A Painting Of Harold Pinter Has Been Given To The West End Theatre Which Bears His Name
Guests including actors Martin Freeman, John Heffernan and Danny Dyer, who are currently appearing in Pinter Seven, and Pinter at the Pinter Artistic Director Jamie Lloyd, gathered at the Harold Pinter Theatre last week as Lady Antonia Fraser bestowed a painting of the celebrated playwright by artist Amy Shuckburgh to the theatre, where it will be on permanent display. Lady Fraser entrusted the portrait to the theatre to celebrate the historic season, which has featured over thirty different pieces by the playwright, including his short plays and works first written for radio, television, revue nights, as well as poetry and prose.
Amy Shuckburgh is a fine artist based in west London. Her work encompasses landscape, still life, as well as figures, and is notable for its expressive painterly style as well as its interest in abstraction. She said of the commission 'It was a huge privilege to paint Harold Pinter and to know that he liked the portrait. I am delighted that Lady Antonia Fraser has given the portrait to the theatre named in his honour, which feels like its rightful home.'
Sarah Sideras, Theatre Manager at the Harold Pinter theatre said, 'It brings me such joy to see this incredible portrait of Harold hanging pride of place in our Moonlight Bar. Not only will it serve as a reminder of the magic and history that has been created by the season, it also means Harold is part of the fabric of the theatre more than ever. It makes the team at the Harold Pinter Theatre and ATG very proud.'
The Jamie Lloyd Company's Pinter at the Pinter season is a unique event celebrating the greatest British playwright of the 20th Century and produced to mark the tenth anniversary of the Nobel Prize winner's death.
Danny Dyer, Martin Freeman, John Heffernan and Gemma Whelan are currently appearing in Pinter 7 at the venue. Performances end on 23 February and are followed by a new production of Pinter's Betrayal directed by Jamie Lloyd and starring Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox from March 5th.
The Pinter at the Pinter season and Betrayal are presented by The Jamie Lloyd Company, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Ben Lowy Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions.
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.