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A Celebration of Harold Pinter

Members say: Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Clever, Ambitious
84
Critics
69
10 reviews
Members
87
13 reviews
 

A revival of Julian Sands' one-man tribute to Harold Pinter, a multifaceted playwright and poet with whom he collaborated.

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Conceived and performed Julian Sands, this solo show celebrates the life and work of playwright Harold Pinter. Directed by John Malkovich, it examines Pinter's lesser-known poems and prose, getting to the soul of the man: poet, playwright, husband, political activist, and Nobel winner.

 

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Reviews (23)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
69
Avg Score

75
The New York Times

for a previous production "[Sands] doesn’t exactly do Pinter the way Robert Morse did Truman Capote. But when he reads Pinter’s poems, as well as the odd prose piece, you feel the playwright’s presence...This modest, affecting show embodies the notion of the actor as a transparent vessel through which we see the thoughts and feelings of others...There is something profoundly humble about their putting their bodies in the service of other minds." Full Review

85
Backstage

for a previous production "The show consists of Sands standing alone onstage telling us what he knew and loved about his friend, occasionally quoting from a letter or a poem. There is no drama, conflict, or character arc...Though Sands’ performance appears straightforward, it’s actually a quite subtle one, filled with pauses that comically recall the ones used by Pinter in his plays. Both devotees of Pinter and his work and those simply looking for an entertaining 90 minutes of theater will find much to enjoy." Full Review

40
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "There are a couple of good anecdotes, although it could do with a few more, and it does draw heavily on Antonia Fraser's memoir, 'Must You Go.' John Malkovich is credited with directing, but quite what he did is a mystery, because there's a singular lack of variation in staging and performance. It's not bad; just rather dull. And Pinter was never that." Full Review

35
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Unfortunately both the manner and accompanying matter of this 'Celebration of Harold Pinter,' which sifts through Pinter’s poetry back-catalogue with blanket reverence, smack too much of an earnest sixth-form lecture – one delivered by a prize pupil in honour of a formidable, life-changing teacher...Sands believes Pinter’s poetry alone would have secured him a place in the annals. Having listened to his selection it’s hard to share anything like that opinion." Full Review

75
The Independent (UK)

for a previous production "There's a great deal of passion in Sands's performance...He has the same punchy terseness and curdled vocal delivery, and he gives a good idea of Pinter's physical presence, and menace, too...Sands puts a tremendous verve and rhythm into his readings, and he seems entitled to his opinion that one or two of his love poems to Antonia Fraser are among the greatest of all English love poems." Full Review

80
Variety

for a previous production "Delivered with sensitivity and precision, it is a performance as stripped back and elemental as Pinter's language, delivered to an aud happy to savor the British actor's every word...As celebrations go, it is an austere, ascetic and restrained performance, one that captures the pugnacity, precision and a little of the dry humor of an exacting writer." Full Review

85
Sarasota Herald Tribune

for a previous production "This is a moving tribute...The poems are often so brief and come so naturally from the narrative that you may not always realize that a new one has begun. But Sands gives each one resonance and a point that builds to give us a new appreciation for a writer whose work has long had power of his audiences." Full Review

90
Talkin' Broadway

for a previous production "The production is well constructed...Malkovich and Sands have expertly framed all of these facts, statements, and thoughts on Pinter around his poems. His delivery of the material evokes a deep connection with the audience...This one-man show turns out to be a combination of theatrical performance, remembrance, celebration, and lecture. While it may not appeal to everyone, it is a highly recommended experience for any fan of theatre, writing, and intellectual stimulation." Full Review

70
Yorkshire Evening Post

for a previous production "There's something slightly bewildering about an undistinguished actor like Julian Sands providing some kind of analysis of a literary giant like Harold Pinter. It’s like listening to Jordan deliver a lecture on the ethereal appeal of Marilyn Monroe...Sands is capable in his performance/lecture, and Pinter is an interesting subject matter...On its worth as a piece of storytelling, it is valuable...This is a very gentle, low-tech, back-to-basics piece of stripped down theatre." Full Review

80
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Initially one wonders if this talk by Julian Sands – part lecture, part eulogy, part recitation – would be better suited to the Book Festival than one of the larger Pleasance spaces. Of course not. Pinter was a man of the theatre, perhaps the most influential British playwright of the last century, and although it’s his poetry and prose which Sands concentrates on, it feels apposite for us to be listening to it in the kind of pros arch theatre in which so much of his work played." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

81
Beautiful, Profound, Great writing

See it if You love Harold Pinter.

Don't see it if You don't care for Harold Pinter.

92
Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy hearing Pinter's poetry read aloud by a fine British actor, Julian Sands. Also, if you want to hear anecdotes about Pinter.

Don't see it if you do not like Pinter or if you do not like one-man shows.

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy Pinter's poetry or drama and want to know more about his life. Though I'm not crazy about many Pinter plays I still enjoyed it.

Don't see it if You dislike one-man shows.

84
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if Julian Sands a one person evening is worth his performance. A master class about Pinter. A charming and witty evening. Intimate.

Don't see it if You know nothing about Pinter.

82
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you are a Harold Pinter or Julian Sands fan, interested in Pinter's poetry and hearing Sands read it aloud most exquisitely, for 70 minutes

Don't see it if You have no interest in Harold Pinter or poetry and don't like to listen to poetry or theatrical reminiscences by a semi-famous British star

90
Absorbing, Profound

See it if You are Harold Pinter lover & want to learn more about him. It is extremely interesting & beautifully delivered by a great actor Julian Sand

Don't see it if You don't like Harold Pinter

100
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You like Harold Pinter

Don't see it if You don't

100
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if Wonderful performance. Moving! Ambitious performance. Eloquent!

Don't see it if You dont like poetry or one man shows.

65
Ambitious, Indulgent, Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if you want to know a bit more about the great playwright that is Harold Pinter.

Don't see it if you seriously want to know a lot, lot more about the great playwright that is Harold Pinter.

78
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if learned a lot about Pinter

Don't see it if if you only looking for action

90
Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You accept what it is which is Julian Sands offering stories, poetry & anecdotes about Pinter in an intimate setting.

Don't see it if You're looking for drama, conflict or Sands portraying Pinter.

93
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you like thinking

Don't see it if you are dull

100
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Harold Pinter as his best. It's entirely subjective that the audience member can form his /her own judgment about the build-up.

Don't see it if If you can't figure out the inner mind of one of the UK's greatest playwrights.