alphabetical author index

Birthday Party, The

  • Harold Pinter
  • Full Length Play, Drama, 1950s
  • 4M, 2F
  • ISBN: 9780573010422

"Fascinating capacity to be menacing, ominous and evocative of some dark and threatening doom."

The New York Post

  • Full Length Play
  • Drama

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Set Requirements: Interior Set
In a small house at a coastal resort live a man, his mentally wayward wife and their boarder who has been with them for a year. He is a strange chap, unkempt and in flight from we know not what. 

Enter an even stranger Jewish man and his muscle bound Irish henchman.

The mentally immature wife accommodates them with a room and then decides that it is time for the boarder to have a birthday. At the party she arranges, the new guests play cruel games with the boarder; break his glasses, make a buffoon of him, and push him over the psychotic precipice. 

The next morning he is reduced to a gibbering idiot and meekly leaves with them.


"Fascinating capacity to be menacing, ominous and evocative of some dark and threatening doom."

 The New York Post

"The most interesting play to be seen on Broadway."

 The New York Times

Premiere Production: The Birthday Party premiered at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, England, on April 28, 1958.
  • Casting: 4M, 2F

  • PETEY - a man in his sixties
    MEG - a woman in her sixties
    STANLEY - a man in his late thirties
    LULU - a girl in her twenties
    GOLDBERG - a man in his fifties
    McCANN - a man of thirty
  • Name Price
    Birthday Party,The Script Order Now

    Goldberg and McCann arrive at a seaside boarding house where Meg and Petey live with their guest Stanley. They inquire about Stanley: we soon find out that McCann and Goldberg have a job to do. Learning it is his birthday they give Stanley a party at which Stanley is verbally bludgeoned into submission. The next day Stanley is removed. It is the collective impact of the dialogue which welds the'seemingly inexplicable actions of Goldberg and McCann into a menacing whole.