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Peter Wright cast in The Birthday Party at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Wednesday, 1st Nov 2017  

The Birthday Party - Harold Pinter Theatre

There’s been some steadily-building anticipation for the upcoming revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, playing at the writer’s namesake venue in 2018. Some big names have been gradually revealed for the lead parts, beginning with Toby Jones, Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan and then progressing to Doctor Who’s Pearl Mackie.

Now, however, the cast has grown further as Peter Wright has been announced as the performer playing the role of Petey Boles, who runs a boarding house alongside Meg Boles (Wanamaker) in Pinter’s ‘comedy of menace’.

In The Birthday Party this boarding house exists as a sleepy little place by the sea, with its only resident the piano player Stanley (Jones), whose birthday is what prompts the play’s titular event. The drama unfolds when two strangers – Goldberg (Mangan) and McCann (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, also newly announced) arrive at his party and matters turn in a completely different direction. They seem to be looking for Jones and soon this quiet birthday has a more sinister undertone.

This was penned as Pinter’s second play and this is the latest in a long line of London productions, with the premiere performance taking place at the Lyric Hammersmith back in 1958.

Peter Wright is no stranger to classic plays, however, as he has appeared in a range of shows during his lengthy career, including Electra at the Old Vic Theatre and Hamlet at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Audiences might also recognise him for his screen credits, which include the films Hot Fuzz and Vera Drake alongside television roles in Midsomer Murders, Holby City and Public Enemies, amongst others. So he will provide another familiar face for audiences already spoilt for big names when they sit down to see The Birthday Party.

In the mean time, the Harold Pinter Theatre is the home of Oslo, the show that details the planning of the Oslo Peace Accords in the 1990s. That production continues at the West End venue until December, with The Birthday Party replacing it in the New Year when it begins performances on Thursday 18th January 2018 (previews from Tuesday 9th January 2018).

Chris Packer
Chris Packer Chris Packer has been writing about the West End for many years and wishes this knowledge would help him win some pub quizzes. When he’s not writing about the newest shows he’s probably watching films or anticipating the latest releases.

Article filed under: Theatre News | New Productions |