Harold Pinter Announces Retirement from Playwriting

News   Harold Pinter Announces Retirement from Playwriting Playwright Harold Pinter, one of the few senior playwrights of distinction, has told the BBC that he has decided to stop writing plays.

On BBC Radio 4’s Front Row arts program, Pinter said, “I think I’ve stopped writing plays now, but I haven’t stopped writing poems. I think I’ve written 29 plays. I think it’s enough for me. I think I’ve found other forms now.” In August 2004 he won the prestigious Wilfred Owen Award for poetry. And, with classic plays such as The Caretaker, The Homecoming and Betrayal behind him, Pinter clearly seems to see his future as a poet. Somewhat ironically, one of his first plays to play the West End, The Birthday Party, is scheduled to return to Theatreland (in a production starring Henry Goodman and Eileen Atkins) in 2005.

Pinter also told the BBC that political speeches increasingly attracted him, saying, “Over the last few years I’ve made a number of political speeches at various locations and ceremonies. I’m using a lot of energy more specifically about political states of affairs, which I think are very worrying as things stand.” The writer has often publicized his anti-war stance (and much of his poetry is anti-war).

Pinter’s last play was Remembrance of Things Past, which was published in 2000 and premiered at the National Theatre. With his health an ongoing cause for concern following battles against cancer, there was already speculation that he might have set down his playwright’s pen. Now Pinter seems to have confirmed that.

Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter