Advertisement for copies of The Birthday Party


This advertisement for printed copies of The Birthday Party appeared in the November–December 1959 edition of Encore. Committed to the innovative theatre being created by the new playwrights of the late 1950s, Encore produced, in limited run, the first printed edition of The Birthday Party in 1959. The advertisement calls the play ‘a fascinating puzzle’ in which ‘bad farce alternates with stale misery’; ‘A masterpiece of meaningless significance’.

What was Encore?

Subtitled ‘The Voice of Vital Theatre’, Encore was a radical theatre journal which was issued every two months and ran from 1954 to 1965. By ‘vital’, the reviewers meant theatre that stood for youth and energy – as well as being necessary and urgent. Encore championed new drama and lambasted what its writers perceived as the old-fashioned theatre of the West End.

Influenced by the ideas of French philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre, Encore also drew on the ideas of the ‘New Left’, which sought to advance new ways of looking at the relationship between culture and society. Encore explored the influences of Bertolt Brecht, Eugène Ionesco and Samuel Beckett, and included articles by and about ground-breaking playwrights of the era, including Harold Pinter, John Osborne, Arnold Wesker, John Arden and Shelagh Delaney.

Full title:
Encore (Number 22 Vol. 6 no. 5 Nov–Dec 1959)
Encore Pub. Co.
Periodical / Advertisement / Ephemera
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The Birthday Party

Created by: Harold Pinter

The Birthday Party (1958) overview The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter’s second full-length play, was written ...