The Birthday Party, described by Irving Wardle as a 'comedy of menace', was written by Harold Pinter in 1957 and is now one of his best known plays. When Meg and Petey Boles receive two new and mysterious guests into their rundown seaside boarding house, the ensuing 24 hours become an increasing nightmare for resident Stanley Webber. With the sinister, threatening characters of Goldberg and McCann, Pinter creates an increasingly menacing atmosphere with elements typical of the author, such as ambiguity, contradiction, confusion and, some say, dark political symbolism.
Goldberg and McCann claim to have a job to finish. Goldberg suggests that they throw a party for Stanley as it's 'his birthday' (which Stanley denies). They interrogate Stanley with questions that become ever more aggressive and absurd. They talk about a mysterious 'organisation' and are generally threatening. Drumming, hysterical laughter and a game of blind man's bluff intensify the situation.
The intimate setting of the Sherborne Studio Theatre is well suited to this play and the audience will soon become immersed in the claustrophobic, intense but thought-provoking drama.
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