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The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

Billing: The Exe Ensemble

Wed 25 Jan – Sat 28 Jan
19:30 – 22:30
Exeter Library,Castle Street, Exeter EX4 3PQ Map

£15 + booking fee Advance boking recommended
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

The Exe Ensemble will re-invigorate Harold Pinter's play, The Birthday Party, to awaken modern relevance and build mental health awareness in this debut event, hosted by Exeter Library and in association with The Phoenix, Devon Mind and Co-Lab.

Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter wrote his first full-length play ‘The Birthday Party in 1957. It's a modern classic that retains its capacity to perplex, challenge and intrigue its audience.

The play takes place in a boarding house by the sea in the South of England. There is only one guest, Stanley Webber, a pianist who appears unemployed and lives like a slob. He has been the only lodger at the guest house for some time. His hosts are husband and wife Petey and Meg. Petey, a deckchair attendant at the seafront, appears a quiet man, while Meg seems naive and unintelligent, devoting herself to routine. Their routines are turned upside down upon the arrival of two men, Goldberg and McCann. Stanley appears very anxious upon learning of their arrival. The two men start a process of disturbing interrogation of Stanley, causing severe mental distress. Pinter’s cryptic play is mesmerising as one tries desperately to decipher the ambiguous relationships and figure out why the intruders disturb the flow of events.


The Exe Ensemble re-invigorates and explores classic plays to awaken modern relevance through the mental health lens. The ensemble examines societal norms, the complexity of relationships and how culture constructs shape the way we think and act. We invest in world-leading rehearsal techniques and processes to deliver theatre that transcends time and place, that excites through its intangibility and power to ignite the subconscious.The ensemble is characterised by a spirit of enquiry, well-being and artistic experimentation to forge connections, spark conversation and inspire action.

Adults and young people from all community backgrounds are encouraged to participate in our work to build mental health awareness, challenge the big social questions, excavate the fears and celebrate the joys and future potential.


Tickets are available through Eventbrite or directly from the main desk at Exeter Library.

£15.00 + booking fee


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