London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1961. First Edition, First Printing.
12mo (7 3/8 x 5 inches; 188 x 125 mm), 134 pages, in original black cloth, titles in gilt to spine, in a photo illustrated, unclipped dust jacket (hard cover).
INSCRIBED by Harold Pinter on the title page to Jacques Brunius: "To Jaques Brunius from Harold." (Yes, Pinter misspelled Jacques.) Brunius (1906-1967) was a French actor and director. He also translated some of Pinter's plays into French, including one of the plays in this book, A Night Out. Thus, a nice literary association.
The book contains A Slight Ache, A Night Out, and The Dwarfs, as well as five revue sketches: Trouble in the Works, The Black and White, Request Stop, Last to Go, and Applicant.
The title play here, A Slight Ache, is a dark comedy about an English couple, Flora and Edward, who interrogate a poor (and silent) match seller who stands outside their gate every day.
The play was first performed on the BBC's Third Programme on July 29, 1959, and starred Maurice Denham and Vivien Merchant (Pinter's wife). The stage version opened on January 18, 1961, at the Arts Theatre in London and starred Emlyn Williams, Alison Leggat, and Richard Briers.
We find no other signed presentation copies of this book in the market. It's especially noteworthy because of Pinter's collaboration with the recipient, Jacques Brunius.
CONDITION: Light toning to page edges but otherwise clean and unmarked. Near Fine in a Very Good unclipped dust jacket that has rubbing to panels, toning to upper edges of the flaps and to verso of the jacket, and a few small nicks to the extremities. Item #2348