The Birthday Party (Birmingham - Leicester)
The Birthday Party (Birmingham - Leicester)

The Birthday Party (Birmingham - Leicester) (1959)

The Birthday Party (Birmingham - Leicester)

The Birthday Party (1957)

Date from

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).

Date to

March 1959

No of Performances Unknown
Touring Yes
Language English


Birmingham Theatre Centre


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.

Municipal Hall, Newcastle-under-Lyme


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.

Leicester Vaughan College


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.

Linked Productions

No linked Production have been added to this production record yet.

Linked People

Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

Creative | Director

Pinter’s debut as a director.

Stephen Joseph (1921 - 1967)

Production | Producer

Rodney Wood

Production | Company Manager

Ann Summers

Production | Assistant

Linked Organisations

Studio Theatre Ltd (Theatre Company | Est. 1955)

Central Scarborough

Producing company. Stephen Joseph sent Pinter a contract to direct the production on 6 December 1958 (Elsam, p. 80).


Stanley (The Birthday Party) (Age: late thirties, Male)

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)

Petey (Age: sixties, Male)

Performer: David Campton (1924 - 2006)

Meg (Age: sixties, Female)

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

Lulu (Age: twenties, Female)

Performer: Faynia Jeffery

Goldberg (Age: fifties, Male)

Performer: David Sutton (1934 - 2004)

McCann (Age: 30, Male)

Performer: Rodney Wood

Linked Awards

No award have been added to this production record yet.


‘Pinter Meets Ayckbourn’: Alan Ayckbourn recollects working with Pinter (URL)

Type: Blog post

External Link:

The British Library Manuscript Collections. Pinter Archive. ’Book 1’ (Pinter’s scrapbook); July 1956-April 1960. Add MS 88880/8/1 (Paper-based)

Type: Archival holding

External Link:

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’s biography of Stephen Joseph

Paul Elsom, Stephen Joseph: Theatre Pioneer and Provocateur (London: Bloomsbury, 2014)


Alan Ayckbourn website


Accessed 26 June 2020

Michael Billington's biography of Harold Pinter

Michael Billington, Harold Pinter, revised edition (London: Faber and Faber, 2007)


The Harold Pinter Archive at the British Library

British Library Manuscript Collections. Pinter Archive. 'Book 1' (Pinter's scrapbook); July 1956-April 1960. Add MS 88880/8/1

Archival materials

ff. 53-5 and f. 58 contain the Birmingham Theatre Centre programme and a review of the Leicester performances