Harold Pinter’s dark and tragic comedy masterpiece The Birthday Party celebrated its 60th anniversary earlier this year and now audiences can enjoy the play at Titchfield Festival Theatre.
The playwright was famous for his love of the absurd and this production will appeal to both his fans and those who are new to his subtle, brilliant writing and strong characterisations.
It tells the story of Stanley, supposedly a pianist who lives in Meg and Petey’s rather seedy boarding house. Two sinister strangers – Goldberg and McCann – arrive. Stanley’s birthday party suddenly is turned into a nightmare….
Director Daniel Fox says: ‘I am a big fan of Harold Pinter. The Birthday Party has a dialogue which is very relatable and includes characters that we will find both human and thought-provoking. I love the way in which Pinter has written the script, which is almost Shakespearian in its use of subtle pauses – this is a challenge for the actors but makes for great theatre. It has a political dimension too, which will really make people think.’
TFT’s production takes us back to the seaside of the 1950s, with pipe organ songs and Punch and Judy adding a menacing touch.
Daniel adds: ‘We have assembled a fantastic cast for the play. The Birthday Party is regarded as a “comedy of menace” and there is undoubtedly a dark tone which underlies it.
‘It is a play that I am confident will entertain and also get members of the audience talking about what they have seen as they leave the theatre… Stanley is human, secretive and extremely flawed – however, does he get what he deserves? Please come along and decide for yourself.’
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Titchfield Festival Theatre
November 26-December 1