Silence (1969 play)

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For the 1999 play of this title by Moira Buffini, see Silence (1999 play).
Pinter Silence Shimer College 2008.jpg
Ellen and Bates, in 2008 Shimer College production
Written by Harold Pinter
Characters Ellen
Date premiered 2 July 1969 (1969-07-02)
Place premiered London
Original language English
Genre One-act play

Silence is a short play by Harold Pinter first performed in 1969.


The première was given by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London on 2 July 1969, directed by Peter Hall.[1]

The cast was:[1]

The American première was given in 1970 by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, with Barbara Tarbuck, Robert Symonds and James Patterson, directed by Peter Gill.[2]


In the introduction to the first volume of his Complete Plays, Pinter wrote:

There are two silences. One when no word is spoken. The other when perhaps a torrent of language is being employed. This speech is speaking of a language locked beneath it. That is its continual reference. The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don't hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its place. When true silence falls we are still left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.[2]


  1. ^ a b Pinter p. 100
  2. ^ a b Landscape and Silence


Pinter, Harold. Plays: Three. London: Eyre Methuen, 1978. ISBN 0-413-38480-2.