuse to visit him. Displaying Pinterís unique blend of humor and menace, the sons pretend to be Chinese launderers when their father phones. His wife, Anna Calder-Marshall, attends him at his bedside, quietly knitting during his tirades. In a flashback to earlier times, their daughter is seen in banter with her brothers, but at the present, she may be dead.  Confined to an upstairs room, she recounts her trip in the moonlight, which seems to represent death.  Pinter later revised the work to depict her at the opening, silently wandering through the rooms where the action takes place.