Harold Pinter – The Birthday Party

Very excited yesterday to get last minute tickets to see Pinter’s “The Birthday Party” at the Harold Pinter Theatre in Panton Street, London. We had 5th row seats in the stalls and were really able to appreciate the work of the amazing cast.

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It’s not often that you get a line-up of such notable names as Zoe Wannamaker, Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan, Peter Wight, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor & Pearl Mackie in one play.

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Newly directed by Ian Rickson of the Royal Court Theatre, this play on it’s original release nearly saw the early demise of Pinter’s career but is now considered a classic. It is still relevant 60 years on. The Birthday Party, set in a down at heel, shabby seaside boarding house is full of tension and menace, the mood broken up by choppy, staccato humorous lines. Slack-jawed Toby Jones is great and Mangan and Vaughan Lawlor as Goldberg and McCann make a fantastic pair of sinister visitors to Meg & Petey’s (Zoe Wannaamaker and Peter Wight) boarding house. Peal Mackie’s character, Lulu initially brings some levity which rapidly disappears. The staging was great too; an uncomplicated set that enabled the superb acting to shine through. The story  is still as unfathonable as the day it was written but this adds to the menace of the script. I’m sure that this is some of the finest drama that you will see in the West End this year.

 

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