Playwright and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter has succeeded Labour politician Peter Mandelson as president of the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Mandelson has given up the role after his surprise move to rejoin the cabinet meant that he no longer had enough time to dedicate to the position. Previous presidents have included Judi Dench and Laurence Olivier.
Pinter commented: “I was a student at Central in 1950-51. I enjoyed my time there very much and I am delighted to become president of a remarkable institution.”
Pinter’s plays include The Homecoming, The Caretaker and The Birthday Party. He has written 29 works for the stage and 26 for the screen. An actor himself, his most recent performance was in a staging of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Royal Court in 2006. A revival of his 1975 work No Man’s Land has just opened in the West End.