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One Man Show Dealing With Pinter’s Poetry
From the New York Post:
‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter” is richly deserved, and not for the reasons you might expect. This one-man show by British actor Julian Sands, in his New York stage debut, deals only with the late playwright’s poetry, which has received woefully scant attention.
Sands, best known for the films “A Room With a View” and “The Killing Fields,” was a longtime friend of the playwright’s. A few years before his death, Pinter requested that Sands fill in for him at a poetry reading when he was too ill to go on. That ultimately inspired this production, which actor John Malkovich directed and which debuted last year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Presented in the tiny basement space at Irish Rep, the proceedings have a wonderfully casual intimacy: The house lights stay on throughout, and the bare stage features only a tiny table. The strikingly handsome actor, clad in a dark, tieless suit, recites numerous selections while only occasionally glancing at a well-worn book filled with copious Post-it notes. His sonorous voice and dramatic body language superbly convey both the dark humor and underlying menace of these short pieces.
And short they often are, as illustrated by this haiku-like effort about a famous British cricket player, consisting entirely of: “I saw Len Hutton in his prime/Another time, another time.” It’s followed by an amusing anecdote about Pinter’s asking his fellow playwright Simon Gray his opinion of the poem; Gray replied that he hadn’t finished reading it yet.
Sands accompanies his recitations with moving anecdotes about such aspects of Pinter’s life as his relationship with his wife, author Antonia Fraser, and his long battle with the cancer that finally killed him.
Full article here.