Applicant (1959)


Harold Pinter

Play script


Lamb attends a job interview conducted by Miss Piffs, during which she subjects him to various rigorous tests, including electrodes and interrogation. This dramatic sketch was first performed on BBC Radio in 1964 and later staged.

Browse productions of Applicant in the database

Date of Composition: 1959 - 1959   Confidence Level  

Adapted From: The Hothouse (1958)

Adapted Work Note: The sketch was adapted from a scene extracted form the then unpublished and unperformed play The Hothouse, originally prepared for broadcast on BBC radio.

Linked Works

No Linked works have been added to this work record yet.

Linked Places

Maudsley Hospital, London (Type of place: Place of inspiration)

Maudsley Hospital, Camberwell, London

As an unemployed actor and in need of any income, Pinter volunteered as a 'guinea pig' for a psychiatric experiment which took place at this hospital. He was paid around ten shillings. He was subjected to loud noises through a set of earphones. The experience informed a scene in his 1958 play The Hothouse, extracted and adapted for a sketch entitled Applicant (1959), and also the treatment of Aston in The Caretaker.


Schofield & Sims Ltd on (1976)

Appears in 'The Playmakers: Two', 1st edition, edited by Roger Mansfield and Illustrated by Barry Davies.


Miss Piffs (Age: Unknown, Female)

Man [Applicant] (Age: Unknown, Male)


No resources have been added to this work record yet.


William Baker and John C. Ross's biographical history of Harold Pinter's work

William Baker and John C. Ross, Harold Pinter: A Bibliographical History (London: British Library; New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2005)


On pp. 30-31 Baker and Ross provide the publication information for the sketch.

Martin Esslin's Pinter the Playwright

Martin Esslin, Pinter the Playwright, 6th edn (London: Methuen, 2000)

Academic book

The summary of the sketch provided above is taken from Esslin's own description on p. 226.

Harold Pinter's Official Website


Information about date of composition (finished) taken from site's webpage for Pinter's plays [accessed 20 October 2019].