The first show to play at the theatre under its re-branded name will be the new production of Ariel Dorfman's political thriller Death and the Maiden, beginning performances Oct. 13 prior to an official opening Oct. 24/
The Comedy Theatre has been the West End home to seven productions of Pinter's plays in the last 21 years, the most recent of which was Betrayal starring Kristin Scott Thomas. Other Pinter plays revived there include The Homecoming, No Man's Land, The Caretaker and The Lover/The Collection double bill, as well as the West End transfer of the original production of Moonlight from the Almeida.
Pinter has himself also directed productions there of Simon Gray's Otherwise Engaged and The Old Masters, as well as Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men.
In a press statement, Howard Panter, chief executive and creative director of the theatre's owners ATG, has commented, "The work of Pinter has become an integral part of the history of the Comedy Theatre. The re-naming of one of our most successful West End theatres is a fitting tribute to a man who made such a mark on British theatre who, over his 50 year career, became recognised as one of the most influential modern British dramatists."
Pinter's widow Antonia Fraser commented, "Harold would have been so pleased by this honour and I am very moved at the news." Playwright Ariel Dorfman, who wrote Death and the Maiden, also said, "That it should precisely be Death and the Maiden which begins its run in the building just after it has been christened with the name of my dear friend Harold Pinter, fills me with joy and also seems extraordinarily appropriate. That play is dedicated, after all, to Pinter. He was its godfather and guide when it first opened twenty years ago and my mentor for most of my writing life. How wondrous that the very play that owed its first life to Pinter, will now be reborn inside a theatre that bears its name!"