The news that Corin Redgrave is to star along with John Wood in a revival of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land at the National from Nov. 30, with opening night on Dec. 6, will be welcome for fans of classic Pinter.
The play, in which Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson had a great success in the early 1970s (as they were also to do together in David Storey's Home), was originally produced by the National at the Old Vic and it has all the trademark Pinter touches of pregnant pauses, implied violence, and a vaguely sinister situation.
Given that the Pinter play currently at the Comedy Theatre, The Homecoming, is due to close on Dec. 1, this revival of No Man's Land will continue to keep Pinter's name in the public eye. Doubly the case as Pinter is to direct the play himself - a possibly daunting prospect for the actors, but part of a trend at the National, where Patrick Marber, for example, also directs his own plays.
Redgrave will play the Richardson role of Hirst, and John Wood - who starred in Sir Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love, about the poet A.E. Housman - will play the Gielgud part of Spooner. Gielgud based his character on another well-known poet, W.H. Auden and it will be fascinating to see if Wood, having recently played one famous versifier, will also base his character on perhaps the most popular poet of the twentieth century.
No Man's Land will go on tour from February 2002, part of the National Theatre's committment to show its work in the regions and not just in London.
For more details contact the National Theatre box office: 020 7452 3000.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow