At Kenan Auditorium: Rare Intimacy with Harold Pinter by Actor Julian Sands
One way of looking at speech is to say it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness. -Harold Pinter
Nobel Prize-winning playwright, director, actor, and screenwriter Harold Pinter (1930-2008) is one of the most notable influences on modern drama. His style falls somewhere in the midst of Beckett, Kafka, Ionesco, and the like. Pinter's work is often placed in the category of Theatre of the Absurd; it's certainly existentialist and at least at its introduction, avant garde. As drama critic Bernard Dukore says, "[Pinter's] plays are realistic, after a fashion...The characters behave in a believable manner, but they are shrouded in a twilight of mystery." The style is so singular, it spawned it's own word: Pinteresque.
For Pinter fans, the plays provide a vast resource for conversation. But the plays hardly bring one closer to the man behind the words. British actor Julian Sands is taking us one step closer to an intimate understanding of Harold Pinter, the human being, ever shrouded in the mystery of his own work.
Sands' performance A Celebration of Harold Pinter was created using less Pinter script and more Pinter poetry, plus details from his life and relationships. This one-man show grew out of Julian Sands' close work with Pinter when the playwright asked Sands to fill for him at a reading of his own poetry in 2005. After Pinter's death in 2008, Sands shared Pinter's poetry as a memorial; John Malkovich was so impressed, he wanted to craft it into a performance. Malkovich directed Sands, and A Celebration... premiered in 2011 in Edinburgh. Since then, Sands has performed the piece internationally, including many locations in the United States. The solo performance was nominated for the prestigious Drama Desk Award in 2013.
"A Celebration of Harold Pinter" with Julian Sands. Tuesday, November 17 @ Kenan Auditorium. 7:30 pm
Actor Julian Sands is widely known for his work in films and on television (A Room with a View, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Killing Fields, Leaving Las Vegas, Naked Lunch, 24, Dexter, and more), but he clearly relishes this live stage endeavor. Listen to the short or longer interview (or both) below to hear more about the show and Sands' passion for Harold Pinter.