The work of the Nobel Prize-winning British playwright Harold Pinter (pictured), who passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer (See News, 25 Dec 2008), will be celebrated next month at the National Theatre, with a stellar one-off evening of readings and performance excerpts in NT Olivier at 7pm on Sunday 7 June 2009.

Amongst the high-profile actors who will be taking part in Harold Pinter: A Celebration are: Eileen Atkins, David Bradley, Kenneth Cranham, Janie Dee, Lindsay Duncan, Colin Firth, Henry Goodman, Sheila Hancock, Douglas Hodge, Jude Law, Gina McKee, Sophie Okonedo, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Indira Varma, Samuel West, Lia Williams and Penelope Wilton, most of whom have numerous Pinter credits to their names already.

The evening, which will also feature students from LAMDA, is directed by former Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson, who revived Pinter’s The Hothouse at the National in 2007. A number of Pinter’s plays premiered at the NT: Betrayal, No Man’s Land, Other Places and Mountain Language, and his adaptation (with Di Trevis) of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. In addition to The Hothouse, other productions of the playwright’s work at the National over the years included The Caretaker, The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, a revival of No Man’s Land (which Pinter) also directed) and, most recently, the short plays Landscape and A Slight Ache.

Born in London on 10 October 1930, Pinter started his career as an actor after dropping out of RADA. He made his playwriting debut in 1957 with The Room and went on to write 30 plays in total, including The Birthday Party (1958) – a famous initial flop that closed after a critical drubbing and a handful of performances at the Lyric Hammersmith - The Dumb Waiter (1959), The Caretaker (1960), The Lover (1962), The Homecoming (1965), No Man\'s Land (1975), Mountain Language (1988), Moonlight (1993), Ashes to Ashes (1996) and Celebration (2000). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, one of myriad awards for his work.

Tickets for Harold Pinter: A Celebration are priced £10 and are available in person or by telephone from the National Theatre box office on 0207 452 3000.

- by Terri Paddock