The inaugural conference of Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies

Staging Pinter: Networks, Collaborators, Legacies

The inaugural conference of Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies

 A two-day international conference at the University of Birmingham, UK

April 6-7 2018

Keynote Speaker: Steve Waters, playwright

Further speakers and guests to be announced

Call for Papers

The life and works of Harold Pinter, a pivotal figure in late twentieth-century British theatre, have been widely discussed, debated, and celebrated internationally. This engagement with Pinter has also been reflected in a worldwide ‘Pinter Industry’ in scholarship. In contrast to the focus of much critical work directly on Pinter’s theatrical outputs, ‘Staging Pinter: Networks, Collaborators, Legacies’ invites scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines to explore a broader series of networks that Pinter produced and engaged with, both as an artist and as a citizen. How do these networks serve to offer us insight into his activity and influence while alive, and how do they continue to reverberate to define his legacy?

‘Networks’ can be understood as an exchange of ideas or practices, or as a system of interconnected people, places, or works. Over five decades, Pinter’s work has traversed various forms and genres across theatre, film, television and radio drama, poetry, prose and political activism. Pinter’s work as an actor and director has also intersected with the work of other writers and artists across a series of venues and within different forms of media. What does an emphasis on the circulation of Pinter’s theatrical work reveal about key productions or texts? How can we better understand Pinter’s practice(s) through the networks of collaboration he established during his lifetime? By tracing the documentation and dissemination of Pinter’s life and work across archival, digital, scholarly, and performance networks, what new perspectives become possible?

This conference is the first in a series of academic and public events in connection with the Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies project. As such, we anticipate publishing either an edited collection or special issue based on the submissions to this conference. As well as work focused specifically on Pinter, we would welcome submissions exploring the work of other playwrights and theatre makers who may have been influenced by Pinter’s work and encourage submissions from scholars at all stages of their careers.

While this conference focuses primarily on Pinter’s work for the stage and his theatrical legacy, there will be further opportunities to explore Pinter’s work specifically for television, film, and radio at the University of Reading in September in 2018 and later at the University of Leeds in 2019 to mark the conclusion of the project. We therefore look forward to welcoming scholars and practitioners to be a part of an ongoing, international conversation during the course of this project (please see the project description below for more details).

 Possible Topics

Drawing on the project’s central research questions and objectives concerning patterns across productions of Pinter’s works, we invite 20 minute papers on all aspects of Pinter’s works for the stage, with an emphasis on the various figures, sites, and institutions involved in their production. Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Spatial Networks such as key performance sites (the Royal Shakespeare Company or the National Theatre, for example) that Pinter’s work has occupied; touring practices or specific productions on tour
  • Collaborations with other writers, directors, and performers across Pinter’s career
  • Institutional Legacies exploring this impact of Pinter’s work on specific theatres, organisations, theatrical companies, or curriculum(s)
  • Global Networks such as international stagings, reception, or adaptation of Pinter’s work(s); Pinter in translation
  • Media Networks exploring how Pinter’s theatrical work interconnects with his work across film, television, and radio; the role of the media in the consolidation and dissemination of Pinter’s theatrical work and reputation
  • Political Networks and Social Activism exploring instances across Pinter’s career from the political drama of the 1950s and 1960s to contemporary politics
  • Digital/Archival Networks addressing the archiving and documentation of Pinter’s life and work; the online presence and dissemination of Pinter as a cultural figure
  • Stylistic and Aesthetic Legacies in the work of other theatre makers or in theatrical contexts

Deadline for Abstracts: Friday 24th November 2017

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words and a brief biography to both Professor Graham Saunders (G.J.Saunders@bham.ac.uk) and Dr Catriona Fallow (c.d.fallow@bham.ac.uk).

The Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies Project

 Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies is led by Dr Mark Taylor-Batty from the School of English at the University of Leeds, with co-investigators Professor Jonathan Bignell (Reading) and Professor Graham Saunders (Birmingham). The project explores what performance aesthetics have been attached to Pinter’s work over the course of his career and what impact his work has had on the broader palette of British performance (stage and screen) history since the late 1950s.

A key outcome of the project will be the construction of a comprehensive, publically accessible database of professional UK productions (and broadcasts and film releases), which will be central to both mapping histories and scrutinising possible patterns across productions.

By generating new narratives of Pinter’s significance, which may validate or challenge those that sustain current scholarship or traditional scholarly perspectives, the project will offer a focus for developments in Pinter scholarship, and more broadly in theatre studies.

To learn more about the project, visit: https://pinterlegacies.com

 

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The Birthday Party – 60th anniversary production

A production of Pinter’s The Birthday Party at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, 60 years after its less than successful premier at the Lyric Hammersmith in 1958, has been announced. Ian Rickson, who directed Pinter in Krapp’s Last Tape in 2006, is in the director’s seat, and the cast so far announced at Toby Jones (Stanley) Zoë Wanamaker as Meg and Stephen Mangan as Goldberg. Tickets went on sale at midday yesterday. http://www.thebirthdayparty.london/

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The Pinter Histories and Legacies project is live

The UK project, Pinter Histories and Legacies: The Impact of Harold Pinter’s Work on the Development of British Stage and Screen, which is funded by a million pound grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has been up and running since January this year, but is beginning now to gain momentum with the employment of four research fellows. Led by Mark Taylor-Batty at the University of Leeds, the project now has a website at www.pinterlegacies.com, a twitter feed @pinterlegacies, and those who use Facebook can ‘like’ their page at https://www.facebook.com/pinterlegacies/ to receive updates in their streams. The core of the project will involve the construction of a database of every professional production, broadcast or screening of a Pinter work in the UK since 1957.

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The latest, and the next Pinter Review

We’re delighted to see the arrival of the first of our new Harold Pinter Review journal editions. See our journal page for how you might receive your own, or contribute to the next one.

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NT Live Broadcast of No Man’s Land

On 15 December, the National theatre will broadcast live to cinemas a production of Pinter’s No Man’s Land, starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Details are available here, including an option to check which local cinemas are participating:
http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/ntlout19-no-man-s-land

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AHRC funded Pinter project

HAROLD PINTER: HISTORIES AND LEGACIES
The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council has just awarded funds for a million-pound research project on the work of Harold Pinter.  The project will identify and assess every professional production in the UK of Pinter’s plays between 1957 and 2017, as well as his output on television, radio and film.

Led by Dr Mark Taylor-Batty (Workshop Theatre, University of Leeds), with co-investigators Professor Jonathan Bignell (University of Reading) and Professor Graham Saunders (University of Birmingham), and a team of full-time researchers and technical experts, the project will create a public database drawing on the Pinter archive at the British Library and other sources such as the BBC Written Archives and theatre and personal archives. The research will facilitate the construction of new appreciations of how Pinter’s work across media forms his distinctive voice, and the impact that his output has had.

Knowledge and information will be shared via website, blog, conference and published work, and also innovative formats of eBook, iBook and proposals for an interactive app concept. In 2018, the tenth anniversary of Pinter’s death, the British Film Institute (BFI) will present a curated season of screenings at BFI Southbank, in collaboration with the project team, to mark Pinter’s contribution to British screen culture. New investigations into his long-standing creative relationships with directors and performers will offer important insight into his impact upon contemporary practice on stage and screen.
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Old Times coming to New York City

International director, composer and Pulitzer Prize-nominee Christopher Martin (also Founding Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company where he directed nearly 100 productions) is set to direct a NYC revival of the Harold Pinter play OLD TIMES which will run November 25th thru December 11th at the ‘White Space’ at Alchemical Theatre Laboratory (104 West 14 St.).
Martin’s deliberately spare interpretation of the suspenseful Pinter drama will feature an international cast and comes 45 years after it was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre in London in 1971 (which Martin saw). He received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his translation of the Heiner Müller text for Robert Wilson’s The Civil Wars.

In OLD TIMES, Anna visits her old friend, Kate, at the converted farmhouse she shares with her husband Deeley somewhere on the English coast. Anna has never met Deeley. Or has she? Twenty years have passed since the two women last saw one another, and rivalry between Anna and Deeley soon ignites a dangerous game of chess, the presumed prize being Kate. In this production, the setting is as minimalist as the language, in which silence plays an equal part. A large empty space with three windows and two armchairs; the dead leaves scattered across the floor are no more than the collective souvenirs of the past.

The cast is Philip O’Gorman from Ireland, Danielle Shimshoni from Israel & Katarina Vizina from Slovakia.

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CFP – MMLA November 2017

Call for Papers for the forthcoming MMLA in Cincinnati, OH, November 9-12 2017.

MMLA Drama Section CFP
Play and Passivism
In contradistinction to the MMLA General Theme, “Arts and Activism,” the Drama Caucus seeks papers on play and passivism in modern and contemporary drama.  Papers might address such topics as pointlessness, lethargy, apathy, ennui, and incompetence.   We especially welcome proposals that promise innovative or unconventional presentational modes.  350-word abstracts are due 1 April 2017 to Matthew Bowman, bowma9@lcc.edu.
MMLA Pinter Session CFP
Pinter Modalities
The International Harold Pinter society seeks papers on Pinter Modalities.  Papers might address such topics as presence and absence, sound, visuals, space, the body as sign, movement, and narrative.  We especially welcome proposals that promise innovative or unconventional presentational modes.  350-word abstracts are due 1 April 2017 to Ann C. Hall, ann.hall@louisville.edu.
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Harold Pinter Review 2018

The Harold Pinter Review is seeking journal articles for its 2018 issue. Essays on Pinter are welcome, but we would like to encourage essays on other modern and contemporary dramatists for this issue, as well.  For more information, contact ann.hall@louisville.edu.  To submit an article for review, please use the Penn State Press Editorial Manager: http://www.editorialmanager.com/hpr/default.aspx

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Join the Harold Pinter Society – contribute to the journal

The Harold Pinter society is open again to new members, and plans are in place now to publish new volumes of the journal.

The International Harold Pinter Society (IHPS) is dedicated to studying the various art forms of Harold Pinter and other contemporary playwrights. Over the past few years, the IHPS has not collected dues because the journal, The Pinter Review, was not being published. Recently, however, IHPS found support for the journal through Penn State University Press and funding from the University of Louisville.

We hope you will join us and participate in the International Harold Pinter Society for the 2017 year when the next volume of The Pinter Review will appear. For this “comeback” volume, we have solicited essays from Pinter scholars on the topic of Pinter and time. We are also soliciting essays and theatre and book reviews for the 2018 volume. Send queries regarding the journal to ann.hall@louisville.edu or normanl1@lcc.edu.

Download the announcement flyer to help spread the word.

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