2018 is set to start with a big hit of dark comedy at the Harold Pinter Theatre with The Birthday Party opening for previews of the production on the first week of the new year. With a big-name cast and Harold Pinter’s menacing comic story, it’s shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated plays of the year.
Ian Rickson is directing the production following on from the success of Betrayal and Old Times. Toby Jones (Atomic Blonde), Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Zoë Wanamaker (My Week With Marilyn) and Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who Series 10) have been cast in the leading roles for the 14 week run at the theatre.
Dates, times and tickets
The play will be open on the 9th January 2018 with a run that will see it through until the 14th April 2018. Evening performances will be at 7.30pm Monday to Saturday with 2.30pm matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Tickets range from £15.00 to £95.00 for the evening shows and Saturday matinees, and £15.00 to £85.00 for the Wednesday matinee. This includes a Red package, which gives you a drink and nibbles, and a Champagne Experience, which gives you a glass of bubbly, nibbles and an ice-cream (insert knee rubbing where needed).
About The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party has gone on to be described as a comedy of menace thanks to the dark progression of the plot within the comic setup of what appears to be a seaside guesthouse. Landlady Meg is throwing a birthday party for her only guest, pianist Stanley Webber, but the arrival of strangers Goldberg and McCann sends the proceedings spiralling into nightmarish directions.
It’s Harold Pinter’s second full length play, following up on his 1957 student debut The Room with its opening run at the Lyric Hammersmith a year later. It’s gone on to be one of his most enduring plays and the run at the Harold Pinter Theatre will mark its 60th anniversary year.
Toby Jones will be playing Stanley Webber, alongside Zoë Wanamaker as his landlady Meg. Stephen Mangan stars as the destructive force that is Goldberg and Pearl Mackie takes on the role of Lucy, friend of the little seaside guesthouse.
Ian Rickson directs yet another big Sonia Friedman Productions show. The play will be designed by the Quay Brothers, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and music by Stephen Warbeck.
The play is a dark classic and Ian Rickson has got a very good track record, so it’s definitely one to add to the tickets list. We weren’t big fans of Toby Jones’ performance earlier in 2017 in Atomic Blonde, but his efforts in Sherlock and his Olivier Award for his performance in The Play What I Wrote mean that he’s got the potential to have a huge impact on The Birthday Party.
The casting of Pearl Mackie may well be a bit of a surprise following on from her stint with Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who, but she has done much more theatre work than television. Her last performance was in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National Theatre in 2015, so she could well be a strong addition to the Harold Pinter Theatre production.