Monday, 21 March 2016

Harold Pinter's play, The Birthday Party, has divided opinion ever since it opened in London in 1958. Warmly received on its pre-London tour, it was panned by critics and closed after just eight performances.  But a positive review in the Sunday Times restored its reputation and it went on to become a modern classic.

Now it's about to return to the stage at the Apollo for the first time in over 40 years.

The play is about Stanley Webber, a piano player who lives in a shabby boarding house run by Meg and Petey Boles, in an English seaside town, ‘probably on the south coast, not too far from London’.  Meg organises a birthday party for Stanley, but two sinister strangers, Goldberg and McCann, who appear to have come looking for him, turn the birthday party into a nightmare. 

The cast includes John Hannam theatre award winner, Ellie Warren, who is making her Apollo debut.  By contrast, Colin Ford first played McCann in the original Apollo production  in 1974 and is in this role again, being directed by his wife, Marylyn Ford, who said: "This play combines the comedy of everyday life with mystery and menace, and the Apollo's intimate atmosphere is the perfect setting."

The cast also features Simon Cardew, Sue Edwards, Pete Harris and Michael Arnell. 

The Birthday Party runs from Friday April 1st and Saturday 2nd April, then from Tuesday 4th to Saturday 9th.

For more details and to book online, go to

Picture caption:  Left to right, standing: Michael Arnell and Colin Ford, in rehearsal with Pete Harris (seated).

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