In a small house at a coastal resort lives a man, his mentally wayward wife, and their boarder, who has been with them for a year. He is a strange chap, unkempt and in-flight from we know not what. Enter an even stranger, sleek Jewish man and his musclebound Irish henchman. The mentally immature wife accommodates them with a room, and then decides that it is time for the boarder to have a birthday. At the party she arranges, the new guests play cruel games with the boarder, break his glasses, make a buffoon of him, and push him over the psychotic precipice. The next morning he is reduced to a gibbering idiot and meekly leaves with them.
"Fascinating capacity to be menacing, ominous and evocative of some dark and threatening doom." - New York Post
"The most interesting play to be seen on Broadway." - The New York Times
The Birthday Party premiered at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, England, on April 28, 1958.