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LCT
Present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
17.2.16
GARETH BENNET-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTBirthday Party Production 003LCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
Present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
JONATHAN ASHLEY - Goldberg
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
DECLAN RODGERS - McCann
17.2.16
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTBirthday Party Production 009
Reviews

"Stanley inhabits a world of inadequacy and self-delusion, a recluse with the doors tightly shut against the menace that could blow in on the air. It soon arrives, in the form of the mysterious Goldberg and McCann, malign agents of state and religion. Nothing can be trusted, not even the date of Stanley’s supposed birthday, more probably, as hinted in Michael Cabot’s searching production, the birthday of a dead or imaginary son of his landlady Meg. The sense of living on the edge of disaster is palpable, and the demons are the more terrifying for being without name. Gareth Bennett-Ryan is haunting and haunted as Stanley, a dish-cloth of a man being squeezed dry, and Cheryl Kennedy has an affecting fragility as Meg. Jonathan Ashley and Declan Rodgers as the chillingly cheerful Goldberg and cheerless McCann ratchet up the torture with their increasingly extreme and absurd allegations, nightmares of poor Stanley’s own invention. Imogen Wilde as Lulu and Ged McKenna as Petey complete an impressive cast."
Colin Davison - Cheltenham Echo

"London Classic Theatre’s revival of The Birthday Party makes for a funny and chilling evening. The pairing of comedy and unsettling drama is not a natural one, but this Harold Pinter classic, directed by Michael Cabot, pulls it off. This cast are at their strongest when playing against each other and exploring the internal dynamics of the play. The comfortable companionship of Meg and Petey is absorbing. Gareth Bennett-Ryan, playing Stanley, successfully distorts all of his interactions with other characters into a snapshot of his own deteriorating mental state. The titular birthday party is an explosion of power struggles, fuelled by whiskey and taking unsavoury characteristics to disturbing proportions. On-stage rapport is especially present when involving Kennedy’s expertly delivered Meg."
Emma Minihan - A Younger Theatre

"Brought to Cork by London Classic Theatre, this is a tense production with occasional flashes of humour. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with its twists and turns, sometimes serving as clues as to what lies beneath. This is theatre of menace with its overhanging elements of intimidation and allusions to sinister goings on. It’s both a thriller (without a resolution) and a strange macabre farce. The production is highly polished and manages to sustain tension throughout."
Colette Sheridan - Irish Examiner

"London Classic Theatre bring this classic skilfully to life. Production values are intelligent and imaginative: the set is a kind of platform, raising the action to a little parallel world, two or three feet above reality - but beneath the platform you glimpse skulls and skeletons, like some medieval vision of Hell. Nihilism, but laced with vivid menace. Failed concert pianist Stanley, the outstanding Gareth Bennett-Ryan, exists rather than lives, fearful of the world outside and mothered by Cheryl Kennedy’s hapless, neurotic landlady and her husband (Ged McKenna with fleeting glimpses of actual normality). Young Lulu, an engagingly enigmatic Imogen Wilde, pops in and out with no discernible purpose. Then two insidious arrivals shatter the tedium: the cold, controlling Goldberg and brutish, explosive sidekick McCann - superb and gripping performances from Jonathan Ashley and Declan Rodgers. There is comedy, but it is always nervous laughter and the actors can twist it in an instant to a dark menace that echoes Kafka. There is threat behind every line, and fear in every shadow. And where does it lead? This is no easy ride for audiences, who instinctively want a story that resolves and an outcome that satisfies. Instead the plot is elusive, veering in new directions every time you think you are grasping it. Drama always holds up a mirror to life and to human nature. Pinter’s is a distorting mirror, unnerving and grotesque. When theatre does not challenge, explore, push boundaries, it dies. The Birthday Party does not show us theatre as it should always be, but it shows us where theatre has the capacity to take us. Brilliant."
Kevin Anderson - Eastbourne Herald

"The Birthday Party  was Pinter’s second full-length play. Not a success in its day and  still unsettling and confusing more than half a century on, but it has become a classic, worthy of inclusion in London Classic Theatre’s pantheon. Michael Cabot’s new production is a taut, intelligent reading of the text, respectful of the dark mood behind even the most trivial interchange. Set on a raised platform, reminiscent of a boxing ring, it’s a minimalist, realistic set by Bek Palmer, with a suggestion of skeletons beneath the floorboards. A fine cast, led by Cheryl Kennedy’s frustrated, fussy, flaky Meg, hinting at a more glamorous past behind the slovenly landlady in fluffy slippers and head-scarf. The belle of the ball, she recalls at the end. Gareth Bennett-Ryan is the weak, spoiled loner Stanley, cosseted by Meg (the little boy she’d much rather have, perhaps), deliberately destroyed by the manipulative Goldberg and McCann in one of the strongest scenes - Pinter’s use of language as a weapon never bettered. Broken by the two intruders whose coming upsets him from the start, he ends up a catatonic wreck, his hands jerking and twitching as if he still had his toy drum, Meg’s musical gift for his birthday. Jonathan Ashley is all smooth menace as the laid-back Goldberg, with Declan Rodgers as the solid, silent McCann - muscular torso, red braces. Both strikingly still in contrast to their victim’s nervous movement. Like Ben and Gus in The Dumb Waiter, they are a double act sent to do a job. Absent from the party is Meg’s old man, the lumpen deck-chair attendant Petey, seemingly uninterested in anything beyond the morning paper and his night out with the lads from the chess club. He’s played with genial indifference by Ged McKenna. The piece is an unsettling blend of sitcom and the theatres of the absurd and of cruelty. A more intimate space might draw us in more successfully to the banal, claustrophobic world of the seaside boarding house - if that’s where we are. But this stylish production deftly lays bare the frightening forces behind the stuccofaçade – a welcome reminder of one of 20th century’s most accomplished British works for the stage."
Michael Gray - The Reviews Hub

LCT
Present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
17.2.16
GARETH BENNET-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTBirthday Party Production 003LCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
by
Harold Pinter
Cheltenham Everyman 17.2.16
JONATAHN ASHLEY - Goldberg
GARETH BENNETT-RYAN-Stanley
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
GED McKENNA - Petey
DECLAN RODGERS-McCann
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
MICHAEL CABOT-Director
ANDY GRANGE-Lighting Designer
BEK PALMER - Set & Costume
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTLCT
Present
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
IMOGEN WILDE - Lulu
JONATHAN ASHLEY - Goldberg
CHERYL KENNEDY-Meg
DECLAN RODGERS - McCann
17.2.16
CREDIT - SHEILA BURNETTBirthday Party Production 009
The Birthday Party

CREATIVE TEAM
Playwright: Harold Pinter
Directed by Michael Cabot
Designed by Bek Palmer
Lighting by Andy Grange
Costume Supervision by Lisa Hickey
Photography: Sheila Burnett

CAST: Jonathan Ashley, Gareth Bennett-Ryan, Cheryl Kennedy, Ged McKenna, Declan Rodgers, Imogen Wilde.

SELECTED VENUES: Cheltenham Everyman: Gaiety Theatre, Dublin: Coventry Belgrade; New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme: Oldham Coliseum, New Wolsey, Ipswich; Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

THE SHOW:
A shabby boarding house in a small English seaside town. An elderly couple take care of a solitary guest, who rarely ventures out. The arrival of two enigmatic strangers seems to offer a welcome distraction from their mundane existence. But when an impromptu, seemingly innocent birthday party abruptly turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse, there are horrifying repercussions.

By turns, cryptic thriller and macabre comedy, The Birthday Party was Harold Pinter’s first major work and is among the most unusual and absorbing of his plays. London Classic Theatre presents the first significant touring revival of the twenty-first century, promising to bring fresh life to this ground-breaking classic.

Playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist, Harold Pinter was born on 10 October 1930 in East London. He wrote twenty-nine plays including Betrayal, Old Times, The Homecoming and The Caretaker. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on Christmas Eve 2008.

Tour Dates

DATE
VENUE
BOX OFFICE

17-20 February
01242 572573

23, 24 February
01603 598598

25-27 February
01284 769505

1, 2 March
01733 207239

3 March
01686 614555

4, 5 March
01902 321 321

8, 9 March
01245 606505

10 March
01608 642350

12 March
01642 81 51 81

22-26 March
01782 717 962

7 April
01434 652477

8, 9 April
03000 266600

11-13 April
01323 412000

14 April
01892 678 678

15 April
01933 270 007

16 April
08000 147 111

19, 20 April
01962 840440

21 April
01656 815995

22 April
01874 611622

23 April
01970 62 32 32

25-27 April
01279 431945

28 April
01227 769075

29 April
023 9264 9000

30 April
01235 515144

3-7 May
0161 624 2829

10-14 May
01473 295900

16-21 May
021 450 1673

24, 25 May
028 70 123 123

26 May
074 91 20777

27 May
028 3752 1821

28 May
047 81597

30 May - 4 June
01 456 9569

7 June
01623 633133

8 June
01302 303 959

9 June
01727 844488

10 June
01843 292795

13-18 June
024 7655 3055

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