The Lover and The Collection

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 15 January 2008, Opened 29 January 2008, Closed 3 May 2008 at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London

A major revival of a double bill of Harold Pinter's plays - The Lover and The Colection - in London starring Richard Coyle, Charlie Cox, Gina McKee and Timothy West and directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Hidden truths are revealed and sexual power games exposed in these two funny, dark and deeply moving plays by Harold Pinter. In The Lover, behind closed suburban doors, a couple's desires are unlocked, unzipped and undressed. With Richard Coyle as 'Richard', Gina McKee as 'Sarah' and Charlie Cox as 'John'. In The Collection, a confession of adultery leads to an intriguing battle of suspicion, bluff and jealousy. With Timothy West as 'Harry', Richard Coyle as 'James', Gina McKee as 'Stella' and Charlie Cox as 'Bill'.

"In Jamie Lloyd's frisky new productions, they are cheeky and steeped in Englishness - rancid with sexual repression and lip-curling social contempt... Lloyd's cast is sprightly with the dialogue. And the brisker they are, the bleaker: even home truths sound like glacial small talk. No wonder Noel Coward appreciated Pinter. The chatter might be snatched from Private Lives: "How sickening you are, how tepid." Caught in solitary shafts of light, the characters work hard to mine their pleasure." The Sunday Times

"The epithet Pinteresque suggests ambiguity, elusiveness and highly charged conversation riddled with pregnant pauses. But Pinters plays can also be a tease, fabulously, if fitfully, funny, and always at someones expense. Jamie Lloyds beautifully performed pair of Sixties television plays, The Lover and The Collection, are staged as authentic period pieces, but while the manners and mannerisms have dated, there's nothing old-fashioned about the games the characters are playing. In The Lover, Gina McKee transforms herself from frocked housewife to leather-wrapped seductress for the fantasy life she shares with her husband Richard. He trots off to the city in his pinstripe, only to visit her in the afternoon, all rough and ready for it in his ridiculous bomber jacket. Until, that is, Richard begins to get jealous of his own alter-ego, and his clever, canny wife has to smooth his ruffled feathers. The sexual jealously is more explicit in The Collection, in which an old, gay gent, Harry, thinks his young protege, Bill, has spent the night with a neighbour, Stella, in a hotel room in Leeds. As does Stella's husband, James. But the scenario becomes complicated by the outrageous flirting that goes on when James confronts Bill. A sphinx-like McKee knows all and reveals nothing, hugging her secret until thelast minute and beyond." The Mail on Sunday

The Lover and The Collection in London at the Harold Pinter Theatre previewed from 15 January 2008, opened on 29 January 2008 and closed on 3 May 2008.