Acting for the stage (1960 - present)
The Caretaker (within the run beginning 30 May 1960), Duchess Theatre, London

Pinter as Mick, with Donald Pleasance as Davies

Harold Pinter took the part of Mick from Alan Bates, who took four weeks away from the production, during the run of the play transferred to the Duchess.

Directed by Donald McWhinnie (Brian Currah - Designer)

Mick - Harold Pinter
Davies - Donald Pleasance
Aston - Peter Woodthorpe

"Alan [...] went off to do Whistle Down the Wind and somehow it came about that Harold said, 'I'll play it.' He was dying to, actually. He was very good. Of all the Micks I've played it with - about five - he was the most frightening... By far the most frightening. He used to terrify me every night." Donald Pleasance in Michael Billington, The Life and Work of Harold Pinter, Faber and Faber, 1996, p.129.
"Mr Pinter was an actor for eight years before turning to playwriting, and he acquits himself expertly. He has a fine presence. He broods, threatens, and with faultless timing forces us to endure to the limit those ominous silences that punctuate the action with the impact of explosions." The Guardian, June 1960.
The Homecoming (4 - 15 February 1969), Palace Theatre, Watford.

Directed by Stephen Hollis (Noel Wildsmith - Designer, Ian Pygott - Lighting)

Lenny - Harold Pinter
Max - John Savident
Sam - Larry Noble
Joey - Terence Rigby
Teddy - Maurice Kaufmann
Ruth - Jane Lowe

"Mr Pinter supplies a brooding wide-boy malevolence; smooth as velvet and as inscrutable as darkness, he prowls compellingly through the action, a true reflection of the play's confusions" Nicholas de Jongh, The Guardian, 5 February 1969


Harold Pinter as Lenny, with Jane Lowe as Ruth
Old Times (1985), The Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles (and tour).

Harold Pinter replaced Michael Gambon on the American tour of the 1985 revival.

Directed by David Jones (Timothy O'Brien - Designer, David Hersey - Lighting designer)

Deeley - Harold Pinter
Anna - Liv Ullmann
Kate - Nicola Pagett

"About halfway through the first morning [...] because Harold was over-fast and tended to jump over things, I said to him, 'I know the pauses aren't sacred, but I think the author has an intention here - I think he means that you have to pause here because so and so is happening.' Harold said, 'Oh, you don't think he'd like it the way I'm doing it?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'We'll change it then.'" David Jones in Michael Billington, The Life and Work of Harold Pinter, Faber and Faber, 1996, p.302.

Harold Pinter as Deeley with Liv Ullmann as Anna
No Man's Land (1992-3), Almeida Theatre, London.    

Harold Pinter (centre) as Hirst with the cast and director

Hirst - Harold Pinter
Spooner - Paul Eddington
Foster - Douglas Hodge
Briggs - Gawn Grainger

"Harold participating helps - not as a gimmick but as a charismatic presence. And because the play is about a writer or poet seeming gradually to be defeated or exhausted, there's an authentic resonance from Harold playing his own play." David Leveaux to Matt Wolf in The Times, 30 October 1992

"Pinter the actor rules the stage like a moody emperor from his armchair throne. He is playing a grand, smug, suave and deeply unpleasant man of letters [...] Pinter seems almost to have altered the bone structure of his face. The thrust of the massive jaw suggests pugnacity, but his tight, flat upper lip has a hint of apprehensive old age, and the look of his eyes, both searching and furtive, speaks of insecurity." John Peter, The Sunday Times, 8 November 1992.


"Whereas Richardson evinced an ethereal majesty, Pinter's Hirst is a frowning, fruity-voiced tyrant, enthroned on a drinks cabinet, assuaged only by the great malt that wounds; his second act entrance in an electric blue suit, greeting his bemused guest and launching into the hilarious, Cowardian dialogue of summer sex and hanky-panky in Oxford in the late 1930s, is a revelation." Michael Coveney, The Observer, 8 November 1992

"... terrifying, one of the most violent, horrifying things I'd ever seen." Nigel Charnock, The Guardian, 19 March 1997.

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Harold Pinter's work is represented by Judy Daish Associates Limited - and applications for all performances and uses of Harold Pinter's work (including amateur and professional stage performances, radio broadcasts, television transmissions and readings and use of extracts) need to be addressed to them in the first instance and in advance of finalizing your plans. Judy Daish Associates will then contact the Estate of Harold Pinter (Lady Antonia Fraser Pinter) if appropriate. The Estate should not be contacted directly for permissions. Please do not assume that a licence or permission will be forthcoming as there are sometimes conflicts between permission requests.
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