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“Play great, shame about the theatre/staff”

Harold Pinter Theatre
Ranked #235 of 1,892 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Take the Piccadilly Circus Underground to this laugh-a-minute comedy night spot.
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

My friend bought tickets for The Birthday Party, and upgraded to a ‘package’ to include the Ambassador’s Lounge. He contacted the theatre beforehand to get advice as we both have mobility issues (in my case lack of balance following a brain injury), and was advised to go for the stalls. Unfortunately the box office did not explain how many flights of stairs would be invloved (two up to the Lounge, two down, across the foyer, another down to the stalls). The staff member in the Lounge was pleasant and helpful, but I don’t think a glass of champagne and a few crisps and an ice-cream tub is worth the price to sit in a small waiting room with half a dozen people - I half expected the announcement that “Miss Whiplash will see you now!” as we all looked embarrassed to be there.
Unfortunately, the front of house staff seemed barely able to cope with arrivals - we arrived an hour early - but has great fun using their walkie-talkies to inform someone that their ‘packages’ had arrived. I fully accept that it is an old and intimate theatre, but there seemed little empathy for the visibly less agile customers- herded down the stairways in a gladiatorial contest for seats. I echo a previous reviewer that we’d be buggered if there was a fire as I doubt the font of house staff would direct anyone to safety.
The Birthday Party was superb. I expected great performances from Toby Jones and Zoe Wanamaker and they were realised. Stephen Mangan had been firmly directed, and was excellent. The unexpected star performance came from Tom Vaughan-Lawler as McCann. Peter Wright was comforting in his commonplaceness, while Pearl Mackie will hopefully go on to more appropriate roles.

Thank Yadasharon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"excellent production"
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"great play"
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16 - 20 of 502 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018

As the nearby pubs were busy we decided to enter the theatre a little while before the play and this turned out to be the best option. There are 3 bars I think and we were directed to the one nearest to our seats in the Circle. The staff were all very friendly. The bar had 3 little tables and a few chairs and we took the second table, one was already taken. The bar soon became busy and personal space was at a premium.

We had front row seats and mine was supposed to be restricted but at 6 foot 3 the safety bar was really not an issue, £30 discount. The other seats we had were £95 and this could only be down to the high quality cast as the leg room was very poor.

We enjoyed the acting performances and our expectations were met. It's a small theatre and you expect to pay high prices and not be able to spread out as you would on your sofa at home.

Thank RazzyBthefirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2018

Never seen a play by the famous playwright Harold Pinter? Seduced by the rave 5* reviews from theatre critics? Excited at the prospect of seeing Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan and Toby Jones live on stage? Don't mind paying £65 a ticket to see such a play? That was us.
Save your money, your sanity,and your time and avoid this play. It was the worst theatrical experience of our lives, totally unintelligible and unsatisfying. Judging by the comments we overheard coming out of the theatre, we weren't the only ones feeling that way.
There were a few moments of comedy and the actors were brilliant, but the actual play......... Why was one man asked to blow air into Stepen Mangan's mouth? Was it a weird sexual fetish that has passed me by? The original production 60 years ago closed after a week and it is a shame that it was ever revived. Very much a case of The Emperor's clothes.

Thank Kate O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2018 via mobile

I would like to thank the staff at the theatre after my wife was not feeling well
The staff could not do enough to help and find a cool place to watch the birthday party
Many thanks to all for the help and making our evening

1  Thank Nick K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 March 2018

This was our second visit to this theatre. We were sitting in the stalls. The bar couldn't cope but as we were very early we waited in the queue for 10 minutes and bought a drink (others were less lucky). There was no room to stand in the bar, so we stood at the back of the auditorium. Unfortunately this very narrow corridor was already full. with one line of people standing there was just about enough room for a person to pass. Unfortunately the audience was attempting two way traffic, so the whole area became gridlocked. Upstairs was the same.
Meanwhile, the "order a drink at your seat" service was overstretched. Staff carrying cardboard boxes of drinks (the only way to carry drinks in this chaos) were desperately trying to barge through.
Most London theatres are old and small. This one is just too small. I dread to think what would happen if there was a fire.
Oh, The Birthday Party was good. Stellar cast, just not too sure about the play. Is this "Emperor's New Clothes"?

Thank johnGerrardsCross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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