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Mouthful of ashes

Harold Pinter's plays still enjoy an aura of profundity. But, says Herb Greer, it is time the critics recognise them for what they really are-delicately crafted tosh

By Herb Greer   November 1996

The trouble with Harold Pinter is his public image: the insufferably pompous, sanctimonious, philistine, humourless, politically sciolistic, intellectually suburban, ex-adulterer, who writes pretentious and empty rubbish which complaisant companies such as the Royal Court encourage him to foist on audiences, for whom he appears to have total contempt.

I am assured by a mutual acquaintance that the real Harold Pinter is a warm, amusing, bright, compassionate man with a delightful sense of humour, who creates profound works for the theatre. For all I know this is the truth, but Pinter does not help himself with remarks about “shit-stained centuries of…

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