a curious invitation last tuesday society
a curious invitation robert carlyles house last tuesday society national trust london
My life with Harold Pinter with Antonia Fraser


Antonia Fraser in conversation with Benedict Nightingale

Tuesday 13th September 2016
Doors open at 6:30 pm, Talk commences at 7:00 pm

When Antonia Fraser met Harold Pinter she was a celebrated biographer and he was Britain's finest playwright. Both were already married - Pinter to the actress Vivien Merchant and Fraser to the politician Hugh Fraser - but their union seemed inevitable from the moment they met: 'I would have found you somehow', Pinter told Fraser. Their relationship flourished until Pinter's death on Christmas Eve 2008 and was a source of delight and inspiration to them both until the very end.

Join Times theatre critic, Benedict Nightingale in conversation with Antonia Fraser as they discuss modern literature's most celebrated and enduring marriage with fascinating glimpses into Pinter and Fraser's creativity and their illustrious circle of friends from the literary, political and theatrical world.

Antonia Fraser
Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. The prizes she has won include the Wolfson Award for History and the Norton Medlicott Medal of the Historical Association. She has been President of English PEN, chairman of the Society of Authors, and chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Antonia Fraser was made DBE in 2011 for services to literature. She was married to Harold Pinter who died in 2008. Her previous books include Mary Queen of Scots, Cromwell: Our Chief of Men, King Charles II, The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Weaker Vessel, Warrior Queens, Love and Louis XIV, and most recently Perilous Question:The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832. Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter was published in 2010. She lives in London and has six children and eighteen grandchildren.

Benedict Nightingale
Nightingale was the Guardian's northern theatre critic, the New Statesman's theatre critic, the New York Times Sunday theatre critic and, from 1990 to 2010, the Times chief theatre critic during a period widely acknowledged to be as productive and exciting as any in theatrical history.

Tickets £25 including a glass of prosecco. Please click here to buy.


5th April 2016
Geoffrey Marsh on David Bowie

3rd May 2016
Peter Berthoud on London Spectaculars -
the City's Forgotten Theatrical Pleasures

14th June 2016
Brian Robinson on Laurence Olivier

12th July 2016
Jude Kelly on Joan Littlewood

19th September 2016
Antonia Fraser on Harold Pinter

11th October 2016
Neil McKenna on Oscar Wilde - the Dramatist

8th November 2016
Ian Kelly on Samuel Foote

In 1863, a French wine merchant called Daniel Nicholas Thévenon and his wife arrived in England in a bid to escape the clutches of creditors in Paris. So began a story that grew out of bankruptcy and culminated in the creation of Regent Street’s Café Royal: a truly remarkable and original establishment with what was considered at one point to have the greatest wine cellar in the world and was reputed for its excellent hospitality, dining and entertainment. 

Frequented by writers and artists such as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the conversations, inspirations and discussions at ‘The Café’ were profound. Arthur Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling, W B Yeats, Walter Sickert and James McNeill Whistler were all patrons. Distinguished figures such as Winston Churchill, Augustus John, D H Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Noël Coward, Jacob Epstein and Graham Greene were also often seen.