thu 29/07/2021

Harold Pinter

The Dumb Waiter, Old Vic: In Camera review - more in sorrow than in anger

Pinter wrote The Dumb Waiter in 1957 (although it wasn't seen in London until 1960) the year before The Birthday Party received its notorious première at the Lyric Hammersmith. When a friend described them both as political plays, about power and...

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The Dumb Waiter, Hampstead Theatre review - menace without a hint of mirth

Add the Hampstead Theatre to the swelling ranks of playhouses opening its doors this month, in this case with a revival well into rehearsal last spring when the first lockdown struck. Re-cast in the interim, Alice Hamilton's 60th-anniversary...

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Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre review - Tom Hiddleston anchors a bold, brooding revival

The grand finale of Jamie Lloyd’s remarkable Pinter at the Pinter season is this starry production of one of the writer’s greatest – and certainly most personal – works, inspired by his extramarital affair with Joan Bakewell. The 1978 play is...

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Pinter Seven, Harold Pinter Theatre review - elaborations of anxiety

It was back to the very beginning for this final instalment of “Pinter at the Pinter”, with its pairing of A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter. Both were written at the end of the 1950s, which explained a certain rock’n’roll vibe in the auditorium,...

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Pinters Five and Six, Harold Pinter Theatre review - superlatively acted esoterica

The scintillating, commercially bold season of Pinter one-acts at the theatre bearing his name plays a particular blinder with Pinter Five (★★★★★), from which I emerged keen to engage with its mystery and breadth of feeling all over again. Pinter...

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Pinters Three and Four, Harold Pinter Theatre review - double bill boasts double acts to treasure

The West End is specialising in two-parters of late. To Imperium and The Inheritance we can add the latest duo of Harold Pinter one-acts that has opened in time to spread ripples of delight even as the nights draw in. "Delight", you may well ask...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Comfort of Strangers

“There’s a lot of weirdness I didn’t want explained,” Paul Schrader reveals at one point in a new director’s commentary to his 1990 film. He certainly succeeded on that score: with its script by Harold Pinter (adapting Ian McEwan’s elliptical 1981...

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Pinter at the Pinter, Harold Pinter Theatre review - harrowing and comic short pieces from the master

Ten years after Harold Pinter's death, Jamie Lloyd has set about honouring the 20th century's outstanding British playwright in an ambitious West End season of his shorter works at the theatre which now bears his name. Lloyd, already recognised as a...

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The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter Theatre review - starry cast create a stunning masterpiece

Is modernism dead and buried? Anyone considering the long haul of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party from resounding flop in 1958 to West End crowd-pleasing classic today might be forgiven for wondering whether self-consciously difficult literary...

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No Man's Land, Wyndham's Theatre

We are lost in the wood. In the limbo state between dream and reality, memory and present, youth and age, companionship and seclusion, life and death, struggle and success, fame and obscurity. Pinter often visits that place of in between, but the...

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The Caretaker, Old Vic

It’s raining. Well, of course – it’s April in London. But it’s also pouring down on the Old Vic stage, hammering an already battered slate roof. When it lifts to reveal the semi-derelict attic, site of Harold Pinter’s groundbreaking 1960 play, the...

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The Truth, Menier Chocolate Factory

Infidelity, hypocrisy, disillusionment, betrayal – and yet this is by far the lightest of French playwright Florian Zeller’s current London hat trick. Premiering in 2011, and thus sandwiched chronologically between the bleak pair of The Mother (2010...

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