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 20 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. The highly-anticipated season will open with Pinter’s 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 appearing in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Donmar Warehouse.
The cast will include Paapa Essiedu, who won 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 miniature masterpieces The Lover and The Collection, which feature 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 production of Pinter’s The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios. They will appear alongside 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 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.
Graves is reunited with 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.
To celebrate Harold Pinter’s birthday, 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 event, performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 10 October, 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.”
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 Night School. Special rehearsed readings of The Basement, Tea Party and Silence complete the season.
Also in the creative team are designer Soutra Gilmour and lighting designers Jon Clark and Richard Howell, with sound and music by George Dennis and Ben & Max Ringham.