View Post

‘It’s hard work, as is the whole thing, but worth it for its sheer quality’: PINTER ONE – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Beginning with a burst of confetti and ending in a sombre drop of petals, Pinter One is the far darker side of Pinter at the Pinter

“They don’t like you either, my darling”

I found myself enjoying Pinter Two much more than expected and so momentarily forgetting that I’d sworn off the whole thing, I rashly decided to book in for Pinter One, which proves to be an entirely different kind of affair. Not just thematically – it’s an overtly political collection of works and thus considerably darker – but structurally, gathering together no less than nine short pieces, eight of which run together to make the first half.

They’re Press Conference / Precisely / The New World Order / Mountain Language / American Football / The Pres and an Officer / Death / and One for the Road (all directed by Jamie Lloyd) with Ashes to Ashes (directed by the Lia Williams) following after the interval. And so ultimately it feels a bit more like a showcase of Pinter which brings with it some challenges, alongside the interest value in unearthing some lesser-seen works, including a world premiere.

That premiere – The Pres And An Officer – manages the not-unimpressive feat of fully justifying its Trump-a-like as Pinter’s prescience in nailing the vicissitudes of a numbnuts US president is uncanny. Played by a roll-call of guest stars (I saw Jon Culshaw), its a welcome burst of comedy in an otherwise dark affair and you have to laugh, because otherwise you’d cry.

Elsewhere Paapa Essiedu and Sir Antony Sher are grippingly intense in the exquisite torture of One For The Road, and Kate O’Flynn and Maggie Steed are pointedly excellent as a pair of bull-shitting men. And what you get here that you don’t in Pinter 2 is a real sense of how imaginatively flexible Soutra Gilmour’s revolving cube design is as it reconfigures at every available opportunity.

Post-interval, O’Flynn and Essiedu tackle 1996’s Ashes to Ashes, a more typically cryptic work where a couple are talking and yet their meaning is slippery and vague and disturbing and unmissable. Both actors deliver their ‘conversation’ with the utmost conviction, its impossible to drag your eyes from them even as we get darker and more violent and stranger. It’s hard work, as is the whole thing, but worth it for its sheer quality.

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (with interval)
Photos: Marc Brenner
Pinter One is booking in rep with Pinter Two – The Lover/The Collection at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 20th October
Like this:Like Loading…

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

View Post

NEWS: Further casting for Pinter at the Pinter includes Keith Allen, Rupert Graves, Gary Kemp, John Simm & Maggie Steed

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Quotes by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

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.

View Post

Women Centre Stage: Power Play Festival runs this week

In Features, Festivals, London theatre, News, Opinion, Plays by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Yesterday (14 November 2016) saw the launch of the Women Centre Stage: Power Play Festival at Hampstead Theatre and The Actors Centre. Produced by Sphinx Theatre Company and Joanna Hedges, Women Centre Stage exists to promote, advocate for and inspire women in the arts and has developed and commissioned a wide range of new work which uniquely brings together a diverse array of women characters far from the margins into centre stage.

View Post

Review: Trelawny Of The Wells (Donmar Warehouse)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

How splendidly the Donmar adapts to every new production: from the blinding pennants of the Spelling Bee school gym to the stark guns-and-gantries of the all-female Julius Caesar and now an authentically lamp-black pickled Victorian music hall with soaring columns, creaking boards and a whiff of oranges and cheap scent in the pit. Rose Trelawny is the darling of […]

The post Review: Trelawny Of The Wells (Donmar Warehouse) appeared first on JohnnyFox.

View Post

Review: Trelawny Of The Wells (Donmar Warehouse)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

How splendidly the Donmar adapts to every new production: from the blinding pennants of the Spelling Bee school gym to the stark guns-and-gantries of the all-female Julius Caesar and now an authentically lamp-black pickled Victorian music hall with soaring columns, creaking boards and a whiff of oranges and cheap scent in the pit. Rose Trelawny is the darling of […]

The post Review: Trelawny Of The Wells (Donmar Warehouse) appeared first on JohnnyFox.