(updated 2/20/07)

Radio Times by Geoff Ellis

“It’s lovely to be here,” agree the six characters marking occasions with a visit to the best restaurant in town. Yet, underneath, there’s nothing attractive about these well-heeled couples.

Harold Pinter’s most recent play feels theatrical on the small screen, yet delivers a short, sharp kick.

An outstanding cast do justice to an absurdist entertainment, and glory in the rich language. Their conversation is full of inanities and obscenities, and they welcome the sometimes surreal interruptions of the staff. These are, you feel, people who know the price of everything and the value of cover-ups.

What a welcome change to see a hard-edged, one-off drama on TV. There’s just one drawback to watching Pinter’s latest: you might not want to spend time with such coarse and self-centered characters, even when played by the likes of Michael Gambon, Julia McKenzie and Colin Firth.

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