Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter to reopen Hampstead Theatre
- Credit: Archant
The dark comic tale of two bantering hitmen was due to be performed as part of Hampstead’s 60th anniversary season in March, and will be recast to bring back live performance to the Eton Avenue venue
Harold Pinter’s tense two-hander The Dumb Waiter was due to run in March as part of Hampstead Theatre’s 60th anniversary season.
But the celebrations were brought to a juddering halt before it could open.
Now, the iconic play about two bantering hit-men awaiting instructions for their next kill will be the first live work performed in the reopened theatre.
The cast will be announced in the coming weeks, but bookings have gone live for Alice Hamilton’s production, which will play to a reduced capacity of socially distanced audiences under strict Covid secure methods.
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They include the theatre’s state of the art ventilation system refreshing the auditorium and foyer air every four minutes and 45 seconds with outdoor air.
Artistic director Roxana Silbert said full refunds or credit vouchers would be offered if the four week run was postponed.
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“As Hampstead Theatre starts to find our feet in this ‘new normal’, we are very excited to be able to present Alice Hamilton’s 60th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiter. When we closed the building on 16 March the set was on the stage and the show was about to open. At that point, we could not have envisaged how Pinter’s brilliant play of two men stuck in a room - their sharp humour, ennui, tensions, - would come to feel so extraordinarily fresh and resonant. We are thrilled at the prospect of welcoming our artists and audiences back into the building and galvanised by the prospect of sharing the communal experience which is unique to live theatre.”
Performed in January 1960, Pinter’s early play was part of the opening season for James Roose-Evans’ Hampstead Theatre Club. Directed by Roose-Evans in the Moreland Hall, Holly Bush Vale, the successful production helped to cement the playwright’s status as an emerging talent and theatre club’s reputation for original, entertaining British theatre.
The Dumb Waiter runs November 18 to December 19 at Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue NW3. www.hampsteadtheatre.com/