Chiswick Book Festival Celebrates 'Pinter at 90'

Another chances to see the most popular sessions from this year's event

Antonia Fraser at the Chiswick Book Festival
Antonia Fraser at the Chiswick Book Festival

The Chiswick Book Festival has launched an autumn season of events, giving readers all over the world another chance to enjoy their favourite sessions or catch up with those they missed.

The first event, ‘Harold Pinter at 90: From Chiswick & The Caretaker to the Nobel Prize’, marks what would have been the playwright’s 90th birthday this Saturday, (10 October).

It is also 60 years since the opening of The Caretaker, the play which made his name and was written in Chiswick. And in November, it will be 15 years since Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – one of two Chiswick writers to have been so honoured.

Every Saturday between now and Christmas, ‘Chiswick Book Festival Encore’ will showcase favourite events, recommended by readers who have made Festival donations or completed its feedback survey. The events will be highlighted on the Festival’s social media pages and the ‘Festival Encore’ page.

For the first event, the Festival invited the writers Lady Antonia Fraser, who shared her life with Harold Pinter for 33 years, and Michael Billington, his biographer, to reflect on the playwright’s life and work. They spoke to the Festival director, Torin Douglas, in St Michael & All Angels Church, filmed by Chiswickbuzz without an audience.

The 1st floor flat at 373 Chiswick High Road where Harold Pinter wrote The CaretakerThe 1st floor flat at 373 Chiswick High Road where Harold Pinter wrote The Caretaker

In the interview, they discuss Pinter’s plays, screenplays and Chiswick links; his life with Antonia Fraser; how Michael Billington came to write his biography; Pinter’s love of cricket and politics; the real story behind Betrayal; the night he accepted the Nobel Prize; how the play he wrote in Chiswick catapulted him to fame and fortune – and why Lady Antonia thinks his screenplays have been overshadowed by his plays.

You can read more and watch the interview on YouTube.

Festival director Torin Douglas said: “Many readers have told us how much they’ve enjoyed the online Festival events – but that they haven’t caught up with everything they meant to. We hope that by showcasing the videos and podcasts recommended by our audience, more people will enjoy them in weeks to come – and that some will make donations to the Festival charities.”

Those who wish to make donations can do so via DonorBox.

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October 11, 2020