Benet Catty Productions

Julian Sands In a Celebration of Harold Pinter - Edinburgh 2011

Aug 15, 2011

Whatsonstage ****

Initially one wonders if this talk by Julian Sands – part lecture, part eulogy, part recitation – would be better suited to the Book Festival than one of the larger Pleasance spaces. Of course not.

Pinter was a man of the theatre, perhaps the most influential British playwright of the last century, and although it’s his poetry and prose which Sands concentrates on, it feels apposite for us to be listening to it in the kind of pros arch theatre in which so much of his work played.

Sands first experienced Pinter at drama school before later becoming his friend. He even incurred the great man’s infamous wrath when Sands thought he spotted a misplaced word. “Just read it. One day you might understand it” Pinter growled.
Sands himself brings the spirit of Pinter’s rage to some of his readings, such as the short poem Democracy, as well as the romance of Nocturne or his final poem to Antonia Fraser.

Sands rounds off this fascinating hour by saying “On Christmas Eve 2008, Harold’s voice fell silent. Thank you for listening.” How appropriate for the last line to have a double meaning. Pinter would have liked that.

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