Pendle Borderline Theatre Company taking on darkly funny Harold Pinter play

Yvonne Bolton, Richard Holley and Lesley Playfer who are starring in Harold Pinter's Old Times at The Muni in Colne. (s)
Yvonne Bolton, Richard Holley and Lesley Playfer who are starring in Harold Pinter's Old Times at The Muni in Colne. (s)
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Remembering the past is a dangerous game for three friends in this puzzling show by the winner of a Nobel Laureate for Literature.

Following their acclaimed productions of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming and Birthday Party, Pendle Borderline Theatre Company are back on stage with another of his modern classics.

Next week a trio of formidable actors will bring to life the playwright’s comical yet ominous play Old Times at The Muni in Colne.

And as director Richard MacSween said, the rendition promises to be a reminder of Pinter’s unique qualities.

Yvonne Bolton, who plays Anna, added: “Pinter intrigues, amuses and entertains – and Old Times is no exception to that.”

Set in a farmhouse, the production takes us through an intriguing evening filled with dangerous undertones when Kate rekindles her friendship with former flatmate Anna, who she hasn’t seen for more than 20 years.

Darkness lurks beneath the surface of the taut and witty conversations of Kate, her husband Deeley (a successful film-maker) and Anna, as the two women reminisce on concerts and other bohemian adventures shared together while young and living in London.

And as the brandy flows, the trio discover their memories of their past lives don’t match up.

Lesley Playfer is taking on the role of Kate.

She said: “I was really drawn to the enigmatic nature of Kate. She’s present all the time and often the focus of attention but says very little for the most part.

“The challenge has been to work out what her thoughts and feeling are.”

Another challenge for the actors is working out how to connect the play’s elusive ideas about memory and perception to the audience in actual performance, director Richard added.

Yvonne said: “I’m looking forward to engaging with my fellow actors and the audience with words and more.”

The cast is loving rehearsals, Richard said, but the relationship between Anna, Kate and Deeley remains something of a mystery even to the performers and production team, making for an intriguing tale that will keep audiences guessing.

“One of the great things about Pinter is you’re never quite sure what the goals of his characters are,” he added.

“What is this man trying to do to that woman? Why?

“Is that threat a joke or for real?”

No doubt the beauty of this production is the many layers which make it up, meaning each audience can decide for themselves what it is all about.

“I will be really interested to hear what the audience have to say about Kate,” Lesley said, “and see if their theories coincide with mine!”

Completing the cast is Richard Holley as Deeley.

For additional information about events, theatre shows and music concerts at The Muni, please visit https://www.themuni.co.uk.

To find out more about Old Times, search for Pendle Borderline Theatre Company on Facebook or visit https://www.pendleborderline.co.uk/

Performances run from Wednesday to Saturday, at 7-30pm nightly. Doors open at 6-45pm.

Tickets: www.themuni.co.uk; 01282 661234; adult £7 in advance or £9 on the door.