Danny Dyer and Martin Freeman to star in Harold Pinter play

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Danny Dyer (L) will co-star alongside Martin Freeman in Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter

EastEnders’ Danny Dyer will share a stage with Sherlock’s Martin Freeman for a season celebrating Harold Pinter.

All 20 of the playwright’s one-act plays are to be performed together for the first time to mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

An all-star cast, including Jane Horrocks, Tamsin Greig and David Suchet will be led by director Jamie Lloyd.

Lloyd, who is also co-producing, said it is “an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate the legacy of an icon”.

The Pinter and Pinter season will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre for 24 weeks from September.

Dyer, who plays Mick Carter in EastEnders, will feature in the two closing productions from January 2019 – staring alongside Freeman in The Dumb Waiter before appearing in A Slight Ache.

Lloyd will direct 11 plays across the season, including double bills of The Lover and The Collection.

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Harold Pinter is recognised as one of the most influential writers, directors and playwrights of the 20th Century

Other directors include Patrick Marber, Lyndsey Turner and Ed Stambollouian.

Notable plays in the season include:

  • Landscape and a Kind of Alaska (Jamie Lloyd): Tasmin Greig will star as Deborah – a women suspended between conscious and unconscious worlds
  • The Room, Family Voices and Victoria Station (Patrick Marber): The triple bill, covering xenophobia and expression, will feature Jane Harrocks, Emma Naomi and Nicholas Woodesdon
  • Party Time and Celebration (Jamie Lloyd): The scathing and amusing attacks on materialism and the super-rich will include Ron Cook, Celia Imrie, Tracy Ann Oberman and Abraham Popoola

The productions are part of the Pinter 10 partnership between the BFI, his estate and Faber and Faber, to celebrate the British playwright’s contributions to politics and culture.

Pinter is recognised as one of the most influential writers, directors and playwrights of the 20th Century – receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.

He also won the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement.

He wrote more than 30 plays including The Caretaker and The Birthday Party. His film scripts include The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

The playwright died of cancer on Christmas Eve in 2008.

Unlikely friendship

Dyer first met Pinter in 1999 when he played a small role in Celebration at London’s Almeida Theatre.,

Pinter subsequently asked him to appear in No Man’s Land at The National, and later cast him as Joey in his final play The Homecoming in 2008, released months before the playwright’s death.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2003, Dyer said he was “devastated” at the death.

“He was the only person who I feared but loved.

“He was a tyrant…but he could get away with it because he was so enchanting. He was a poet”.

Pinter’s widow, Antonia Fraser described the project as “a great adventure”, adding it was an “appropriate and thrilling” way to mark his death.

“I do have a wistful thought: if only Harold could be here and experience it himself,” she said.

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