Roundabout Theatre Company Production of Harold Pinter Play
On September 17, 2015, Old Times began performances at the American Airlines Theatre, one of the two Broadway venues owned by the not-for-profit theatre institution, the Roundabout Theatre Company. The show will have its official opening night on October 6, 2015. This production is directed by Douglas Hodge and stars Clive Owen, Kelly Reilly, and Eve Best. The play, written by Harold Pinter, premiered on Broadway in November 1971, shortly after its June 1971 world premiere at the Aldwych Theatre in the West End produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Though many Pinter plays have been seen on Broadway since this time, including Butley, The Innocents, No Man’s Land, Otherwise Engaged, Betrayal, The Hothouse, The Caretaker, and The Homecoming, this is the first revival of Old Times on Broadway. It follows a recent West End revival, which was a different production by a different director, Ian Rickson, that took place at the recently renamed Harold Pinter Theatre in London (formerly the Comedy Theatre). In that production, the two female parts – Anna and Kate – were played on alternate nights by the two actresses portraying them – Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams. Though that choice was not made for this Broadway production, it sheds some light on the existential profundity at the heart of this great play by Harold Pinter.
Clive Owen is an actor well known for his screen roles for which he has won a Golden Globe Award and been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 2004 film Closer. He is presently starring in Steven Soderbergh’s television series The Knick on Cinemax, and he is also well known for his part in the 1998 film Croupier. He will be making his Broadway debut in this production of Old Times in the role of Deeley. As for his two co-stars, Kelly Reilly is also making her Broadway debut; she is well known for her role on the HBO television show True Detective. Eve Best, however, has been on Broadway twice before: in the 2007 production of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming in the role of Ruth, and also in the 2007 production of Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten in the role of Josie Hogan. In Old Times, Kelly Reilly plays Kate, and Eve Best plays Anna. The play rehearsed in London out of convenience for the creative team, as it is a very British play. Douglas Hodge, also a British director, has previously directed two Broadway shows: Cyrano de Bergerac and La Cage aux Folles. The music is composed by Thom Yorke of the band Radiohead.
A Married Couple and An Old Friend
In the play, Deeley and Kate are a married couple awaiting the arrival of Kate’s old friend, Anna. Time and again, the three individuals have different memories of the ways in which they first met, or interacted, in their past. As the play unfolds, it becomes clear that there was some sort of affair between Anna and Deeley in the past. Also, however, it becomes clear that nothing is quite as it might first seem. Since the play first premiered in 1971, it has left audiences stunned and moved. This production is sure to make an indelible impression on the 21st century audiences that are lucky enough to see it.