At the beginning of March 2005 the eminent playwright gave a BBC Radio interview where he appeared to have announced his retirement from the stage. He said to the Front Row arts program: “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.” However, the Sunday Times newspaper has run an interview with him where he clarifies his position. Somewhat. “I said something casually,” he told the newspaper. “It was not a declaration of policy or intent, it was just a very practical matter. I haven’t written a play for six years, and I think it’s unlikely that I’ll write another one. My writing, such as it is, is going into other things, mainly poetry . . . I’m still a writer, and who knows? But I think I’ve come to the end of my play-writing life. One never knows, but I have written 29 damn plays, long and short, and I think that’s probably about it.”
While Pinter has left the jar slightly ajar for admirers of his plays, they may have to be content with the 29 he has already written. One of his earliest attention-grabbers, The Birthday Party, begins a West End revival at the Duchess Theatre April 25 (previews begin April 20). Eileen Atkins and Henry Goodman star, with Lindsay Posner directing. The show is co-produced by the Birmingham Repertory Company and Duncan C. Weldon.
For more information on The Birthday Party, call (0)870 890 1103.