From the Dramatists Play Service:
One of Off-Broadway's most successful entries (where it was presented with The Collection
under the overall title of The Pinter Plays) this mysterious and moody study in suspense
concerns two professional killers who wait apprehensively in a grubby, windowless basement
room for word of their next macabre assignment.
From the New York World-Telegram & Sun:
In the basement of a long-abandoned restaurant, two hired killers nervously await
their next assignment. Barred from daylight and living public contact by the nature of their
work, they expend their waiting time in bickering.
So eerie is the situation that everything becomes comic, or grotesque, or both. Ben re-
reading a newspaper and exclaiming in disbelief over the
news items, Gus fussing with an offstage stove and offstage plumbing. Ben bludgeoning Gus
into silence if he as much as mentions their work. Gus
worrying that someone had slept in his bed. So then the ancient dumbwaiter comes to life,
the suspense becomes almost unbearable-that expertly has Pinter put the nerves of his
characters and audience on edge.
"THE DUMB WAITER is a suspense play, mysterious almost mystic." -NY World-Telegram & Sun.
"…a distinguished gift for sheer, old-fashioned theatrical effectiveness, including the use
of melodramatic suspense and the hint of sinister forces lying in ambush." -NY Post.
From the Directors:
The Dumb Waiter Dictionary