Dave had seen The Birthday Party in LA many years ago but neither Andrea nor I were familiar with Pinter’s work. We were really impressed with the superb performance and delighted that there was a cast discussion afterwards.
It’s one of the most challenging pieces for actors since it’s hard to stay grounded with so much ambiguity being the point. I can’t say more without getting in over my head, sorry. Here’s a synopsis, though, from oxfordplayhouse.com:
Kate and her film-maker husband, Deeley, live in an isolated farmhouse by the sea. The harmony of their lives is disturbed when Kate’s friend Anna comes to stay. They reminisce about old times – sharing a flat together twenty years ago as young secretaries in bohemian London. As the three recollect their own versions of the past, the lines are blurred between memories and reality, desire and loss. A battle for possession begins in which the past and present finally merge with shattering consequences…
Following on from last season’s Waiting for Godot, Sir Peter Hall returns to direct Janie Dee (Betrayal 2003) and Neil Pearson (Taking Sides 2004 and The Real Thing 2001) in the work of great British playwright, Harold Pinter, winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Hope you have the chance to see a good cast perform a Pinter play.