Two of the country’s most exciting young stars, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox, will join Golden Globe, Olivier and Evening Standard Award winner Tom Hiddleston in The Jamie Lloyd Company production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 5 March for limited season until 1 June, directed by Jamie Lloyd. The production forms the culmination of the historic Pinter at the Pinter season.
With poetic precision, rich humour and an extraordinary emotional force, Betrayal charts a compelling seven-year romance, thrillingly captured in reverse chronological order. The complexities of the human heart are explored in this, “the greatest, and the most moving, of all Pinter’s plays” (The Daily Telegraph).
Zawe Ashton will play Emma. Like Pinter, Ashton was born in Hackney, London. Known for her roles in television sitcom Fresh Meat, the comedy series Not Safe for Work, Wanderlust and the forthcoming Velvet Buzzsaw, Zawe starred in The Jamie Lloyd Company production of Jean Genet’s The Maids at Trafalgar Studios and played the title role in Lloyd’s production of Salomé for Headlong.
Zawe Ashton said: ‘I’m so thrilled to be part of the journey into the heart of one of Harold Pinter’s most personal pieces of work. As a longtime collaborator of Jamie Lloyd, it’s so exciting to be rounding off such an epic season of Pinter’s work.’
Charlie Cox, who plays Jerry, is best known for the leading role in Daredevil for Marvel, Tristan Thorn in Stardust, Jonathan Hellyer Jones in The Theory of Everything and Owen Sleater in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. On stage, he appeared in the 2008 production of The Lover & The Collection, directed by Jamie Lloyd at the Comedy (now Harold Pinter) Theatre, the title role in The Prince of Homburg at the Donmar Warehouse and Nick Payne’s Incognito in New York.
Charlie Cox said: ‘I am so excited to be returning to the West End and, indeed, the Harold Pinter Theatre after over ten years, and to be collaborating once again with the brilliant Jamie Lloyd. It feels particularly fitting and special to be working with Jamie on another Pinter play, as our production of ‘The Lover and The Collection’ in 2008 was amongst the last projects that Harold himself was personally involved with.’
Pinter at the Pinter is the unprecedented season of Harold Pinter’s work, marking ten years since the Nobel Prize winner’s death. The season celebrates the most important playwright of the 20th century in the theatre that bears his name. Currently playing are the critically-acclaimed productions of Pinter Five and Pinter Six, starring Celia Imrie, John Simm, Jane Horrocks, and Rupert Graves, amongst others. Still to come is the unmissable comedic double-bill, A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter, which form Pinter Seven and star Danny Dyer, Martin Freeman, John Heffernan, and Gemma Whelan. Pinter Seven will play from January 31st for 27 performances only.
The Pinter at the Pinter season is presented by The Jamie Lloyd Company, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Ben Lowy Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions.
Zawe Ashton is one of the most unique British actresses working today with her diverse career spanning stage, television, and film. She will star in Dan Gilroy’s highly anticipated feature Velvet Buzzsaw opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and be released on Netflix on February 1, 2019. Most recently, Zawe was seen in the six-part BBC/Netflix co-production Wanderlust co-starring Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh. Also an accomplished writer, Penguin will be publishing Zawe’s first novel Character Breakdown in April 2019. Her other film and television credits include Guerilla, Nocturnal Animals, Fresh Meat and Not Safe For Work.
Charlie Cox was the lead in the Netflix/Marvel series, Daredevil. The show was a huge hit with critics and fans around the world. Charlie was most recently seen in King of Thieves, directed by James Marsh and starring Michael Caine and Michael Gambon.
In 2014, Charlie starred opposite Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in Working Title’s The Theory of Everything. Before that, he played the Irish enforcer Owen Sleater in the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. In 2016, Charlie starred in Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Nick Payne’s play, Incognito, for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award.
Tom Hiddleston returns to the London stage as Robert following his acclaimed Hamlet directed by Kenneth Branagh and his Evening Standard Award-winning performance in Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse in 2014.
His theatre credits include Hamlet, Coriolanus, Ivanov, Othello, Cymbeline, The Changeling. His film credits include Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok, Kong: Skull Island, I Saw The Light, High-Rise, Crimson Peak, Thor: The Dark World, Exhibition, Only Lovers Left Alive, Avengers, War Horse, The Deep Blue Sea, Thor, Archipelago, Unrelated. His television credits include The Night Manager, The Hollow Crown (Henry IV Parts I & II, Henry V), Wallander, Miss Austen Regrets, The Gathering Storm.
Harold Pinter was born in Hackney, London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pinter was lauded throughout his life as one of the greatest living playwrights, who had a revolutionary impact on how theatre was written and performed, and who it represented on stage. An establishment agitator who challenged injustice, he became as famous for his political interventions as for his writing later in his life.
His genius was recognised within his lifetime as a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, in addition to 18 other honorary degrees.
After working as an actor under the stage name David Baron, Pinter went on to be a theatrical playwright, director, screenwriter and actor.
He wrote his first play The Room in 1957 and from there 29 plays, including The Birthday Party, The Hothouse, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, Old Times, No Man’s Land, and Betrayal. Sketches include The Black and White, Request Stop, That’s your Trouble, Night, and Precisely. Pinter directed 27 theatre productions, including James Joyce’s Exiles, David Mamet’s Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray and scores of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at The Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000.
In film, he wrote 21 screenplays including The Pumpkin Eater, The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Sleuth.
He continued to act under his own name, on stage and screen. He last acted two years before his death in 2006, when he appeared in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Ian Rickson.