Oct 14, 2005

HP sores

An entirely suitable (and therefore justified) pause from me of late that was clearly (clearly) in celebration of the 75th birthday of playwright Harold Pinter.

Although it seems that not everyone is on the same page about this particular 'event'

In Dublin they're going buck wild over the old man, screaming his name from the rooftops and holding whole festivals of theatre in his honour.

At the same time those venerable Europeans who head up the Nobel prize for literature have just gifted Pinter with the $1.3 million award, describing him as 'the foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century'.

In fact the man's name echoes throughout the continent.

And in Britain itself, his home nation, his own land, the site of his most memorable productions?


Why are we not carrying him aloft like so many gaudy sporting events, dangling him alongside the Olympic rings as decoration on the great Christmas Tree that is this fine nation?

I'd like to imagine that its out of respect for the personal space of this most private of men, but I think it probably has more to do with the dire British attitude to anyone that shows an interest in politics. The sarcastically arched eyebrows and knowing smirks that slither from the cracks in peoples faces at the merest hint of political earnestness.

We could manage Pinter in the old days, when he talked of psychological realism and the hidden tug of war buried in everyday language, but when he began to mention politics, even (gasp) write overtly political plays, he was shuffled off to one side like a grandfather who'd just wet himself in public.

We like our theatre old and our national treasures mindless.

Jimmy Saville and Seb Coe can fuck right off.

Give me Harold any day of the week.

1 comment:

Andrew Field said...
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