Kristin Scott Thomas, 52 and Lia Williams, 48 are about to embark on an unusual acting challenge, sharing the two female roles in Harold Pinter’s play Old Times. It’s the first time that a Pinter play has been performed at the Comedy Theatre since it was re-named after the famous playwright and Kristin and Lia are learning both roles, whilst getting themselves ready to play the roles of either Kate or Anna.

The actresses will swap roles after every three performances and also on the toss of a coin, one night a week. “There are two brains working on the same part. I absorb everything Lia does and take note. You’re both pinching each other’s ideas. It’s very exciting. I love the dynamic between the women — female friendship and love, the way one tries to steal the other one’s life.” Williams is clearly relishing the challenge and went on telling the Evening Standard “It’s terrifying but thrilling at the same time and such a good acting challenge, The normal rehearsal process is building up little ideas and moments till you have a performance. But we would do that and then they would swap and my little moments would no longer apply.”

The play opened last night and was a hit with the audience; Sarah Brown, 23, of East Dulwich, said “I want to see it again with the women’s roles swapped around.” 

Kristin Scott Thomas

The actress, Kristin Scott Thomas, currently starring in Old Times