6 Pages

Acting Pinter

Harold Pinter, along with Athol Fugard, Wallace Shawn, and others, is both a playwright and a professional actor. It was as an actor with a provincial repertory company (in 1957) that he discovered his talent for playwriting, with his first play, The Room. For many years after that, as he concentrated on writing, his acting was dormant, but he retained his love for the profession--and his admiration for actors. Increasingly in recent years he has been a performer both on stage and in films, while continuing to work as a director. There is a close connection between Pinter's writing and acting, both in the kind of roles he has chosen to do and in his approach to performance. As a writer, he is masterly at demonstrating the shifting balance of power that can rule one's daily life, and, in Peter Hall's phrase, the use of "words as weapons." Similarly, as an actor, he has an instinctive ability to convey the domination of one character over another and to pose a threat of violence.