RICHARD STEMP 
   
  Theatre  
Old Times
By Harold Pinter


London Classic Theatre
Tour of Britain and Ireland
28 March - 2 July 2006
Directed by Michael Cabot

This was my second Pinter - professionally at least (I did a lot as a student) - and my third tour with London Classic: I've been appointed an 'Associate Artist' as a result. It was also a real challenge. It is perhaps Pinter's least known play, and some would say, his most obscure. The story is not linear, with time and place apparently changing without any indication. But never have I had such a varied response from an audience, from complete and utter silence and concentration to uncontrolled, uproarious laughter. The comments were always positive, even if occasionally baffled, and never have audiences been so desperate to discuss a play afterwards: more please!

"Richard Stemp and Julie Hales' chemistry was tangible and put the audience on the edge of their seat. An old hand with Pinter, Stemp's timing was impeccable and had the audience in stitches."
— Lucy Sutcliffe, This is Lancashire

"Pinter is not easy to perform. It demands great energy, a precision of speech and an absence of unnecessary gesture. The director of London Classic Theatre, Michael Cabot, has drawn out of his cast of three, a tight, intelligent and moving interpretation of this very important play. Julie Hale and Richard Stemp are excellent as the husband and friend, catching the menace of the piece and never overdoing Pinter's pauses."
— Peter Lewis, Hexham Courant

"The rather youthful cast interact impressively within the intimacy of the Weston Studio, always projecting more than they say. Julie Hale captures most tellingly the sensuality of the enigmatic Anna, well matched by Richard Stemp as filmmaker Deeley, increasingly desperate to establish himself as part of the two women's lives together 20 years before. Their verbal fencing about the bath routines of Kate, a fascinatingly off-the-wall portrayal by Jackie Drew, proves a real highlight, as amusing as it is sensual."
—Jon Holliday, The Stage

"As with most Pinter plays words are the skillful weapons that the characters wield, but silence is their most deadly tool. The opening tension created by actors Hale, Drew and Stemp is unbearable to watch. As a member of the audience it is almost tempting to jump in and say something just to break the claustrophobic, intrusive feelings the quiet brings."
— Claire Hill, Western Mail

"Jackie Drew is hypnotically laconic as Kate, whose early-life potential has evaporated in marriage. Her husband, domineering, self-deluding and emotionally vulnerable, is portrayed with meticulous power by Richard Stemp."
— Arthur Duncan, Somerset County Gazette



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