Presented in the round- right on the stage- director Landon Johnson’s production of Harold Pinter’s play, The Dumb Waiter, was unique, captivating, and at times, a little maddening.
Set in the basement of an abandoned cafe, Ben (Jordan Randall) and Gus (Kristopher Lee Bicknell) are two hit men waiting on their next assignment. With his type-A personality and word economy, Ben is clearly the one in charge and knows more about the job than he lets on to the charmingly aloof Gus. Randall and Bicknell are cast perfectly in their roles- wonderfully subtle and believable in such a close proximity.
Brilliantly designed by Matthew G. Hill, no detail is left out. The set (comprised of a bed, chair and dumbwaiter in the basement) and costumes are perfect for the period, and even the program is designed to look like an old-timey newspaper, effectively putting the audience right there with Ben and Gus. Coupled with being presented in the round, this is what makes The Dumb Waiter so maddening. As they wait for instructions on their hit, time passes excruciatingly slow and as tension rises on the stage, so too does the tension in the audience, who can’t help but share in the emotions of our hit men.