Must see: Old Times, Harold Pinter Theatre, London SW1
Role reversals galvanise a rich and robust Pinter revival
Friday 08 February 2013
Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams continue the theatrical tradition of the role-swap in Ian Rickson's compelling revival of Harold Pinter's 1971 play.
Depending on when you go, each actor will portray either Kate, the wife of a film director (brilliantly played by Rufus Sewell), or Anna, a flatmate of Kate's from her London days, who visits the couple after a 20-year gap.
The piece is a three-hander in which the threatened husband and the newcomer engage in a fight to the death for possession of the mysteriously withdrawn Kate. What the swapping illustrates is how adjustments to the chemistry can intriguingly alter the play's dynamic. Williams is liable to lapse into mannered portentousness but Scott Thomas brings an almost vulgar comic verve to Anna's satirically knowing sexuality.
Old Times can seem self-conscious, but Rickson's haunting yet robust account offers positive reasons to be in two minds about it.
(0844 871 7622) to 6 April
TVEnough to make ardent arachnophobes think twice
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Cumberbacklash: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange riles Marvel fans
Benedict Cumberbatch imagines 'explosive' Sherlock sex scene in graphic detail
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Halloween 2014: The scariest movies to watch on Netflix
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'