The Birthday Party

Date 7th November 2014
Society Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond
Type of Production Play
Director Jim Brown


Author: Peter Parlour

This play was part of the Society’s 80th Anniversary celebrations.  It written by Harold Pinter and was typical of his writing.  He got the idea when after a theatrical tour when he stayed in Eastbourne where he lived in filthy insane digs.  In his own words he became acquainted with a great bulging scrag of a woman and a man who stayed in the seedy place.  This was the basis of the play and the characters of Meg Boles and Stanley Webber.

In fairness to Joy Mills, who played Meg, she wasn’t a bulging scrag of a woman, just a typical wife looking after her husband and Stanley.  This was a very difficult play to understand, being very bitty, with hardly any continuity in the lines.  It was, however, performed very well indeed.  Joy Mills was very good in her fussing about her husband Petey Boles, played by Bruce Cunningham, making sure he was enjoying his corn flakes and finding his newspaper interesting.  Poor Stanley, excellently played by Chris Wellings, found it rather difficult to keep his temper with the way Meg was pestering him.  When two gentlemen arrived for a few days, (whatever they were was tricky to understand), they appeared to be very sinister.  They were Goldberg, played by Mike Walker, and McCann, the Irishman, played by Dan Cockett, and both were well played.  Dan Cockett hadn’t a great deal to say, but you felt as though he was going to do something drastic, but nothing happened.  Goldberg had a lot to say, but about nothing really.  Mike Walker did an excellent job in whatever he was trying to accomplish.  Lulu, well played by Jessica Inglis, tried to get on with Stanley, but to no avail.  It was only when Goldberg got a bit frisky that she came out of her shell.  

During the Birthday Party, arranged to celebrate Stanley’s birthday by Goldberg, things got a bit out of control when the lights fused and they all retired to bed a little worse for wear.  Next morning they all  got up and Goldberg and Lulu had had a great night!!  Goldberg really got at Stanley, and he was a wreck, his life seeming to be at an end.  Meg tried to give him some breakfast, but to no avail.  Lulu left in a rage, and the two gentlemen left leaving behind lots of confusion.  Poor Petey he couldn’t understand what was going on when he returned from work.  This was a very difficult play  to perform, but great credit must go to Jim Brown, the director, to inspire the actors  to perform in the excellent way they did.