British playwright Pinter dies

Vocal critic of the Iraq war won the 2005 Nobel Prize for his chilling masterpieces.

    Pinter had been one of theatre's biggest names for nearly half a century [AFP]

    Pinter's work influenced a generation of British dramatists, defined the "kitchen sink" drama and introduced a new word to the English language.

    "Pinteresque" describes painfully taut silences peppered with threats or half-stated meanings.

    Critics dubbed Pinter's chilling masterpieces "the theatre of insecurity".

    The son of a working-class Jewish tailor gave little help to audiences struggling to unravel his plays.

    "There are no hard distinctions between what is real and unreal," he said.

    Theatre's face changed

    From 1958 to 1978 a flurry of Pinter plays changed the face of British theatre.

    Then silence fell for 15 years until the London production of his next full-length play, Moonlight.

    In later life Pinter became almost as well known for his political activism as for his art, campaigning for human rights and nuclear disarmament and speaking out against Western foreign policy.

    "The crimes of the US throughout the world have been sytematic, constant, clinical, remorseless and fully documented but nobody talks about them," he said.

    Pinter also carved out a distinguished career as a screenwriter with hits such as The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Servant.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".