National celebrates Pinter

Published May 8, 2009

Eileen Atkins, Michael Sheen, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman and Sheila Hancock are just some of the actors who will pay tribute to Harold Pinter at a celebration of his work held at the National Theatre on Sunday 7 June.

Pinter, one of the UK’s most influential playwrights, died on Christmas Eve last year, aged 78. The National’s tribute, Harold Pinter: A Celebration, is an evening of readings and excerpts from the Nobel Prize winner’s catalogue of plays.

Ian Rickson directs the evening, which will also feature performances by David Bradley, Kenneth Cranham, Janie Dee, Andy de la Tour, Lindsay Duncan, Henry Goodman, Douglas Hodge, Lloyd Hutchinson, Jude Law, Gina McKee, Sophie Okonedo, Stephen Rea, Indira Varma, Samuel West, Lia Williams, Penelope Wilton, Henry Woolf and students from LAMDA.

The National Theatre is a fitting venue for the tribute as many of Pinter’s plays premiered there, including Betrayal, No Man’s Land, Other Places and Mountain Language. Recent productions of his plays at the National have included The Hothouse, directed by Rickson, Landscape and A Slight Ache.

His work was also frequently revived in the West End and elsewhere in London. Recent productions of his plays have included The Lover and The Collection, starring McKee at the Comedy theatre, The Birthday Party with Hancock and Hutchinson at the Lyric Hammersmith, West in Betrayal at the Donmar Warehouse and The Homecoming with Cranham at the Almeida theatre. Rupert Goold’s production of No Man’s Land, starring Bradley, Michael Gambon, Nick Dunning and David Walliams, was playing at the Duke of York’s when the playwright passed away.

Tickets for the celebration in the Olivier theatre are available from the National Theatre box office on 0207 452 3000.

CB