“Bold” version of Pinter’s Caretaker in Northampton

Steve Orme

A “bold” new production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker is to open at Northampton Royal and Derngate as part of the theatre’s Made in Northampton season.

A co-production with Bristol Old Vic, The Caretaker will be directed by Christopher Haydon—his first major production since he stepped down as artistic director of the Gate Theatre in London’s Notting Hill.

His previous shows include Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men at Birmingham Rep in 2013 and Grounded by George Brant at the Gate Theatre earlier in 2017. On that production, he worked with designer Oliver Townsend and the pair reunite for The Caretaker.

As previously announced, Patrice Naiambana plays Davies. David Judge will play Mick and Jonathan Livingstone takes the role of Aston.

Describing himself as an “African performing artist from Sierra Leone”, Naiambana appeared in Inua Ellams’s Barber Shop Chronicles at the National Theatre earlier in 2017.

His previous work includes for the Royal Shakespeare Company the title role in Kathryn Hunter’s Othello in 2009, Warwick the Kingmaker in Michael Boyd’s Histories Cycle ensemble and Aslan in Adrian Noble’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in 1998.

The Caretaker, said to be a 20th century masterpiece, involves Aston welcoming homeless Davies into his dilapidated flat, sheltering him from the violence of the streets. Recognising an opportunity, Davies attempts to leave his past behind and start again.

When landlord Mick arrives, he confronts the unexpected guest and the three men begin to circle one another suspiciously, each desperate to turn this new situation to their advantage, whatever the cost.

The Caretaker can be seen on the Northampton Royal stage from Tuesday 17 until Saturday 28 October.