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Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell and Lia Williams star in Old Times by Harold Pinter

Monday, 8 October 2012

Tickets go on sale today (9th October, 2012) for Harold Pinter’s enigmatic play Old Times.Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell and Lia Williams, Old Times is directed by Ian Rickson, designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Paul Groothuis and is now booking for a strictly limited season until 6th April, 2013.

Locked away in a secluded farmhouse, Kate, Deeley and Anna reminisce about their early days together in London but, with conflicting memories and underlying sexual tensions, the past suddenly feels vividly present.

Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams will alternate the roles of Kate and Anna, with Rufus Sewell playing Deeley. A detailed performance schedule will shortly be available on the show’s website.

Old Times will be the first of Pinter’s plays to be performed in the newly renamed Harold Pinter Theatre. Lady Antonia Fraser, the wife of the late and much celebrated Nobel Prize-winning playwright, has said “With this production in this theatre, it’s a dream come true.”Old Times first played at London’s Aldwych Theatre on June 1st, 1971, starring Colin Blakely, Dorothy Tutin and Vivien Merchant and was directed by Peter Hall.

Ian Rickson and Kristin Scott Thomas have previously worked together on the critically-acclaimed productions of Pinter’s Betrayal and Chekhov’s The Seagull. Prior to Betrayal Rickson had also directed Pinter’s The Hothouse at the National Theatre and in 2006 directed Harold Pinter himself in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, which was recorded for film by BBC4.

Old Times marks the fifth Pinter play that Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP) has produced in the West End in recent years, succeeding Celebration, The Dumb Waiter, No Man’s Land and Betrayal.

As with all SFP productions there will be a range of accessible seat prices, which will include over one hundred £10 seats for every performance, across all levels, many bookable in advance.

Kristin Scott Thomas (Kate/Anna) was last on stage playing Emma in Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre (then the Comedy Theatre). She also starred as Arkadina in the celebrated production of The Seagull at the Royal Court Theatre, for which she won the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, reprising the role on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre the following year. Her other theatre credits include Jonathan Kent’s production of As You Desire Me and Michael Blakemore’s production of Three Sisters, both at the Playhouse Theatre in London. Her extensive film credits include Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Bel Ami, The Horse Whisperer, The English Patient, I Loved You So Long, Leaving, Tell No One, Gosford Park and Four Weddings and a Funeral, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress. She is currently filming Only God Forgives opposite Ryan Gosling and Invisible Woman opposite Ralph Fiennes, due for release next year. For television, Kristin’s credits include Body and Soul.

Rufus Sewell’s (Deeley) performance as Jan in Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll garnered him the Evening Standard, London Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards for Best Actor when it played in the West End, followed by Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Actor when the play transferred to Broadway. He also received an Olivier Award nomination for his role in another Tom Stoppard play, Arcadia (National Theatre), and other notable theatre credits include Making it Better (Hampstead Theatre / West End), Luther (National Theatre), Rat in the Skull (Royal Court), Macbeth (Queen’s Theatre) and Brian Friel’s Translations (on Broadway). Rufus’s film work includes Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Illusionist, The Holiday, The Legend of Zorro, A Knight’s Tale, Dark City and Carrington; and he has won acclaim for leading roles for television including Zen, Pillars of the Earth, Eleventh Hour, John Adams, The Taming of the Shrew, Charles II, Middlemarch and Cold Comfort Farm. Rufus has four films set for release: All Things to All Men, The Occult, I’ll Follow You Down and the groundbreaking Hotel Noir; and he also stars in the upcoming BBC drama, Restless.

Lia Williams(Anna/Kate) first performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre, then the Comedy Theatre, as Ruth in Pinter’s The Homecoming with Ian Holm. Other Pinter plays include; The Room, Celebration (Almeida / New York), The Lover/The Collection (Donmar Warehouse) and The Hothouse (National Theatre, directed by Ian Rickson). Harold Pinter directed Lia in Oleanna (Royal Court / West End) with David Suchet. Other theatre work includes Hannah Jarvis in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia on Broadway, David Hare's Skylight with Michael Gambon on Broadway, the National Theatre and West End (Olivier & Tony Nominated for Best Actress), Alan Ayckbourn's The Revengers' Comedies (Critics Circle-winner and Olivier Nominated for Best Comedy performance), Absurd Person Singular (West End), As You Like It (RSC), Earthquakes in London (National Theatre), My Child (Royal Court), Eccentricities of a Nightingale (Gate Theatre, Dublin / Best Actress Award). TV includes; Coup, Doc Martin, May 33rd (BAFTA Nominated), The Russian Bride (FIPA Best Actress), Shot Through the Heart, Mr Wroe's Virgins and Seaforth. Film includes; Michael Winner's Dirty Weekend, The King is Alive and Firelight. Radio includes; TS Elliot's Four Quartets and The Waste Land, Faith Healer and The Lady from the Sea. Film directorial credits include three short films; The Stronger (BAFTA nominated and winner Raindance), Feathers and Dog Alone. Theatre directorial credits include; The Match Box (Liverpool Playhouse / Tricycle, London). Lia is soon to direct a screenplay for the BBC and is developing a documentary about the First Nations Batchewana people in Ontario, Canada.

Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He was married to Antonia Fraser, with whom he lived from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008. He wrote twenty-nine plays including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, and Betrayal, twenty-one screenplays including The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant's Woman and Sleuth, and directed twenty-seven theatre productions, including James Joyce's Exiles, David Mamet's Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray and many of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at the Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000.

In 2005 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Other awards include the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Molière D'Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. He received honorary degrees from eighteen universities.

Ian Rickson was Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, during which time he directed Krapp’s Last Tape, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (also in the West End), Dublin Carol, The Weir (also West End and Broadway), The Lights, Pale Horse and Mojo (also at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre), Ashes & Sand, Some Voices and Killers. His last production for the Royal Court, The Seagull, transferred to Broadway. Other theatre includes Hamlet (Young Vic), Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End and Broadway), Betrayal (Comedy Theatre), The Children’s Hour (Comedy Theatre), The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still (NT), Parlour Song (Almeida), Hedda Gabler (Roundabout Theatre, New York), The House of Yes (Gate) and Me & My Friend (Chichester Festival Theatre). His film credits include Fallout, Krapp’s Last Tape and The Clear Road Ahead.

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