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Lost Harold Pinter Play, 'Umbrellas,' Found At The British Library

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HAROLD PINTER
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"Some diligent detective work" has turned up a long-forgotten script by Nobel prize winning playwright Harold Pinter from the bowels of the British Library, reports The Guardian. The biographer of another playwright realized the Pinter sketch, "Umbrellas," played at a 1960 revue in Nottingham (ignored by London-centric critics, and consequently, biographers). Every script at the time had to pass censor regulations, and were then held at the British Library, so it was clear the script had to be somewhere in the archives. Sounds like a case for diligent British library detectives!

The Guardian has the full sketch posted, courtesy the Harold Pinter estate. In it, two old men sit in the sun and play a verbal sparring match over umbrellas -- how to get one, why one needs one, the value of a man who has one. It's remarkably short and striped in Pinterian pauses, a device he apparently took to after watching a show by comedian Jack Benny in the late 1940s. It's funny and worth a read, better yet aloud (Franco? Where are you when we need you?). Just tell your boss you're reviving literary history. She will understand.

(BBC America via The Guardian)

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