THOSE WITHOUT A COUNTRY WILL SPEAK
A staged reading of “Being Harold Pinter” was recently presented at theLos AngelesTheatreCenter, downtownL.A., headlined by the actors James Cromwell and Ed Harris, with a supporting cast last week in support of the Belarus Free Theatre under the auspices of the Global Theatre Project with Bari Hochwald, the president and artistic director who helms this presentation.
For those unfamiliar with the dynamics of this theatrical work,Belarusis a country in Europe characterized by some as being the last dictatorship inEurope. Over a thousand people have been beaten, including some from the Free Theatre and were thrown in jail. It is reported to be a country that has brutally attacked any vestige of free speech and the Belarus Free Theatre is an out growth of this regime which has literally travelled the world to put out the message, even if those within the group cannot go back without fear of being imprisoned. Upon fleeing their country, they were able to perform with the Under the Radar Festival inNew York City. Their message is now being presented at the Los Angeles Theatre with the collected words of Harold Pinter for all those who will come to hear their message.
Harold Printer from early on has been an impassioned voice in favor of human and artistic freedom. This is reflected in his plays from the very beginning, such as “The Homecoming” and “Ashes to Ashes. A collection of his writings has been included in this show to reflect just what is going on inBelarus. For the overall body of his works and inclusive of what is in this show he was awarded the Nobel Prize a number of years ago.
The evening started with an introduction by Amnesty International as a way of giving a background of what was to follow. As the show begins we realize that much of what is being said is taken from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech and reveals his increasingly direct political involvement as a dramatist. This work as it is performed vividly points out Pinter’s ability to inspire, illuminate and give voice to what otherwise would have been a deeply felt but powerless group of tortured individuals.
An evening well spent, noted for it’s virtues beyond it’s relevance.