Ahead of tonight’s opening of the first production at the recently named venue (formerly the Comedy), a revival of Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, Fraser was joined by Dorfman, the play’s star Thandie Newton and Ambassador Theatre Group’s joint chief executive Rosemary Squire to officially unveil the theatre.
The theatre, owned by ATG since 2000, was built by JH Addison and originally opened in 1881 as the Royal Comedy Theatre. It was designed by the well known theatre architect Thomas Verity.
The London venue has been the West End home to seven Pinter productions over the last 21 years including The Homecoming, No Man's Land, Moonlight, The Hothouse, The Caretaker (with Michael Gambon), The Lover The Collection and most recently, Ian Rickson’s production of Betrayal starring Kristin Scott Thomas.
Pinter also directed Otherwise Engaged by Simon Gray, Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose, The Old Masters by Simon Gray and another run of The Caretaker at the theatre.
Ariel Dorfman, Thandie Newton, Antonia Fraser & Rosemary Squire unveil the Harold Pinter Theatre
Ariel Dorfman said: “That it should precisely be Death and the Maiden which begins its run in the building just after it has been christened with the name of my dear friend Harold Pinter, fills me with joy and also seems extraordinarily appropriate. That play is dedicated, after all, to Pinter.
“He was its godfather and guide when it first opened twenty years ago and my mentor for most of my writing life. How wondrous that the very play that owed its first life to Pinter, will now be reborn inside a theatre that bears its name.”