`The Birthday Party' (1957) was the second play written by British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008). Although the play closed after only eight performances it was enthusiastically reviewed by critic Harold Hobson. His early works were described by critics as "comedy of menace". Later plays such as `No Man's Land' (1975) and `Betrayal' (1978) became known as "memory plays". He appeared as an actor in productions of his own work on radio and film.

Pinter is regarded as one of the most influential modern British dramatists with a writing career that spanned more than 50 years. Besides `The Birthday Party' his best-known plays include `The Homecoming' (1964), and `Betrayal' (1978), each of which he adapted for the screen. His screenplay adaptations of the works of others include `The Servant' (1963), `The Go-Between' (1971), `The French Lieutenant's Woman' (1981), `The Trial' (1993), and `Sleuth' (2007). He also directed or acted in radio, stage, television, and film productions of his own and others' works.

In 2005 Pinter was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature and it was said that "his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms."

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