Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.
Whenever I think of Pinter, I think of this story: He had for many years given generous financial support to the Comedy Theatre in London — so much so that he began to pressure them to change their name to The Harold Pinter Theatre. This they were reluctant to do, but he kept pressuring them, and they began to wonder whether he would withdraw his support. Finally Tom Stoppard, who was observing the whole thing, wrote to Pinter: “Dear Harold, Have you thought, instead, of changing your name to Harold Comedy?”
But Pinter (or perhaps his heirs) didn’t see the appropriateness of the joke — so it now appears.