9 January 1959
The Studio Theatre tour involved a repertoire of five plays including Pinter’s. The others were: Easter (August Strindberg); Martine (Jean Jacques Bernard); Ring Of Roses (David Campton) and Squaring The Circle (Valentin Kataev). The first tour date was 5 January; The Birthday Party first went up on 9 January (Alan Ayckbourn website).
|No of Performances||Unknown|
A week’s rehearsals began in Scarborough on 30 December 1958, and continued for another week at the Theatre Centre. The opening night of the tour was 5 January. Pinter’s play went up on the 9th.
It is uncertain if The Birthday Party was performed at this venue - there is not record - but it is possible that it did so as it was one of the plays in rep on the tour which played here.
The Studio Theatre Ltd tour opened in this venue on 3 March, according to the company archives. Other plays were in the tour repertory, so it is uncertain if Pinter’s play opened on that night.
No linked Production have been added to this production record yet.
Creative | Director
Pinter’s debut as a director.
Production | Producer
Production | Company Manager
Production | Assistant
Producing company. Stephen Joseph sent Pinter a contract to direct the production on 6 December 1958 (Elsam, p. 80).
When Ayckbourn asked the author for some information about his character, Pinter told him to 'Mind your own fucking business. Concentrate on what's there'. (Billington, p. 106).
Performer: Alan Ayckbourn (1939)
Performer: David Campton (1924 - 2006)
Pinter had requested that his wife play the role, but this was beyond the company's budget, and the contract was to direct the company actors. (Elsom, p. 80).
Performer: Dona Martyn
Performer: Faynia Jeffery
Performer: David Sutton (1934 - 2004)
Performer: Rodney Wood
No award have been added to this production record yet.
Type: Blog post
Type: Archival holding
Pinter's scrapbook contains the original programme for the Birmingham Theatre Centre and reviews from The Manchester Guardian, The Birmingham Gazette, The Birmingham Weekly Post, The Birmingham Post and the Birmingham Mail.
Paul Elsom, Stephen Joseph: Theatre Pioneer and Provocateur (London: Bloomsbury, 2014)
Accessed 26 June 2020
Michael Billington, Harold Pinter, revised edition (London: Faber and Faber, 2007)
British Library Manuscript Collections. Pinter Archive. 'Book 1' (Pinter's scrapbook); July 1956-April 1960. Add MS 88880/8/1
ff. 53-5 and f. 58 contain the Birmingham Theatre Centre programme and a review of the Leicester performances