The Birthday Party

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  2w, 4m

In Pinter's classic comedy of menace, a small birthday party in a rundown seaside boarding house becomes a nightmare when two sinister strangers arrive unexpectedly.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 4m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Meg and Petey live in a small seaside boarding house with their boarder, a strange chap named Stanley. Two strangers, a sleek man named Goldberg and his musclebound henchman McCann, arrive unexpectedly. Meg naively accommodates them with a room, and decides to arrange a birthday party for Stanley. At the party, Goldberg and McCann play cruel games with the boarder, breaking his glasses, making a buffoon of him and ultimately pushing him over the psychotic precipice. The next morning, Stanley, reduced to a gibbering idiot, meekly leaves with the two men.
The Birthday Party premiered at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, England, on April 28, 1958. The play made its Broadway debut at Booth Theatre on October 3, 1967.
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
  • Time Period Contemporary
  • Setting The living room of a house in a seaside town in England.
  • Cautions
    • Intense Adult Themes


“Fascinating... menacing, ominous and evocative of some dark and threatening doom.” – New York Post

“The most interesting play to be seen on Broadway.” – The New York Times


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Licensing & Materials

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Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was born in London on October 10, 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008. (They were married in 1980).

After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama, he worke ...

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