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The Jamie Lloyd Company announces further casting for Pinter at the Pinter

Harold Pinter (taken by Martin Rosenbaum)
Harold Pinter (taken by Martin Rosenbaum)

Keith Allen, Phil Davis, Paapa Essiedu, Rupert Graves, Gary Kemp, John Simm and Maggie Steed have joined the extraordinary company of Pinter at the Pinter, the unprecedented season featuring all twenty of Harold Pinter’s one-act plays, running from September 2018 to February 2019, to mark the tenth anniversary of the Nobel Prize winner’s death. The plays are directed by Jamie Lloyd, Patrick Marber, Ed Stambollouian, Lyndsey Turner and Lia Williams, with design by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Jon Clark and Richard Howell, and sound and music by George Dennis and Ben & Max Ringham. Further casting to be announced.

The highly-anticipated season will open with Pinter’s incendiary political works One for the Road, Mountain Language and The New World Order, directed by Jamie Lloyd, and Ashes to Ashes directed by Lia Williams, who is currently wowing critics and audiences alike in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Donmar Warehouse. The cast will include Paapa Essiedu, who won massive acclaim for his portrayal of Hamlet at the RSC and was recently named a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree, alongside Maggie Steed (Channel 4’s Chewing Gum), who returns to The Jamie Lloyd Company having played Queen Margaret opposite Martin Freeman in Richard III at Trafalgar Studios. These plays will be performed in rep – for 26 performances only – with the playful and provocative miniature masterpieces The Lover and The Collection, which feature stage and screen legend David Suchet and John Macmillan (Edmund in BBC2’s recent King Lear).

Director Lia Williams said: “I was knocked out when The Jamie Lloyd Company asked me to direct the electrifying Ashes to Ashes and I’m thrilled to be working with the hugely talented Paapa Essiedu. Harold meant the world to me. He could be funny, lacerating and as sensitive as a butterfly all at once. I’ve acted in seven of Harold’s plays; he has been one of my greatest influences in the theatre. This is a very personal endeavour. I will do my best for you, Harold.

John Simm (Doctor Who, Collateral), Gary Kemp and Ron Cook are reunited with Jamie Lloyd having appeared in his critically-acclaimed production of Pinter’s The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios. They will appear alongside BAFTA nominee Phil Davis (Vera Drake, RSC’s A Christmas Carol), Celia Imrie, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Abraham Popoola in Party Time and Celebration.

Keith Allen (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Jamie Lloyd Company’s The Homecoming) joins Tamsin Greig in Landscape and A Kind of Alaska, directed by Jamie Lloyd, whilst Rupert Graves (Sherlock, Krypton) will join Jane Horrocks, Emma Naomi and Nicolas Woodeson in The Room, Victoria Station and Family Voices, directed by Patrick Marber, who was recently nominated for a Tony Award for his direction of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties. Rupert Graves is reunited with Patrick Marber, who directed him in the 40th anniversary production of Pinter’s The Caretaker in the West End, as well as Marber’s seminal play, Closer, on Broadway.

With a commitment to accessible pricing with the aim of developing a new, more diverse West End audience, The Jamie Lloyd Company is offering 25,000 tickets across the season for £15 for people aged under 30, key workers and those receiving job seekers allowance.

Actor Paapa Essiedu said: “25,000 good seats for £15 will provide meaningful access to Pinter’s work for new theatregoers who may never have experienced the power of his work before. I feel certain that Pinter, the working-class boy from Hackney, would have approved.

To celebrate Harold Pinter’s birthday, Jamie Lloyd will direct a unique charity gala performance of Pinter’s sketches, monologues and poems, alongside extracts from his other plays, prose and political speeches. Further details of this exciting, all-star event, performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre on October 10th, will be announced later.

Artistic Director Jamie Lloyd said: “Harold’s early sketches are as hilarious as his later poems are searing and provocative. As we raise a glass to the great man on what would have been his 88th birthday with some of his close friends and colleagues, I’m keen to acknowledge the extraordinary depth and breadth of his groundbreaking work.

Pinter at the Pinter is an unparalleled event featuring all twenty short plays written by the greatest British playwright of the 20th Century, in the theatre that bears his name. They have never been performed together in a season of this kind. Each play runs for a limited number of performances.

The season also includes The Dumb Waiter, starring Danny Dyer and Martin Freeman, which will play alongside A Slight Ache – two early Pinter plays from the 1950s. Olivier Award winner Lyndsey Turner will direct Moonlight alongside a rare chance to see the quirky Pinter gem, Night School. Special rehearsed readings of The Basement, Tea Party and Silence complete the season.

Pinter 10
Pinter at the Pinter is part of the Pinter 10 partnership with the BFI, The Harold Pinter Estate and Faber & Faber, which is marking the 10th anniversary of Pinter’s death with a series of events celebrating the life of the most important British playwright of the 20th Century.

BFI Southbank will commemorate the anniversary with a season of Pinter’s film and television productions; Pinter on Screen: Power, Sex & Politics will take place at BFI Southbank throughout June and July. Further details can be found at www.whatson.bfi.org.uk.

About Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter was born in Hackney, London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008.

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pinter was lauded throughout his life as one of the greatest living playwrights, who had a revolutionary impact on how theatre was written and performed, and who it represented on stage. An establishment agitator who challenged injustice, he became as famous for his political interventions as for his writing later in his life.

His genius was recognised within his lifetime as a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, in addition to 18 other honorary degrees.

After working as an actor under the stage name David Baron, Pinter went on to be a theatrical playwright, director, screenwriter and actor.

He wrote his first play The Room in 1957 and from there 29 plays, including The Birthday Party, The Hothouse, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, Old Times, No Man’s Land, and Betrayal. Sketches include The Black and White, Request Stop, That’s your Trouble, Night, and Precisely.

Pinter directed 27 theatre productions, including James Joyce’s Exiles, David Mamet’s Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray and scores of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at The Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000.

In film he wrote 21 screenplays including The Pumpkin Eater, The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Sleuth.

He continued to act under his own name, on stage and screen. He last acted two years before his death in 2006, when he appeared in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Ian Rickson.

Thursday 6 September – Saturday 20 October 2018
Press night – 28 September 2018
One for the Road
The New World Order
Mountain Language
Directed by Jamie Lloyd

Ashes to Ashes
Directed by Lia Williams
Opening the Pinter at the Pinter season is a dynamic collection of Harold Pinter’s most potent and dangerous political plays.

The incendiary One for The Road is Pinter at his most terrifying. A ruthless government official interrogates a dissident and his family, but is the torturer more tortured than his victims? The New World Order explores how the abuse of power is legitimised in the name of freedom and democracy, as two brutal interrogators prepare to inflict their terrible punishment on a blind-folded insurgent. Pinter investigates the suppression of ideas and the supposed threat of non-conformity in Mountain Language: a group of captives attempt to find a voice when their shared language is banned by the state.

The evening culminates with Ashes to Ashes, a richly atmospheric and compelling play in which the dark nightmare of human atrocity infiltrates a couple’s living room. Directed by award-winning actress and long-time Pinter collaborator, Lia Williams.

Cast includes Paapa Essiedu and Maggie Steed
Thursday 13 September – Saturday 20 October 2018
Press night – Thursday 27 September 2018
The Lover
The Collection
Directed by Jamie Lloyd

Two miniature comedic masterpieces from the 1960s, The Lover and The Collection, which explore secrets, lies and seduction, are directed by ‘major Pinter interpreter’ (Financial Times), Jamie Lloyd.

Playful and provocative, The Lover features a conventional, suburban couple in unconventional circumstances. The Collection, hailed as one of the outstanding plays of the 20th Century by Laurence Olivier, delves into the intriguing mystery of two London couples linked by sexual desire and a quest for supremacy.

Cast includes David Suchet and John Macmillan
Thursday 25 October – Saturday 8 December 2018
Press Night – Thursday 15 November 2018
A Kind of Alaska
Directed by Jamie Lloyd

Landscape and A Kind of Alaska, directed by Jamie Lloyd, are spellbinding evocations of loneliness, isolation and the strange mists of time.

Landscape is a minimalist marvel: a woman is locked in a beautiful memory and her husband demands to be heard. In A Kind of Alaska, Deborah awakes from a twenty-nine-year sleep and is suspended between the conscious and unconscious worlds.
Cast includes Keith Allen and Tamsin Greig

Thursday 1 November – Saturday 8 December 2018
Press Night – Friday 16 November 2018
Directed by Lyndsey Turner
Night School
Directed by Ed Stambollouian

The brutality of family life and the subjectivity of memory are explored in the emotionally raw and richly funny Moonlight, directed by Olivier Award winner Lyndsey Turner, in which the past haunts the dark, lonely recesses of a dying father’s bedroom.

An East End criminal returns home from prison to find his room has been occupied by a mysterious woman with a secret. Set in the sweaty nightclubs and claustrophobic boarding houses of 1960s London, this is a rare opportunity to see the brilliantly witty and vivid Night School, directed by the inventive young director, Ed Stambollouian.
Cast to be announced

Thursday 13 December 2018 – Saturday 26 January 2019
Press Night – Thursday 3 January 2019
The Room
Family Voices
Victoria Station
Directed by Patrick Marber

Harold Pinter’s first play, The Room, features in a triple-bill directed by Pinter’s colleague and friend, Patrick Marber.

An all-too-familiar and frighteningly topical brand of English xenophobia runs through this darkly funny and unexpectedly odd play from 1957. In the hilarious Victoria Station and the reflective Family Voices, isolated voices attempt to communicate, but can we ever truly express the depths of our feeling?
Cast includes Rupert Graves, Jane Horrocks, Emma Naomi and Nicholas Woodeson

Thursday 20 December 2018 – Saturday 26 January 2019
Press Night – Friday 4 January 2019
Party Time
Directed by Jamie Lloyd

A scathing and bitterly amusing attack on the increasingly powerful and narcissistic super-rich, set against the backdrop of terrifying state oppression, the highly pertinent Party Time is paired with Harold Pinter’s final play, Celebration.

Celebration is an irresistible comedy about the vulgarity and ostentatious materialism of the nouveau riche, set in a fashionable London restaurant. An evening of social satire that chimes with our times, directed by Jamie Lloyd.
Cast includes Ron Cook, Phil Davis, Celia Imrie, Gary Kemp, Tracy Ann Oberman, Abraham Popoola and John Simm

Thursday 31 January – Saturday 23 February 2019
Press Night – Wednesday 6 February 2019
A Slight Ache
The Dumb Waiter
Directed by Jamie Lloyd

The Pinter at The Pinter season culminates with two unmissable comedies that explore the political machinations of the powerful and the powerless.

When a mysterious figure enters their elegant country home, the lives of Flora and Edward are changed forever.

Gus and Ben, two hit-men, await their next job in a derelict building – but what is the cost of their quest for meaning?

A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter, both written in the late 1950s, are directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Cast includes Danny Dyer and Martin Freeman in The Dumb Waiter

Details of special rehearsed readings of Tea Party, The Basement and Silence, are to be announced at a later date.

Ticket prices
£65, £45, £35, £25, £15
Premium price tickets are available
25,000 tickets across the run are available at £15 for people aged under 30, key workers and those receiving job seekers allowance.

Season passes are available for those wanting to see all productions at £100 for Band D seats and £420 for Band A seats

The Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN


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