Art, Truth and Politics - Being Harold Pinter

Being Harold Pinter

Pinter's Nobel Lecture is excerpted in a dramatic work developed and performed by the politically dissident Belarus Free Theatre, which has been censored, its members arrested and prevented from performing their work publicly in their own country. Being Harold Pinter is "a collation of six Pinter plays, excerpts from his Nobel Prize speech, and letters written by political prisoners in Belarusian jails," which was performed with Pinter in the audiences in Leeds, England, during the Artist and Citizen: 50 Years of Performing Pinter, an international conference celebrating Pinter on the occasion of the awarding of an honorary degree to him by the University of Leeds, in April 2007; and in London, premiering there from 11 to 23 February 2008. It received appreciative press reviews in both Leeds and London, including 5 stars from Pinter's official biographer Michael Billington, in his Guardian review, and 4 stars from the Times reviewer Sam Marlowe, who observes that "Drama doesn't come more urgently political than in the work of the Belarus Free Theatre." Also to critical acclaim, it premiered in New South Wales, Australia, beginning on 8 January 2009, two weeks after Pinter's death, and there are plans to bring the troupe over to perform Being Harold Pinter in New York City, as part of the Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, according to its director Mark Russell.

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