50th anniversary staging of The Birthday Party to star Hancock

Sheila Hancock is to star in a 50th anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, where the play received its debut in 1958.

Hancock, who was last seen on the London stage playing Fraulein Schneider in the 2006 revival of Cabaret, will take the role of Meg in the production and will appear alongside Justin Salinger, Lloyd Hutchinson, Alan Williams and Nicholas Woodeson.

Pinter will attend a special gala performance of the show on May 19, the exact date that the play opened 50 years ago. When it originally opened, it was forced to close after just eight performances because of poor reviews.

Today, however, the play is considered to be one of the masterpieces of twentieth century drama.

The new production is being directed by the Lyric’s artistic director David Farr and opens on May 8, running until May 24.

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