Pinter's People

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

Previewed 30 January 2007, Opened 1 February 2007, Closed 23 February 2007 at the Haymarket Theatre in London

A collection of Harold Pinter's sketches presented under the title Pinter's People in London starring Bill Bailey along with Sally Phillips, Kevin Eldon and Geraldine McNulty.

Pinter's People is a collection of thirteen sketches by Harold Pinter written between 1958 and 2002 and which particularly show case the (black) comedy in Harold Pinter's plays. Pinter's People in London features the comic actor and comedian Bill Bailey along with Sally Phillips, Kevin Eldon and Geraldine McNulty. They are directed by Sean Foley who has devised this show which has the support of the playwright - in fact Harold Pinter himself suggested the title.

Pinter's People are Trouble in the Works / The Black and White / Special Offer / That's Your Trouble / Request Stop / Night / The New World Order / Tess / Victoria Station / That's All / Last To Go / Precisely / Press Conference.

Bill Bailey is a stand up comedian and actor, his stage credits include his own show Part Troll while his television credits include Black Books and the panel show Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Sally Phillips' television credits include Green Wing and Jam and Jerusalem as well as the film Bridget Jones' Diary. Geraldine McNulty is probably best known for the television comedy series My Hero, her old TV credit include Ted and Alice, The Vicar of Dibley and Absolutely Fabulous while on stage she appeared in London's West End in the one woman play Betty.

"Aside from odd references to things such as threepenny bits, it's astonishing how undated the writing feels. And though they may look superficially like mainstream sketches don't be fooled. There is menace and imagination, pity and terror, in abundance. Trapped characters are given to outbursts of baffled, inexplicable anger, and their lives, however ordinary and trivial they may seem, lurch around existential voids. There is dignity amid the banality... Bill Bailey deserves every praise for reviving these old but never creaky sketches. Between them, the cast and the director, Sean Foley, understand precisely how Pinter's pauses are often comic, the funnier for being excruciatingly drawn out." The Sunday Times

"Harold Pinter's work is often funny but, more often than not, your laughter will stick uncomfortably in your throat because there is so much more going on. There's mystery, menace, fear, paranoia, and encounters in which characters engage fleetingly then disengage uncomfortably and awkwardly. Often the text conceals more than it reveals, but in the subtext, heavy with pregnant pauses, power shifts uneasily and panic mounts. In Pinter's People, director Sean Foley gathers Pinter's sketches from 1959 to 2006 and plays them for laughs. A line-up of comedians overact wildly, signalling every line with facefuls of expressions and armfuls of gestures, but the characters remain woefully unexplored and almost wilfully misunderstood. The effect is mirthless and entirely without merit. At best, the sketches come across as poor Pinter parodies; at their worst, which is most of the time, they drop like lead balloons. Where Pinter is concerned, less is always more. Foley and his gang have entirely missed Pinter's point." The Mail on Sunday

Pinter's People in London at the Haymarket Theatre previewed from 30 January 2007, opened on 1 February 2007 and closed on 23 February 2007.