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Harold Pinter's 'Voices'

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Here's an excerpt from that BBC work mentioned just a moment ago. It's called "Voices," and it's a reworking of a few of his later plays, "One for the Road," "Mountain Language," "The New World Order," "Party Time" and "Ashes to Ashes."

(Soundbite of "Voices")

Mr. HARRY BURTON: Sometimes I hear things. Then it's quiet. I had a name. It was Jimmy. People called me Jimmy. That was my name.

Sometimes I hear things. Then everything is quiet. When everything is quiet I hear my heart.

When the terrible noises come I don't hear anything. Don't hear, don't breathe. I'm blind. Then everything is quiet.

I hear a heartbeat. It is probably not my heartbeat. It is probably someone else's heartbeat.

What am I? Sometimes a door bangs. I hear voices, then it stops. Everything stops. It all stops. It all closes. It closes down. It shuts. It all shuts. It shuts down. It shuts. I see nothing at any time anymore. I sit sucking the dark. It's what I have. The dark is in my mouth and I suck it. It's the only thing I have. It's mine. It's my own. I suck it.

NORRIS: That's Harry Burton in an excerpt from "Voices," Harold Pinter's latest work. It aired on October 10th on BBC Radio 3. It's a collaboration with composer James Clarke.

This is NPR, National Public Radio. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.