Torture Garden

Jan 25 2017 | By More

Black Dingo bring rare Pinter shorts to Roxy

In times of great perturbation, when fascism appears to be on the rise, the works of Harold Pinter become ever more relevant.

They can be hard going, but when they call out the abuse of power, the nature of torture or the “just obeying” of orders, then they begin to contribute to the necessary debate.

A Reliable Mirage. Photo: Black Dingo

It is very timely, then, that the ever interesting Black Dingo Productions are bringing a trio of Pinter’s short works to the Assembly Roxy from Friday 27 January for three performances only.

The short play Mountain Language, first performed in 1988, is about people barred from speaking their own language, as a political weapon. New World Order from 1991 is more brief: ten brutal minutes about torture. Precisely, the earliest work in the evening, is a fragment written in 1983 which sees two men arguing over the exactitudes of a very large number.

The company has brought in Tyler Mortimer to direct the evening. His production of Angry by Josh Overton won him the Times Award and his company Pub Corner Poets a nomination for the Total Theatre’s Emerging Company of The Year 2015.

Mortimer agrees that Pinter’s work becomes ever more necessary when the world is opting to choose leaders based on their wallets rather than their morality. Profits, he argues, “are the guiding hand hovering over all the big red buttons”.

the theatricality of politics

As you might expect, Mortimer is something of a fan of political theatre. “The strengths and weaknesses of political theatre are both the same thing: how people respond to it. Political theatre is often created as a response to a situation – or in turn the response to it becomes the situation.”

He points out that the theatricality of politics itself plays out on the news and our social media feeds everyday.

“Our stage aims to show past that,” he says. “There is a language being used in modern politics that not everyone understands. However, the subtext that lies between these words stays the same, an intrinsic humanity that cannot be removed. We respond to political theatre, in a good way or a bad way, we respond as humans and we must keep doing it.”


A Reliable Mirage
Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Fri 27 – Sun 29 January 2017
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Tickets from:


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