Hasland Theatre Company’s production is just the job

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Harrowing and occasionally hilarious, it’s a safe bet that The Caretaker will haunt you long after the final curtain.

Harold Pinter’s powerful drama is the flagship production in Hasland Theatre Company’s 67th season - and a terrific job the cast, director Audrey Jones and backstage crew make of it.

It takes your breath away from the moment you clap eyes on the set which groans with junk such as old wheels, rusty beds, a redundant gas cooker and a bicycle mounted on a sloping ceiling - the jumble reflecting the mind of its permanent resident.

Rob Dean is impressive in his role as the itchy, twitchy vagrant given a leaky roof over his head by a workshy oddball, brilliantly played by Steve Cowley whose speech about electric shock treatment held spectators spellbound at Monday’s launch. Matthew Joynes ratchets up tension as the sinister, menacing owner of the house.

An unmissable play, The Caretaker is at Hasland Playhouse until September 20.

GAY BOLTON