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Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party to star Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan
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 Birthday Party will be produced by Sonia Freidman Productions, and runs from 9th January to 14th April with an official opening on Thursday 18th January 2018.
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.
The Birthday Party will be directed by Ian Rickson, who said: "“I knew Harold from when I ran the Royal Court and he was a great mentor to me. Doing The Birthday Party is particularly thrilling because as with the best first major plays - like first albums, and first novels - it has the intense DNA of the writer’s inner life; their yearnings, their obsessions, their longings.
"There’s something about The Birthday Party in particular that’s so raw and committed - it has this kind of anarchic, punk spirit and I’m just so excited about directing it."
The play was last seen on the London stage at the Duchess Theatre in 2005, and starred Henry Goodman, Eileen Atkins and Paul Ritter.
The play opened in 1958 and closed after just eight performances, however the play received some rave reviews with The Sunday Times’ Harold Hobson writing: “Pinter, on the evidence of his work, possesses the most original, disturbing and arresting talent in theatrical London.”
The Birthday Party Tickets are available now.