Thanks to my lovely French teacher Caroline, who kindly gave me a voucher good for two free tickets to the theater, F and I were able to enjoy Harold Pinter’s L’anniversaire at the Théâtre Alchimic. Just a walk off of the Industrielle stop (tram 15), the rather small theater sits smack-dab in between two large buildings.
I’m not a theater buff so I was not aware that Pinter was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright or of the fact that The Birthday Party (English for L’anniversaire) is also one of his most celebrated works: I call that a win-win!
The play debuted in 1958 and is described as being centered on a “deep reflection of the human condition and relations of domination… a call to liberty and the refusal of all forms of domination of man by man.” I admit the overall tone of the play was a bit intense but it still had its funny moments. Dark British humor, perhaps?
I would also say that the performers did the piece justice. My only critique was on the strange make-up job on the main character in the final scene and the song all the actors sang together to close the performance. I wish they had just ended it when the lights dimmed to signal the end of the final scene!
Nonetheless, I take my hat off to the actors (especially the woman who played Meg and the man who played the more manic fellow – McCann?) – and to the theater for putting on a great production! It was a nice change of scene for us, too.
Here’s the promo video for the play: