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The Birthday Party

Harold Pinter

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Stanley Webber is visited in his boarding house by strangers, Goldberg and McCann. An innocent-seeming birthday party for Stanley turns into a nightmare.

The Birthday Party was first performed in 1958 and is now a modern classic, produced and studied throughout the world.

Critic Reviews

Mr Pinter, on the evidence of this work, possesses the most original, disturbing and arresting talent in theatrical London.

Harold Hobson, Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

It combines the structure of a rep thriller with the guilt mechanisms of Kafka's The Trial ... Pinter's enduring, ultimately undefinable play, which left the critics floundering in 1958, has the power of all first-rate art to acknowledge the past and reflect the future while existing in the tangible present.

Michael Billington, Guardian
Critic Reviews

A darkly comic masterpiece . . . Laughs aren't presumed upon – they arise of their own accord, as does a mounting dread, achieved by Pinter's ingeniously disconcerting way with words.

Dominic Cavendish, Telegraph
Critic Reviews

A decade on from his death, Harold Pinter remains pretty much incomparable as a playwright . . . a brilliant play

Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 and they married in 1980. In 1995 he won the David Cohen British Literature Prize, awarded for a lifetime’s achievement in literature. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime’s achievement in theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of…

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Portrait of playwright Harold Pinter
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