A Celebration of Harold Pinter
Closed 1h 30m
A Celebration of Harold Pinter
87

A Celebration of Harold Pinter NYC Reviews and Tickets

87%
(13 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
8%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever, Intelligent, Ambitious

About the Show

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

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Member Reviews (13)

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

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

92
Absorbing, Profound, Resonant, Riveting, Intelligent

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.

Critic Reviews (10)

The New York Times
October 16th, 2012
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."
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Variety
August 14th, 2011
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."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 4th, 2014
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."
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The Telegraph (UK)
August 9th, 2011
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."
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The Guardian (UK)
August 10th, 2011
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."
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Backstage
October 16th, 2012
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."
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The Independent (UK)
August 8th, 2011
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."
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Sarasota Herald Tribune
February 7th, 2015
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."
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What's On Stage (UK)
August 15th, 2011
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."
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Yorkshire Evening Post
September 8th, 2011
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."
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