Photo: Marc Brenner

This double bill of Harold Pinter plays is a 90-minute sharp, comedic social commentary with a cast of well-known faces that gels seamlessly. Although ultimately very contrasting in terms of characters, set and style, Party Time and Celebration both work incredibly well sitting back to back in Jamie Lloyd’s reignition.

Party Time features eight party guests from different walks of life, all dressed in black, seated in a line at the front of the stage. Terry (John Simm) can’t stop singing the praises of the fancy new members’ club in town, and talk of this club weaves its way into every conversation, giving an insight into the values and background of each guest. The commotion on the street provokes the odd comment, but ultimately the party-goers are too obsessed with the facilities of the elite club to notice what’s going on outside.

Photo: Marc Brenner

Celebration focuses on two cash-rich wide boys (Ron Cook and Phil Davis) and their wives (and Tracy-Ann Oberman and Celia Imrie), out for dinner to celebrate a wedding anniversary. The crude and often vulgar speech of the diners is set against the sparkling chandeliers, the attentive five-star service and the ‘complimentary gherkins’ on offer at this posh restaurant. Abraham Popoola’s waiter is hilarious, with his frequent interjections and name-dropping serving to bemuse the East Enders trying to get on with having a real ‘piss-up dinner’.

In both plays, the actors’ impeccable comedic timing, sharp direction and a clever yet simple set combine to do full justice to Pinter’s characteristically witty and observant writing.

Pinter Six, Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street,  SW1Y 4DN.Tickets £15-£99.50, until 26 January 2019.

from Londonist http://bit.ly/2ClbffR