The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party Tickets, The Harold Pinter Theatre

The Birthday Party closed on 14 April 2018.

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Harold Pinter’s second full-length play, The Birthday Party, is one of the playwright’s most performed plays. The play focuses on Stanley Webber, a piano player who lives in a neglected house in an English seaside town run by Petey and Meg Bowles, a couple in their sixties. On the day of Stanley’s birthday, two ominous strangers arrive looking for him, and ruin his otherwise eventless party.

The Birthday Party was first performed in London in at the Lyric Opera House – which is now the Lyric Hammersmith – in 1958. Despite closing after eight performances, the show received a great reception from some critics. The Sunday Times’ Harold Hobson said: “I am willing to risk whatever reputation I have as a judge of plays by saying that The Birthday Party is not a Fourth, not even a Second, but a First; and that Pinter, on the evidence of his work, possesses the most original, disturbing and arresting talent in theatrical London.”

It was reviews like this that are said to have saved Pinter’s theatrical career. The day after The Birthday Party opened, Pinter was so deflated he threatened to quit theatre entirely, but the following week, reading Hobson’s review bowled Pinter over, and he was inspired to go on to have an  illustrious career.

This production of The Birthday Party will be directed by Ian Rickson, and star Zoe WanamakerStephen Mangan, Toby Jones, Peter Wight, Pearl Mackie and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. It will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 9th January to 14th April, with an official opening night on 18th January. 

Zoe Wanamaker was last seen on the West End stage in Passion Play, which ran at the Duke of York’s in 2013. Her other stage credits include Once in a Lifetime (1991), Electra (1998), and Awake and Sing! (Broadway, 2006). Her screen credit include the Harry Potter film series and the BBC sitcom My Family.

Stephen Mangan starred in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre, which went on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in The Norman Conquests. His screen work includes Episodes and Green Wing.

Toby Jones’ stage credits include Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court), Parlour Song (Almeida) and The Play What I Wrote (Broadway). 

The play premiered in the US at the Booth Theatre, New York in 1967, in a production directed by Alan Schneider. Since then, the play has been performed off-Broadway and regionally around the US countless times.

As part of the Lyric Hammersmith’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a special gala performance ran at the theatre in May 2008. It was directed by David Farr, and on 19th May 2008 Pinter himself hosted a reception to celebrate exactly 50 years since the play’s London premiere.

Director William Friedkin adapted the play into a film in 1968 starring Robert Shaw, and according to David Far, the play has influenced many iconic moments in modern cinema, such as Pulp Fiction and The Minority Report.

The Birthday Party Tickets are available now. 

This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.

Categories: 
35 images
By:
Harold Pinter
Director:
Ian Rickson
Cast list:
Toby Jones, Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan

Harold Pinter Theatre

Address:
6 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN
Nearest tube:
Piccadilly Circus

The Birthday Party Customer reviews

Our The Birthday Party Review

The critical and commercial failure of Harold Pinter's second full-length play The Birthday Party in its original production in 1958 could well have ended his career right there and then; but here we are, exactly 60 years later, in the West End theatre that now bears his own name, watching a commercial revival of the same play that has long since been entirely rehabilitated as one of his most... Read more

Latest The Birthday Party News & Features

Harold Pinter
Why Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party was cancelled after eight performances, but went on to become a classic
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A new production of Harold Pinter’s play The Birthday Party opens this week – at the apt venue of the Harold Pinter Theatre, no less – with a crack cast featuring Zoe Wanamaker, Toby Jones and Stephen Mangan. It will open with the pomp and parade that most major West End plays do nowadays, especially as this is regarded as one of Pinter’s best work. But when the play premiered, it nearly halted the young Pinter’s career in its tracks.

The Birthday Party
Further casting announced for The Birthday Party
Friday, September 15, 2017

Actress Pearl Mackie will appear in a revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party when it opens at the Harold Pinter Theatre next year. The Doctor Who actress joins the previously announced Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan and Zoe Wanamaker. Further casting is to be announced.

The Birthday Party
Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party to star Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Harold Pinter’s play The Birthday Party is to be revived at the Harold Pinter Theatre in January 2018. The Birthday Party is Pinter’s second full-length play. It tells the story of Stanley Webber, a piano player who lives in a neglected house in the English seaside town run by Petey and Meg Bowles, a couple in their sixties. On the day of Stanley’s birthday, two ominous strangers arrive looking for him, and ruin his otherwise eventless party. The production will star Zoe Wanamaker, Toby Jones and Stephen Mangan.

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