“Bringing Back the Essential Meaning of the Theatre”: Harold Pinter and the Belarus Free Theatre
Keywords:Belarus Free Theatre, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard
The Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 by Belarusian playwright and journalist Nikolai Khalezin and theatre producer Natalia Koliada. It is a dissident company which opposes the totalitarian regime of Lukashenko; therefore, in Belarus it must work underground. In 2005 the Belarus Free Theatre invited Tom Stoppard to Minsk. During his visit he warmly suggested that they stage Pinter’s plays: “It seems to me it’s yours.” After working on Pinter’s plays, they eventually came up with an original production: Being Harold Pinter.
In my essay I delineate how, in Being Harold Pinter, Pinter’s works are shown under the reinvigorating new light of an urgent political theatre. I also discuss how the Belarus Free Theatre found a symbolic, essential and critical artistic language by which, “they are bringing back the essence meaning of the theatre,” as Pinter remarked.
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