Arts and Entertainment Jamie Lloyd has become the youngest director to break into The Stage 100 power list since Sam Mendes

Jamie Lloyd has become the youngest director to break into The Stage 100 power list since Sam Mendes.

When tea stands for tedium

THEATRE

THEATRE: Birthday Party; Contact Theatre at the Dancehouse, Manchester

The strength of Harold Pinter as a dramatist may be that he doesn't know what it is he has to say about the world. Places and people look ordinary and familiar enough, but for Pinter there is the restless suspicion that something else is going on. But, unable to be the kind of romantic artist who can strike through the mask, he shifts anxiously about, peeking and peering, seizing on clues and shaking them. His plays work when this undefined anxiety is transmitted to the audience.

Pinter's fears on bugging rejected

Chief police officers and senior Labour politicians have rejected criticism of the Government-sponsored Police Bill by playwright Harold Pinter and leading solicitors.

Poetry in motion heralds the new British Library

The British Library took delivery of the first of 12 million books and journals for its new St Pancras building yesterday in what has been dubbed the biggest book move in history.

Theatre: The funniest show in town?

The Critics: Suede go leather: Brett Anderson & Co punk it up in Glasgow, while Gene Wilder makes his British stage debut in London

When is a seven-hour play shorter than a one-hour performance? It's a question of rhythm

How long is a long play? This question, provoked by the opening of Robert Lepage's seven-hour vignette The Seven Streams of the River Ota and Harold Pinter's hour-long marathon Ashes to Ashes, is not one that a stopwatch will help you answer. The longest play I ever saw, for example, was a two-hour production of an existential drama in east Beirut. When the play was over I had to return to west Beirut, through checkpoints manned by heavily-armed men whose attitude to existential drama was likely to be equivocal, at the very best. I felt that every second of stage time added to their potential impatience. It was similar to the anxiety of missing the last bus home, with the added possibility that the conductor might shoot at you from the platform.

Biography reveals Harold Pinter's affair with Joan Bakewell

Harold Pinter, Britain's leading playwright, had a seven-year affair with Joan Bakewell, the television presenter, during his tempestuous marriage to the actress Vivien Merchant.

Obscure objects of sado-masochistic desire

There is something unintentionally disturbing about Harold Pinter's weaving of the political with the personal in `Ashes to Ashes'. Paul Taylor has an unhappy hour

Fascination of a poetic time loop

Ashes to Ashes Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London WC2

A new Pinter play. So what?

The first new stage work by Harold Pinter in three years, 'Ashes to Ashes', opens tomorrow. Some consider him Britain's greatest living playwright, but is he overrated? Paul Vallely explores the legend

ARTS: PLAYING PINTER

A new Harold Pinter play opens in London this week. And nearly 40 years after his breakthrough, that's still an event

QUIZ ANSWERS

FASHION: 1 Yohji Yamamoto. 2 Comme des Garcons. 3 Gucci. 4 Alexander McQueen. 5 Jean Paul Gaultier. 6 John Rocha. 7 Donna Karan. 8 Vivienne Westwood. 9 Isaac Mizrahi.

CHOICE THE CRITICS: THEATRE

The Hothouse Harold Pinter delivers a knockout comic performance which exists somewhere between John Cleese and Arthur Lowe in this splendid revival of his early play. Great support from Celia Imrie (with Pinter, right) and Tony Haygarth. Comedy Theatre, London

Puffing away on the grand old meaning of life

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Obituary: Tom Scott

Tom Scott was a man of passionate spirit and goodness, qualities that made him the most considerable poet writing in the Scots language since the death of Hugh MacDiarmid in 1978.
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