London Harold Pinter Theatre History
London is the world center of cultural and social life and that’s why there are a lot of theatres there. London Harold Pinter Theatre is one of the most remarkable in the city. It has some peculiarities, and not all of them are accepted in a positive way with a public. Nevertheless to visit it is necessary for any tourist and for any Londoner as well.
It was founded long ago just in the middle of the autumn in 1881. It was called Royal Comedy Theatre then and was known for jolly musical shows first of all. During World War II the theatre became much more popular, because the theme of its plays had changed; now serious issues were raised in its performances.
The visitors liked the plays, staged in the theatre, but they didn’t like its building. It was designed by Thomas Varity and consisted of three tiers. It was not comfortable to sit there during several hours, when the play was held.
In 1950 the theater was closed for reconstruction. It was reopened in 1955, being much brighter and lighter. But the scheme of rows didn’t change there – and that’s why it looks too small now. Tall guests of the theatre complain, they have too long legs and there’s too short space for them. Luckily, the staff of the theatre can allow too tall visitors to occupy another place.
The name of Harold Pinter – famous and extremely talented English playwright, Nobel Prize winner of 2005, as well as producer and play director – is very important to the staff of the theater. He was the author of some plays that were staged there and became extremely popular, besides he was the producer of some performances, so in 2011 the Royal Comedy Theatre changed its name. Now it is called London Harold Pinter Theatre.
Probably, the society needs at different corners of its development elderly gentlemen with clear and firm conviction, expressed in a clear and firm voice. Harold Pinter was one of those gentlemen.
London Harold Pinter Theatre Plays
The repertoire of the theatre was vast, starting from musical comedies and ending with experimental plays. Falk’s operetta and plays of Herminie were staged there. After World War I the popularity of the theatre had increased. It became even more significant after the show revue of Andre Charlot and Charles Cochran.
The most remarkable plays, performed by the actors of this theatre were the following.
1. “Lover”, based on the novel of Harold Pinter.
The play is one of the most interesting in the repertoire of the theatre. It tells about a spouse, who were married for long and that’s why their sex lost its taste. To revive their marriage, they pretended to be lovers. The husband leaves for his office, but he comes back soon, playing the role of lover. His wife meets him in a short leather dress and they start their game.
But this innocent role-play went out of control one day and the severe conflict took place.
The play was staged in the theatre from January, 2008 till May, 2008 and was a great success with a public.
2. The other popular play, staged here, was “A Chorus of Disapproval”. The author of the play is Alan Ayckbourn. It tells about a modest fellow that came to a small English town and joined the company from a local theatre. Being a widower, he didn’t care about his personal life and wanted the only thing – working. But after his fast success in the theatre, he had understood, that passion on the stage could be continued even after the play was over.
Very interesting show, with lots of beautiful songs and elegant actors and actresses on the stage! The play was performed at Harold Pinter Theatre from September, 2012 to January, 2013.
3. This play is performed by the staff of the theatre nowadays. “Sunny Afternoon” is marvelous – the people, who have visited it, were dazzling during several weeks after the performance. It tells about success and sorrows of British popular rock band, the Kinks. Their professional development, starting from the first stages of their career and finishing with the last days on the stage, is shown in the play. The songs are so vivid and the sound is so natural, that if you close your eyes, you will hear the Kinks! The play is held till April, 2016!
These plays are just the small part of all the gems, stages here, so manage your time and find some days in your schedule to visit this theater!
London Harold Pinter Theatre Opening Hours
The theater is opened daily from 10:00 till 19:00. Of course, if you plan to visit some concrete performance, you need to check its time separately.
There are many interesting plays and performances that are planned for Christmas Holidays.
The prices on tickets are changeable. They depend upon the show or play that you are going to visit. Thus, “Sunny Afternoon” is played from Monday to Saturday at 19:30. It lasts during 2 hours and a half, including interval. On Wednesday and Saturday it is held at 14:30.
How to Get to London Harold Pinter Theatre
Harold Pinter Theater address is 6 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN. It is not hard to get there – different modes of transport are available.
It is possible to come by underground. The nearest stations to the theater are called “Charing Cross”, “Piccadilly Circus” and “Leicester Square”. Get off at one of these stations and come directly to the building of the theater.
It is possible to come here by bus. Different bus routes can carry you here – from any part of London you can get to Harold Pinter Theater by bus. Take one of the following numbers: 14, 19, 24, 29, 38 and 176.
The nearest car par is situated at Leicester Square, Whitcomb Street. It will take you less than 1 minute to get to the theater from this car park.
London Harold Pinter Theatre Shop and Restaurants
For those, who want to have a drink, the bar in the building of the theater is available. There are some tables just inside and some of them are situated in the open air – on the balcony.
The selection of the drinks is wide here – starting from tea and coffee and ending with light beer and white wine. But the prices are extortionate – the visitors say so.
There’s no shop in the building of the theater. But if you need some food products, souvenirs or clothes, you can visit one of the nearest shops or markets. Thus you can come to “Borough Market”, “Whole Foods Market Piccadilly Circus” and many other shops that are situated in less than 10 minutes walk from the theater.
London Harold Pinter Theater has a long history, a glorious today and a marvelous future!