Sonia Friedman Productions presents
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter
Following critically-acclaimed productions of Betrayal, and Old Times, Ian Rickson directs an Olivier Award-winning cast in a new production of Harold Pinter’s dark-comic masterpiece The Birthday Party, featuring Toby Jones (The Play What I Wrote, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Sherlock), Stephen Mangan (The Norman Conquests, Jeeves and Wooster, Episodes), Zoë Wanamaker (Harlequinade, Passion Play, My Family), and Pearl Mackie.
Stanley Webber (Tony Jones) is the only lodger in a sleepy seaside boarding house run by Meg (Zoë Wanamaker) and Petey Boles. That is – until the unsettling arrival of enigmatic strangers Goldberg (Stephen Mangan) and McCann disrupts the humdrum lives of the trio and their friend Lulu. As a seemingly innocent birthday party turns into a disturbing nightmare, mundanity becomes menace, and truth and alliances hastily shift.
The Birthday Party opens in January 2018 for a strictly limited run of 14 weeks. Book your tickets for The Birthday Party at The Harold Pinter Theatre in London today!
Brilliantly acted performance by a stellar cast of one of the most ambiguous plays ever written. Will keep us talking about its meaning and ending for a very long time to come.
A very entertaining play with every actor giving their best .Its hard to single out and particular person as they were all great.Thoroughly enjoyable quality performance and a very enjoyable evening .
An incomprehensible play - had to google it later on to understand what it was all about! Acting good, especially enjoyed McAnn and Stanley.
A group of us enjoyed the play but never having experienced a Pinter play before we left the theatre asking ourselves and each other lots of questions. The performance was strong and we felt that the play was extremely well put together. We will not forget it!!
Gripping but wildly funny
Great cast in this revival of Pinter's Birthday Party. Zoe Wanamaker exceptionally good as were Toby Jones and Stephen Mangan. The comedy of the first act giving way to the menacing quality of the second deftly achieved. Atmospheric with a great sense of time and place. Hugely enjoyable and highly recommended.
This production breathes new life into this classic with really outstanding performances from a series of household names. The intensity is almost unbearable at times - particularly when Stephen Managhan and Toby Jones are on stage. There are dark laughs to be found - but also humour extracted from the everyday mundanity of life - for which Zoe Wannamakers timing can be given huge credit. The production and performances deserve all the plaudits bestowed in the press - excellent.
Just been to the Tower of London today. I think the prisoners there had a better experience than us at the theatre last night. It was awful - never again.
I'm into Pinter -- eg I loved 'No Man's Land' at Wyndham's last year. As I cannot understand speech easily (after an illness), esp at the theatre, I read the play twice in advance. This much helped, as I could 'get' various passges, which otherwise would have been lost on me. I still think that too many actors mumble too much and I thought some exchanges in this production weren't give due clarity -- for instance the first scene between Meg and Petey, which is brimming over with wit because of the craft of the dialogue. Maybe Goldberg was the best in clarity. However, overall I thought this was a very good and strong. The ushers were all most helpful (eg over a hearing aid). I love this theatre and its ambience including old programmes.
A very good production of Pinter’s play. The cast are terrific, an acting masterclass. It is worth seeing for that alone. However what the play is about remains unclear but then that is why we go to see Pinter. It is like an abstract painting.
Excellent all-round. Assured, fluent delivery of a script which leapt off the page onto the stage. With the back-up of authentic/atmospheric set and light/sound effects, the cast & production made both the humour & the darkness come through & work off each other, and even the non-sequiturs & absurdities cohere, and coalesce with the main narrative thrust. Totally absorbing. A joy.
It was fantastic play, especialy Zoe Wanamaker was so funny.
The impact of this play on its first performance, along with related work by Becket, Ionesco and Genet, was enormous. Now it feels like 'standard Pinter', a heady mixture of language and emotion. The current performance is competent, but heavy handed.
Dreadful! As regular theatre goers, this was one of the worst plays we have viewed. Several people alongside where we were sitting left before the end. Could not recommend it to anyone.
SUPERB: the play, the actors, stage set and everything else have contributed to an unforgettable evening. My only critique is the gasp-inducing price of £ 150 per seat! The two seats that I've booked were excellent (front of the dress circle). The cheaper ones, at £80 had a restricted view! How can a theatre charge so much for useless seats? I'm not sure when I'll be able to afford another outing like this, but at least the memories will last a long time.
Superb production and the cast is fantastic!
Splendid play - marvellously acted
Excellent production of a very interesting play. As time has passed its deep roots in its own times become clearer but it is still a fascinating and teasing script offering acute insights into humane relationships, self-delusion, tales we tell ourselves, amorality and and moral cowardice - all reflected in a kaleidoscope of reflective shards. A great evening's theatre, perfect and massively accomplished cast, perfect and magic performances.
Despite a star studded cast, this is one of the worst things I have seen in the theatre for years. Stephen Mangham was great, but it’s such a weird play, with bizarre plots that even he, Zoe Wanamaker, and Toby Jones couldn’t save it.
Excellent. Very true to the script, with terrific performances all round. Lots of menace and a sense of mystery, as you'd expect, plus the great jokes you get from Pinter. The set-piece speeches by Goldberg (Stephen Mangan) were terrific. The sound was clear; I was sitting in the upper circle and heard every word.
What a waste of good actors! The plot was totally incomprehensible and so very boring.
A slightly bizarre play including comedy and darkness. The acting by all players was outstanding and kept us gripped from the moment the curtain rose. Thoroughly recommended.
An wonderful theatrical experience. The acting was superb and the whole production memorable. I began laughing and ending up terrified.
Wonderful performances from all the cast. I hadn't seen this play for a number of years and was struck by how it still makes a marked impression. So many ways to interpret this play and I thought this production was very thought provoking.
Funny at times but quite menacing for most of the play. My husband and I left the play pondering the deeper meaning and surprised ourselves. Makes a change from a musical or drama and made us discuss the entire story over dinner!
My family and I had a great time. The length of the show was just right. It seemed to end quite quickly though. Thanks for a lovely evening.
Super ensemble piece.
Perhaps not what some members of the audience had expected from a play entitled ‘The Birthday Party’. Instead of the pleasure and bonhomie of a celebration, it is an evening of dark and threatening uncertainty mixed with comic absurdity. Set in the 50’s in a dated, drab and run-down seaside B&B, all the action takes place in one room in an oppressive atmosphere. The room is graced by great acting talent all of whom contribute to the finished production. Perhaps entertaining is the wrong word to describe the play but its mix of menace, humour and unresolved mystery make it a thought-provoking evening.
For anyone who wants a straightforward storyline, you may not enjoy it. But if you are looking for something thought provoking, darkly humorous and sinister in storyline... You will love it. The acting is as you would expect, fantastic, the staging basic but full of character. A must see if you are a fan of Pinters work
Thoroughly enjoyable, with a cast that goes above and beyond bringing Pinter’s characters to life.
Powerful, entertaining and a brilliant cast.....with countless Laugh out Loud moments! Highly recommended.
Play quite good but seats and view terrible.It was extremely hot and uncomfortable in the seats we had.
Wonderful acting/actors. Obscure (to say the least!) storyline!
A wonderful rendering of this classic Pinter play, with a stellar cast. Perfect staging and lighting complemented the performance in the intimate setting of the Pinter Theatre...not to be missed.
Excellent performances all round, and direction evoking sleazy 50’s atmosphere and menace. Highly recommended especially if you have any interest in Pinter
First class performances from all cast members - Stephen Mangan particularly a tour de force! Superb show...
We had never watched a Harold Pilnter play before but were encouraged to see this after some excellent reviews. The plot seemed good and we expected a great show. But what a disappointment. In our view, the play never got going for the story line was weak and the humour was gentle and no more. The acting and production was as one would expect very good, but if the content is as poor as this the professionals trying to make it work have an impossible job. Pinter clearly has a big following, but isn’t it good we are all different!
I didn't enjoy this play at all. There were amusing parts but generally I found it boring and couldn't understand it.
From the exquisite cast to the crumbling boarding house itself, each element of this performance synchronises to exude that telltale Pinter menace in a way that will leave you breathless. Exceptional.
Ok if you are prepared for a slightly odd story with a bit of mystery. You never really find out what behind it!
Superb acting that unpicked the complex characters and created the menacing atmosphere of the play. Humour was captured throughout the performance, a completely captivating evening, could not be bettered.
Maybe I should have read up about the plot ( or lack of it!) before going to watch the play. That may have helped but I am very sorry to say that it was the worst play I have been to. I couldnt really follow what was going on and could have easily walked out but wanted to give it a chance.It made no impact on me.
Great acting. Storyline..... What storyline Not for me!
Brilliant performances by all, excellent casting especially Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan. Laughed a lot but as often with Pinter plays came away a little unsure of what it was all about! The feel was extraordinary contempory for a play written over 60 years ago. Very enjoyable, will now read a bit about the background!
This was an amazing production I highly recommend it to anybody who likes. Theatre. The cast were absolutely amazing from start to finish. Don’t expect to enjoy everything but expect to have an amazing night
Utterly disturbing. Amazing cast, high calibre performances all round. Effective subtlety and keeps the audience guessing.
An excellent production with superb performances from a stellar cast. Thought provoking and atmospheric. It's astounding to think how ahead of its time this play must have seemed to audiences in 1957, when it first opened. It still seems a very "modern" play even now, over sixty years later. Only two weeks to go now before it has to close - don't miss it!
I wouldn’t go again. So confusing and not enjoyable. Felt like I needed an English Literature degree to understand or even begin to interpret what was going on. The acting was good though, but I should have done proper research before booking these tickets!
I love Harold Pinter plays, so it was a treat for me! Birthday Party by Pinter on my real birthday!
Panton St, West End, London SW1Y 4DN
Good To Know
We can never guarantee a particular actor. This is subject to sickness and holidays.
How Does It Work
You will receive a confirmation email with a voucher attached. You must print the voucher and bring it with you on the day of the performance to collect your tickets. We recommend you arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the show to collect your tickets and settle into your seats.
Where Do I Go
Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN
By Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Charing Cross
By Bus: 14, 19, 24, 29, 38