In a humorous and fascinating solo performance, the Oscar-nominated actor Julian Sands, best known for his romantic lead in A Room with a View, presents an intimate portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning poet, playwright and man – Harold Pinter. Directed by acclaimed actor, producer and director John Malkovich, A Celebration of Harold Pinter comes to Valley Performing Arts Center’s intimate Plaza del Sol Concert Hall on February 26 at 7:30pm.
British actor Julian Sands is frequently seen world-wide in films, on stage, and on television. He trained in London at The Central School of Speech and Drama and has appeared in over 100 films including; The Killing Fields, A Room With A View, Impromptu, Leaving Las Vegas, Oceans 13, and The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. On television, he is best known for his recent role on 24 but has also been seen on Smallville, Ghost Whisperer, Dexter and Banshee.
In 2005 Mr. Sands was approached by the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet Harold Pinter himself and asked to prepare a set of Pinter’s poems for a special presentation in London. Working closely with Pinter, he was granted a rare insight into his personality, life, and work. This extraordinary collaboration evolved into a wonderfully humorous and fascinating solo show directed by John Malkovich titled, A Celebration of Harold Pinter.
Performances followed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and subsequently in New York at The Irish Repertory Theatre, Steppenwolf in Chicago, and Herbst Theatre in San Francisco as well as in Mexico City, Budapest, London and Paris.
Playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist Harold Pinter was born October 10, 1930. He wrote twenty-nine plays including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, and Betrayal, twenty-one screenplays including The Servant, The Go-Between and The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and directed twenty-seven theatre productions, including James Joyce’s Exiles, David Mamet’s Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray and many of his own plays including his latest, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at The Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000.
He was awarded the Shakespeare Prize (Hamburg), the European Prize for Literature (Vienna), the Pirandello Prize (Palermo), the David Cohen British Literature Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award, the Legion d’Honneur and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. He received honorary degrees from eighteen universities.
Pinter’s interest in politics was a very public one. Over the years he spoke out forcefully about the abuse of state power around the world, including, NATO’s bombing of Serbia.
In 2005, Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the highest honor available to any writer in the world. In announcing the award, Horace Engdahl, Chairman of the Swedish Academy, said that Pinter was an artist “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.” Pinter died in December 2008.
This is an evening of Homeric theater with an extraordinary actor and great words. Devoid of pretension or glittery trappings, A Celebration of Harold Pinter gets to the soul of the man – poet, playwright, husband, political activist, Nobel winner, mortal. A Celebration of Harold Pinter was nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk Award.
Tickets range from $45 – $55 and can be purchased at http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org/calendar/julian-sands-in-a-celebration-of-harold-pinter/.