The Birthday Party
From: Wednesday, 20th April 2005
To: Saturday, 9 July 2005
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Stanley Webber is the only resident of a seaside boarding house run by Meg and Petey. His life is safe, comfortable but monotonous. Goldberg and McCann, two sinister strangers who arrive with a mysterious motive and throw Stanley a surprise birthday party, shatter their lives! This modern classic is an enigmatic comedy full of menace and psychological terror. Pinter's first full-length play was described as a masterpiece upon its debut performance in 1958.
26 April 2005
Harold Pinterís modern classic, The Birthday Party, is 47 this year. Its first London outing, at the Lyric Hammersmith in 1958, closed after only eight performances thanks to an almost universal critical panning - only Harold Hobson recognised the originality of the writing. Thankfully, though, it proved rather more popular with subsequent audiences and has enjoyed regular productions ever since, this current incarnation arriving at the West Endís Duchess via Birmingham and a brief regional tour.
In the play, Pinter presents us with a supremely dysfunctional living arrangement: Meg and Petey run a boarding house in which Stanley is their only inmate, although the place serves as a prison of sorts for all three, trapped in their own mundane lives. Petey is a deckchair attendant while wife Meg keeps house and takes exceptional pride in the standard of her cornflakes. Their patterns and habits provide a semblance of safety, even extending to their conversatio...
Latest User Review
188.8.131.52) - 23 June 2005:
Perfect casting, impeccable staging, great performances, with a design that's spot-on.....but The Birthday Party still isn't worth all this talent. An over-rated play from Britain's most over-rated playwright....