Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party is a full-length play that is one of the most performed and best-known plays in the world. The play, the second full-length play of Pinter’s, is classified as a comedy of menace. The play is staged in a boarding house. The house, rundown, is on the seaside where a little birthday party is taking place.
The night is going well until it turns into a nightmarish event thanks to two unexpected guests.
The Birthday Party is getting yet another revival, but this time, it takes place in the West End. The play will be held at a fitting venue: Harold Pinter Theatre. Shows begin in January 2018. The story revolves around Meg and Petey Boles.
The two are in the home with Stanley Webber until the two strangers come and change their lives forever. McCann and Goldberg are the two strangers who will have an ever-lasting impact on Webber and the Boles’ family.
Casting for the production has been finalized, with key roles played by:
- Zoe Wanamaker – Meg
- Toby Jones – Webber
- Stephen Mangan – Goldberg
- Pearl Mackle – Lulu
- Peter Wight – Petey Boles
- Tom Vaughan-Lawlor – McCann
Wight was last seen on the stage, ironically at the same venue, when he played the role of Almeida in Hamlet. He’s become a mainstay in recent years, with appearances in several big productions, including Black Snow and The Red Lion.
Vaughan-Lawlor is an award-winning actor that won the Irish Times Award for Best Actor two times. He has played major roles in several National Theatre productions, including The Plough and Paycock and Translation. His most famous role was in Howie the Rookie, in which his performance led to several major awards.
Official opening night of The Birthday Party is 18th January, but the theatre has performances from 9th January through 14th April 2018.
The production will be directed by Ian Rickson and produced by Sonia Friedman. The duo has collaborated on several of Pinter’s works, including Betrayal. Rickson claims that The Birthday Party has a part of Pinter’s inner life and obsessions written in it. He calls the play “raw” and “committed.”
The initial run of the play was on 28 April 1958 at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge. The show received a warm reception and went on to play in Oxford and Hammersmith. The play’s running in London was largely considered a failure, with the show closing after just eight performances.
The play has since become a world-wide favorite.