Following critically-acclaimed productions of Betrayal and Old Times, Ian Rickson reunites with Sonia Friedman Productions to direct a major new revival of Harold Pinter’s brilliantly mysterious dark-comic masterpiece, The Birthday Party.
Olivier Award-winning trio Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan and Zoë Wanamaker star in the new production, 60 years since it was first performed.
Stanley Webber (Toby Jones) is the only lodger at Meg (Zoë Wanamaker) and Petey Boles’ sleepy seaside boarding house. The unsettling arrival of enigmatic strangers Goldberg (Stephen Mangan) and McCann disrupts the humdrum lives of the inhabitants and their friend Lulu (Pearl Mackie), and mundanity soon becomes menace when a seemingly innocent birthday party turns into a disturbing nightmare. Truth and alliances hastily shift in Pinter’s brilliantly mysterious dark-comic masterpiece about the absurd terrors of the everyday.
The Birthday Party made its London premiere at the Lyric Hammersmith in May 1958, directed by Peter Wood to great acclaim. Its New York debut followed 9 years later at the Booth Theatre in October 1967, and its 50th anniversary London production at the Lyric starred the likes of Sheila Hancock and Nicholas Woodeson. The famous comedy of menace has gone on to become one of Harold Pinter’s best-known and most oft-performed plays.
The Birthday Party stars a cast featuring a trio of Olivier Award winners: Golden Globe Award-nominated Toby Jones (The Play What I Wrote, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Sherlock), Tony Award-nominated Stephen Mangan (The Norman Conquests, Jeeves And Wooster, Episodes) and Tony Award-nominated Zoë Wanamaker CBE (Harlequinade, Passion Play, My Family), alongside recent Doctor Who companion Pearl Mackie. Peter Wight (Hamlet – Almeida/West End) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (The Plough And The Stars – National Theatre) also star.
Ian Rickson’s new production of The Birthday Party is designed by the Quay Brothers, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker, music by Stephen Warbeck and casting by Amy Ball.
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