How is a play born? Should an artist be involved with politics? Incorporating testimonies from Belarusian political prisoners with excerpts from Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter's lifetime of writings, Being Harold Pinter begins and ends with a search for the answers to these questions.
Blurring the lines between art and reality, BFT traces the relationship between power and violence in Pinter’s words to deliver a poignant contemporary commentary on institutionalised violence, freedom and human dignity.
‘We should all be proud of the honour this production pays to Pinter: it equals the Nobel prize. These actors are no chatterers – they understand the vitriolic subtext of the plays. Under the amoral objectivity of the writing, they’ve found the moral fury that is its dynamo and its soul.’ The Sunday Times
‘It’s a rewarding experience. The play Being Harold Pinter knocked me out.’ Tom Stoppard, The Observer
‘Portrayed with great theatrical wit, stylishness and economy… fierceness, sorrow and theatrical electricity crackle throughout this extraordinary production.’ Ben Brantley, The New York Times
‘It is as gripping and accomplished piece of theatre as you’ll find in London this year… The dialogue, in Russian with English subtitles, is spat out with the ferocity of machine-gun fire…this is world-class theatre, built on the guts of raw experience.’ Domenic Cavendish, The Telegraph
‘Their visual invention is striking… At one point the actors risk suffocation beneath a blue polythene sheet… the richest dramatic experience.’ Alfred Hickling, The Guardian
Adapted and directed by Vladimir Shcherban
Based on the plays of Harold Pinter: Mountain Language, One for the Road, The Homecoming, Old Times, Ashes to Ashes and The New World Order.
The text also includes:
Harold Pinter’s Nobel Lecture
Letters of Belarusian political prisoners
Original cast included: Anna Solomianskaya
Original Stage Manager and Assistant Director: Irina “Yaro” Yaroshevich
Assistants to the Director: Svetlana Sugako and Nadia Broskaya
Producers: Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin
Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Performed in Russian and Belarusian with English surtitles
Being Harold Pinter was first performed on 7 November 2006, underground in Belarus