Sad news for xmas day, but I’m sure you will have seen on the news that today we lost a great playwright and political activists. He was 78.

Harold Pinter, CH, CBE, Nobel Laureate (10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008), was a world-renowned English playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, poet, political activist, and president of the Central School of Speech and Drama, a constituent college of the University of London. After publishing poetry as a teenager and acting in school plays, Pinter began his theatrical career in the mid-1950s as a rep actor using the stage name David Baron.

During a writing career spanning over half a century, beginning with his first play, The Room (1957), Pinter has written 29 stage plays; 26 screenplays; many dramatic sketches, radio and TV plays; poetry; some short fiction; a novel; and essays, speeches, and letters. He is best known as a playwright and screenwriter, especially for The Birthday Party (1957), The Caretaker (1959), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978), all of which he has adapted to film, and for his screenplay adaptations of others’ works, such as The Servant (1963), The Go-Between (1970), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), The Trial (1993), and Sleuth (2007). He has also directed almost 50 stage, TV, and film productions of his own and others’ works.

Despite frail health since 2001, he has continued to act on stage and screen, most recently in the October 2006 critically-acclaimed production of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, during the 50th anniversary season of the Royal Court. In addition to continuing to write (mostly poetry), to give interviews, to speak about political issues, and to attend theatrical and cinematic premieres of his own and others’ works, he accepted the presidency of the Central School of Speech and Drama in October 2008.

The above painting by Derren was done in 2003.


BBC News