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Harold Pinter - Presentation

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Josh Elliott

on 20 April 2011

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Transcript of Harold Pinter - Presentation

(October 10, 1930 - December 24, 2008) Harold Pinter was born on October 10th, 1930 in Hackney, East London to Jewish parents.
His father, Jack, was a tailor and his mother, Frances, was a homemaker. Leading British playwright, theatre director, poet, actor, screenplay writer, Cricket enthusiast, Nobel Prize Laureate, and political activist. Who is Harold Pinter? The Beginning In 1940 and again in 1941, his family is forced to flee London because of the Phoney War and the Nazi Blitz. War breaks out Attends Hackney Downs School from 1944-1948 where his love of English flourishes.
Begins writing poetry at the age of twelve.
Heavily influenced by his English teacher, Joseph Brearley, who takes him to his first play.
Plays Romeo and Macbeth in school plays directed by Brearley.
Developes an affinity for Cricket and would remain a hardcore fan for the rest of his life. Grammar School In 1948 he first attends the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Misses his friends and ends up ditching most of his classes.
Drops out in 1949 after two terms.
Briefly attends the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1951.
During this time he refuses to comply with the National Service, registering as a conscientious objector and is eventually fined. Drama School Acting Career In 1951 and 1952, he toured Ireland in with Anew McMaster's Shakespearean repertory company.
From 1953 to 1954, he worked for the Donald Wolfit Company and begins writing privately.
From 1954 to 1959, he acted under the stage name David Baron, performing over 20 roles under this name.
Preferred playing villains.
During this time he meets and falls in love with Vivien Merchant who he marries in 1956. Writes his first play, The Room, in 1957 over the course of four days for a friend at Bristol University.
Later in the same year he writes The Birthday Party, which is first produced in 1958.
It is initially a commercial and critical disaster but is eventually considered to be one of his best works. Harold Pinter as David Baron The First Plays These plays showcase characteristics later to be known as "Pinteresque."
Mundane situations that gradually escalate into menace and mystery.
Characters with no known motivations.
No explanation for action. Foreshadowing Career as a Playwright In 1958 he writes The Hothouse (but shelves it for over 20 years)
In 1959 he writes The Dumb Waiter and The Caretaker.
The Caretaker becomes his first significant commercial success.
First run lasted 444 performance.
He writes The Homecoming in 1964.
Wins the 1967 Tony Award for Best Play. From the late '60s and throughout the '80s Pinter began writing plays that dealt with characteristics of memory, exploring ambiguity, isolation and sorrow.
Featured more monologues as opposed to verbal exchange.
Plays include: Landscape (1968), Silence (1969), No Man's Land (1975), Betrayal (1978), Moonlight (1993), and Ashes to Ashes (1996).
Between plays he directed plays and films, and writes screenplays. Memory Plays Private life Following the success of The Homecoming, his relationship to his wife deteriorated
While rehearsing No Man's Land (1974), he begins an affair with Antonia Frasier.
Although this affair leads to the break-up of his marriage, it did not influence his next play The Betrayal (1978) despite its subject.
It was actually based on an earlier affair he had with a popular journalist. Later Plays After the death of his ex-wife, Vivean Merchant, in 1982, his plays became much shorter and overtly political in message.
His first political play of this time was One for the Road (1984), followed by Mountain Language in 1988, Party Time in 1991 and his final stage play Celebration in 2000. Foreshadowing As a Screenwriter and Director On top of writing plays, Pinter was also a screenwriter and a director.
He began directing more frequently in the 1970s.
Directed nearly 50 of his own and others' plays for the stage, film and television.
He also wrote 27 screenplays for film and television, adapting plays and novels for the screen.
Was even nominated for two Academy Awards for writing. Late Life and Death In 2001 Pinter was diagnosed with oesophogeal cancer and subsequently underwent surgery and chemotheropy in 2002.
He continued to direct and act during treatment.
In 2005 he announced that he would stop writing plays and instead focus on political activism.
Later that year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Despite being hospitalized, he recorded his Nobel Lecture in a wheelchair.
His health continued to decline and on Christmas Eve, 2008 he died. Complete Works The Room (1957) Old Times (1970)
The Birthday Party (1957) Monologue (1972)
The Dumb Waiter (1957) No Man's Land (1974)
A Slight Ache (1958) Betrayal (1978)
The Hothouse (1958) Family Voices (1980)
The Caretaker (1959) Other Places (1982)
A Night Out (1959) A Kind of Alaska (1982)
Night School (1960) Victoria Station (1982)
The Dwarfs (1960) One For The Road (1984)
The Collection (1961) Mountain Language (1988)
The Lover (1962) The New World Order (1991)
Tea Party (1964) Party Time (1991)
The Homecoming (1964) Moonlight (1993)
The Basement (1966) Ashes to Ashes (1996)
Landscape (1967) Celebration (1999)
Silence (1968) Remembrance of Things Past (2000) References Billington, Michael. The Life Work of Harold Pinter. Faber and Father Limited. London: 1996.
"Harold Pinter." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 13 Apr. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Pinter>.
Harold Pinter.org. Web. 13 Apr. 2011. <http://www.haroldpinter.org/>.
Hopwood, Jon C. "Harold Pinter - Biography." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 13 Apr. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0056217/bio>. These plays showcased what would later become known as "Pinteresque."
Characteristics include a mundane situation that escalates in menace and mystery, characters with no known motivation, and no explanation for the action.
Full transcript