Review: Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker brought to life at Bristol Old Vic

PUBLISHED: 10:23 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:29 15 September 2017

The Caretaker will be at Bristol Old Vic throughout December.

The Caretaker will be at Bristol Old Vic throughout December.


One of Harold Pinter’s most successful plays made its way to Bristol last night (Thursday) as it prepares for a month-long stay in the city – and was met with fierce applause as the small cast left the audience wanting more.

The Caretaker follows the complex relationship between two brothers and a homeless man who unexpectedly comes into their lives.

The three actors were exceptional throughout and formulated characters which were both mesmerising and terrifying in equal measure.

David Judge played Mick and although he was the last character to make his mark in the play, he was the one which intrigued me the most.

He was confident and intimidating, but you also saw a softer side to him as he made Davies (the homeless man) laugh with his witty South London twang.

Jonathan Livingstone as Aston and Patrice Naiambana as Davies. Picture: Iona FirouzabadiJonathan Livingstone as Aston and Patrice Naiambana as Davies. Picture: Iona Firouzabadi

Mick seemed to be torn about Aston (his brother) inviting Davies into their lives.

At some points, he was unsure though he seemed to be drawn to the old man and wanted to help him make something of his life.

This topsy-turvy emotional battle transcended to the audience and I found myself to-ing and fro-ing between sympathy and anger for each of the men.

Perhaps the most intriguing character was Aston as he was a man of few words until the second act.

David Judge plays Mick in The Caretaker. Picture: Iona FirouzabadiDavid Judge plays Mick in The Caretaker. Picture: Iona Firouzabadi

His monologue was certainly worth waiting for, however, as part of his history was revealed.

There are some really chilling moments in this play but there are also a number of moments which made me laugh and that rang true from Pinter’s original work.

The set was also extremely impressive as the abstract view of the cluttered room added to the atmosphere.

This play was first performed back in the 1960s and it has hardly aged.

David Judge as Mick with Patric Naiambana as Davies. Picture: Iona FirouzabadiDavid Judge as Mick with Patric Naiambana as Davies. Picture: Iona Firouzabadi

It is as thought-provoking as Pinter intended.

I would urge you to watch it at Bristol Old Vic while you can. The three talented actors will ensure you don’t regret it.

The Caretaker will be at The Bristol Old Vic until September 30.

Tickets, priced £7.50-31.50, are available by calling 01179 87877 or via

There are varying performance times, including Thursday and Saturday matinees, which are available on the theatre’s website.

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