Harold Pinter: the ‘playwright of the pause’ finally passes away

homecoming3Just wanted to note the passing of Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas eve. Actor, playwright, nobel laureate, cricket lover, political activist and, as Nick Cohen points out, apologist for Milosovic.

He was one of the few artistic greats I ever witnessed in the flesh: performing in his own play, the Hothouse, at the Comedy Theatre in 1995. I was a first year undergraduate and it made such a lasting impression on me that I went on to discover both Brecht and Beckett off the back of it.

In its obituary the New York Times notes his “gifts for finding the ominous in the everyday and the noise within silence [which] made him the most influential and imitated dramatist of his generation”. Despite Johan Hari’s protestations that Pinter was full of  “commonplace insights” I think he constantly tapped into something more often profound.  His contrarian stance will be sorely missed, not just in theatreland.