The Dwarfs
The Dwarfs

The Dwarfs (1962)

The Dwarfs

Harold Pinter

Play script


Based on Pinter’s autobiographical novel of the same name that was composed between 1952 and 1956, but not published until 1990. The play was first written for radio, and later adapted for the stage, which forms the basis of the published text. The play – like the novel – is based on Pinter’s experiences as part of a group of friends in the Hackney of his youth. Len and Peter are drinking tea in Mark's flat at midnight. As Mark arrives the scene changes to Len's house. Len, a neurotic young man, is haunted by dwarfs. At great length he describes their extraordinary and seemingly nonsensical behaviour. The other two believe he gets too excited by life and his delusions. The explanation of Len's haunting is left in the air. The Dwarfs was first performed as a BBC Radio play in 1960; it was staged at the New Arts Theatre (London) in 1963. This entry is for the published stage version. The radio text can be consulted in the British Library (see 'Resources')

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Date of Composition: 1962   Confidence Level  

Adapted From: The Dwarfs [novel] (1956)

Adapted Work Note:

Linked Works

The Dwarfs

Kerry Lee Crabbe's stage adaptation of Pinter's novel.

The Dwarfs [radio script]

Linked Places

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


Methuen on (1966)


Len (Age: late twenties, Male)

Len was based on Pinter's friend Mick Goldstein, who later wrote a response to The Dwarfs.

Pete (The Dwarfs) (Age: late twenties, Male)

Mark (The Dwarfs) (Age: late twenties, Male)


Full text on Drama Online (URL)

Type: Script

External Link:

Subscription required

British Library Manuscript Collections. Pinter Archive. 'The Dwarfs'; [circa 1960-1966], Add MS 88880/1/19 (Paper-based)

Type: Archival holding

External Link:

This manuscript archive contains Pinter's work on adapting his novel first to a radio play, and then to stage version.


Samuel French Website


The summary of the play is, in part, taken and adapted from Samuel French Publisher's website.