This Victorian playhouse is all about the Pinter (but has been known to stage other playwrights too)
In 2011, this historical Victorian theatre got rechristened Harold Pinter Theatre, as a tribute to the legendary playwright, director and all-round master of menace. And the venue takes its moniker pretty seriously. In 2018, it topped off its longstanding record of staging Pinter plays by launching a huge season of Pinter revivals, with basically every famous British actor you can think of making star appearances, and director Jamie Lloyd at the helm.
But long before Pinter unleashed his first scribblings, this playhouse started life as the Comedy Theatre in 1888, which regaled Victorian audiences with a line-up of operettas and now-forgotten farces. From then on, its programming continued along reasonably conventional lines until 1956, when it made a bold bid to confront theatre industry censorship. In an age where the Lord Chamberlain vetoed anything that smacked of sex of violence, the theatre evaded censorship by becoming a private club. It subsequently staged the London premieres of groundbreaking hits like Arthur Miller's ‘A View From the Bridge’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ by Tennessee Williams. When rules were finally relaxed, it was able to show Peter Shaffer's hit play 'Five Finger Exercise' to a general audience, alongside a line-up that focused on 'proper drama' by the likes of Shakespeare, Wilde, Shaw, and yes, Pinter.
Harold Pinter Theatre is a 796-seater house with seats over four horseshoe-shaped balcones, decorated in refined and ever-so-Victorian shades of china blue, cream and gold. Outside, its neo-Classical facade makes an imposing addition to Panton Street, tucked away behind Piccadilly Circus.
|Venue name:||Harold Pinter Theatre|
|Opening hours:||Check website for show times|
|Transport:||Tube: Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square|
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‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ review
This review is from the Rose Theatre Kingston. ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre. I am from the ‘90s and in the ‘90s I loved Louis de Bernières’s hyper-vivid, bittersweet monster of a breakthrough novel ‘Captain Corelli’s...Drama Until Saturday August 31 2019
Ian McKellen On Stage
Unstoppable stage and screen legend Sir Ian McKellen has spent the best part of 2019 touring an autobiographical stage show – formerly called ‘Tolkien, Shakespeare, others …and you!’, now subtitled that – to 80 venues across the nation, each of which...Drama Sunday September 15 2019 - Sunday January 5 2020
Average User Rating
3.1 / 5
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- 1 star:2
What a great little theatre. The Dress Circle does have slightly restricted viewing with thin columns adorning each sector, but they really are thin. The seats are comfy and the stage is very close. There are copious bars, some lack the queuing/standing space necessary but the Staff allow you out to the local cafes etc and back in during the intervals or pauses. We were really impressed with the security of the theatre as well. Plus it's right off Piccadilly Circus and there are a handful of super restaurants next door.
I went to the Harold Pinter a few weeks back, to see the play called 'Mojo'. The front of house were lovely to me and my friend, who is disabled. They showed us where to go, and they were constantly making sure she was comfortable and happy. The show itself, Mojo, was exceptionally funny, although rather rude. This was the first piece of contemporary theatre I had seen - I usually go to Shakespeare - and i was pleasantly suprised. While for me, it didn't come anywhere near to the Bard's great work, it was a pleasant change. I was amazed by the outstanding cast, but I was a little dissapointed with Rupert Grint's acting, after seeing him in Harry Potter. The theatre itself was lovely and homely, and it felt like you were watching a play in your front room. Thank you for helping me make the transition from Shakespeare to contemporary plays so gracefully, and i thoroughly enjoyed my self.
I just had to write a message of THANKS regarding your Front of House Staff. In the first place, my friend who is elderly and disabled like myself was offered help by CHRIS who very kindle helped her to her seat. Secondly, we had originally ordered drinks for the interval but then my friend wanted to try the cocktails that were on offer as well so that meant 4 drinks to be carried. We both have to use walking sticks so had a problem, but not for long. A young lady named INGRID quickly offered to help us bring the drinks to our seats. Finally, We needed to go to the Ladies on our way out and because of our mobility problems CHARLES allowed us to use a box office toilet for which we were extremely grateful. The Show was EXCELLENT. All the cast were very good but the one that impressed us so much was the lady who wore the "diamond" black and white tights. Her expressions were BRILLIANT!!! Thank you all so much for making our trip to your Theatre so pleasant. I do hope that you will pass on our thanks to those I named.
On 27 November we saw "A Chorus of Disapproval". A good experience although we felt it was held together by Rob Brydon's excellent performance. The downside was the theatre bar. My wife bought two small glasses of wine and was charged an exorbitant £14. The previous evening we had enjoyed wine on The Strand at about half the price.Possibly the theatre is instigating the Government's unit price alcohol pricing policy in advance ? I tried to email the theatre but cannot find an email address !
The worst ever play. Cheap production. The actors could not act at all. It is not a comedy at all rather a very bad written tragedy if someone thinks the money you spent and. Personnel also very roud and very unhelpful.
WARNING - Do not book tickets at this theatre through a third party. The theatre themselves (in particular Liam the Box Office manager) will not allow any amendments to your booking once made... bad way to do business.
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