Pinter to Direct Jeremy Northam in Old Times at London’s Donmar

News   Pinter to Direct Jeremy Northam in Old Times at London’s Donmar
Given the three meaty central characters, major productions of Harold Pinter’s Old Times tend to attract big names.

The last major London production (at the Wyndham's Theatre in 1995) featured Julie Christie as the enigmatic Kate and Harriet Walter and Leigh Lawson as her two mutually antagonistic admirers. The Broadway premiere featured Rosemary Harris, Robert Shaw and Mary Ure, and other stagings have starred Michael Gambon and Anthony Hopkins.

Now, Jeremy Northam is to star in a new staging by Pinter himself at the Donmar Warehouse.

Now more known as a movie star, Northam first came to prominence on the London stage in 1989. It was that year’s performance as Edward Voysey in the National Theatre production of The Voysey Inheritance that won him the Olivier Award for Outstanding Newcomer. But it was far from the only drama to involve him at the National that year. He was playing Osric in Hamlet when the show’s star, Daniel Day-Lewis, pulled out and Northam was called upon to replace him. However, the 42-year-old’s career has since focused on the cinema, with attention-grabbing turns in 2001’s “Enigma” and “Gosford Park.” This year will see the release of his latest screener, the golf flick “Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius,” in which he plays opposite Jim Caviezel.

The Donmar’s Old Times will begin previews July 1 and open July 7. Gina McKee will play Kate opposite Northam’s Deeley. The third lead has yet to be confirmed. William Dudley is to design the set.

The play will be followed in September 2004 by Euripides’ Hecuba, starring Claire Higgins. A new version of the play will be supplied by Frank McGuiness, and Jonathan Kent will direct. Rarely performed, there will be two British productions of Hecuba in quick succession, as the Royal Shakespeare Company has also scheduled a staging with Vanessa Redgrave.

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