Harold Pinter by Bernard F. Dukore (auth.)

By Bernard F. Dukore (auth.)

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True to its title The Birthday Party contains a birthday party - for Stanley who insists it is not his birthday. Birthday not only means the anniversary of one's birth, it also means the day of one's birth, and in The Birthday Party the celebration of the former helps to create the latter. The intruders turn Stanley into what McCann calls a new man. At their hands he is reborn, made into a different kind of person on a birthday that becomes a birth-day. What happens on stage is what the audience perceives, not the symbolic nature of actions or speeches.

A year later Pinter was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Wryly he emphasised that his CBE came The year after the Beatles' were similarly honoured. 7 On 3 January 1967 The Homecoming opened on Broadway. While it was not a commercial success, it received huge critical acclaim - including four Tonies' (Antoinette Perry awards) and the New York Drama Critics' Award - and decisively established Pinter's reputation in America. In 1973 the American Film Theatre version opened.

As far as I'm concerned', Pinter has said, 'The Caretaker is funny, up to a point. '2 52 Toward Greater Realism Actually the play is more complex. Each of its first two acts, and the first four dialogues of the third, employ this dramatic movement, from comedy to the cessation of comedy, a movement that increases in tempo in the last act. This movement enforces Pinter's theme, for when laughter stops, the turn from comic to noncomic signals a turn, for Davies, from security to insecurity. When Mick physically threatens him at the end of Act I, laughter stops.

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