Author Topic: Peter Hall - my memories of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett  (Read 3666 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Peter Hall - my memories of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 12:22:49 AM »
Theatre director Peter Hall in The Times, 4 Apr 2009.

Hall talks mainly of Pinter

"...The impact of Pinter's death in December is still all too raw and recent: “I find it quite difficult to talk about Harold because I'm so upset,” Hall says, his voice wobbling for a moment. “I suppose in a way he left us an extraordinary legacy so one shouldn't be silly and one should see it as constructive, not destructive. But he meant an awful lot to me as a friend and a colleague as well as a dramatist I wanted to serve.”

Does he understand why Pinter lost the urge to write plays and transferred his creative energy to writing poetry?

“Harold's plays are like most men's poems,” he says. “And they always came from an inspirational energy. I can remember him saying to me, ‘I think I've got a play', and I'd say, ‘Really?' and he'd say, ‘Yes, I don't know what it's called yet but I'm going away for a couple of weeks and I'll see if I can write it.'”

Would that be exciting for you when that happened? “Oh, yes, of course - because then you cut to him ringing the doorbell one summer evening and he'd just driven up from somewhere and he'd say, ‘There it is', and it was The Homecoming, which was the first specific play he wrote for me and the Royal Shakespeare Company, which I still think was - is - his masterpiece.”

Hall says that Pinter was the man “who made me believe in inspiration because he didn't know why he couldn't write a play - and he certainly had years without writing one and would write film scripts during that time [collaborating most fruitfully with the director Joseph Losey]. He wanted to write a play but there wasn't a play to be written until, suddenly, he had something.”