Dyer Circumstances:When Danny Met Harold

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Laughing Boy:the late great Harold Pinter

INT. Massive foreboding-looking warehouse. DANNY, a casually-dressed, cocky young man of around twenty-five, swaggers in and enters a large room which only contains a table, chairs either side, a bottle of Scotch and one glass.

He sits at one side of the table. He waits,examining his fingernails.

(Pause).

Presently, HAROLD, a gruff-looking man in his senior years in a severe grey suit,emerges,wiping his brow and glasses with a handkerchief,  and mumbling bitterly and incoherently. He sits down,seemingly oblivious to DANNY.

(Longer pause.)

DANNY: Oy,oy!

HAROLD: Mmm.

(Even longer pause).

HAROLD: Mmmmm hmmm.

(Shorter pause).

HAROLD acknowledges DANNY for the first time.

HAROLD: Mmm hmmm… Yes?

DANNY: Yeah, mate… err… Mr. Pinter. I’m ‘ere abaaaht the job, yer knaaw? Part of Don? sweet as a nut, mate.

(Longer, almost excruciatingly uncomfortable pause).

HAROLD (Booming): Dooooon?!

DANNY (taken aback, somewhat chastened):  Faaaahhhhck me… I came abaaaht the… howdoyacallit, role, innit. In yer… wotsit… play. Faaaaaaaaahhhhckin’ ‘ell, man, I…

HAROLD gets up and starts to pace around the room in a trance-like state. Suddenly, he stops and looks DANNY right in the eye, before emitting a shrill, strange hawk-like shriek of laughter.

DANNY is visibly disconcerted.

DANNY: Mate, I dunno waaht yer finking…

HAROLD (interrupting): You, young man, shall be Don’s nemesis. Dan, a taciturn young cur, I think. Always on the make. Once sexually rapacious, now impotent.

DANNY (now absolutely incandescent): Now, listen ‘ere, I ain’t playin’…

HAROLD (softer, passive-aggressive): Or I shall simply offer it to young Benedict. That odd-looking fellow. Posh young actor.

DANNY (now grovelling): Nah, nah, mate. It’s sweet as.

DANNY shakes HAROLD ‘s hand.

DANNY: Impotent. Gotcha. Fanks.

HAROLD (softer still, eerie): Mute. You shall portray him as mute, I have decided. Now, you may leave.

DANNY: Impotent. Mute. Sweet. It’s a… it’s a challenge. Fanks, Mr. Pinter. Fanks a lot. ‘Ere, I fought you was ‘arold Steptoe! I… Bye, then.

Visibly freaked-out, and badly shaken, DANNY gets up and tentatively closes the door behind him.

HAROLD sits for a minute, pauses briefly, then pours himself a large Scotch and laughs uproariously. He swigs lustily from the glass. Then he starts to sob softly, rocking from side to side.

(Lorna Irvine)

Sweet as a nut-Danny Dyer

 

*Please note- any resemblance to actor and famously tough guy Danny Dyer and genius, difficult playwright Harold Pinter is pure coinkydink*.

 

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