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Michelle Collins, Tristan Gemmill and Paul Hickey star in The Birthday Party

Michelle Collins

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MICHELLE Collins (as Meg Boles), Tristan Gemmill (Goldberg) and Paul Hickey (McCann) will star in a national UK tour of The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter’s comedy of menace which will receive a dramatic new re-imagining from the team behind Waiting for Godot.

Following a two-year celebration of the works of Harold Pinter in the West End, this is Pinter’s most popular and widely performed play. Further casting will be announced in due course.

The tour will open at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham (April 2 – 11) followed by The Lowry Quays (April 14 – 18), Oxford Playhouse (April 21 – 25), Guildford Yvonne Arnaud (April 28 – May 2), Edinburgh Kings (May 5 – 9), Norwich Theatre Royal (May 12 – 16), Cardiff New Theatre (May 26 – 30), Richmond Theatre (June 2 – 6) and Milton Keynes Theatre (June 9 – 13).

Set in a dilapidated seaside boarding house, the mysterious Stanley Webber receives a visit from two sinister strangers, Goldberg and McCann. They arrive on Stanley’s birthday – or is it? What do they want and why do they want to turn Stanley’s quite world upside down?

Michelle Collins has worked extensively in television and theatre over the last 30 years. She has appeared in two of Britain’s best-loved soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street, the hugely popular Two Thousand Acres of Skye and The Illustrated Mum for which she received an international Emmy.

Collins’ other TV credits include Real Women; Dr Who; Miss Marple; Sunburn; Lloyd And Hill; Death In Paradise; Can’t Buy Me Love; Single; Hotel Babylon; Rock Rivals; Perfect; Midsummer Murders and Daylight Robbery. She recently appeared in The Dumping Ground (CBBC), To Provide All People (BBC 1), Queens of Mystery (Acorn TV) and Casualty (BBC).

Collins’ West End theatre credits include: Calendar Girls; Rattle Of A Simple Man; Daddy Cool; The Vagina Monologues and Never Forget. Elsewhere, her credits include Romeo and Juliet and The Demolition Man (Bolton Octagon); The Glass Supper (Hampstead Theatre); A Dark Night In Dalston and My Dad’s Gap Year (Park Theatre); Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK tour); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK tour); and How Love Is Spelt (Southwark Playhouse).

Although Tristan Gemmill is best known for his long running role as Dr Adam Trueman in Casualty and most recently as lead regular Robert Preston in Coronation Street, his other TV work includes Atlantis, Cape Wrath, Where The Heart Is, Grass, Death in Paradise, and Call the Midwife.

Tristan Gemmill

As well as starring alongside Adrian Brody and Keira Knightley in the critically acclaimed film, The Jacket, Gemmill has also appeared in Flying Blind opposite Helen McCrory and The Adventurer: The Curse of The Midas Box with Michael Sheen and Sam Neill.

Gemmill’s most recent appearance in the West End was playing the title role in The Bodyguard opposite Beverly Knight for which he received rave reviews. Further theatre credits include A Street Car Named Desire (Theatre Clwyd), Dangerous Corner (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Henry V (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Paul Hickey’s extensive theatre credits include Waste, Our Class, Children of the Sun, The Playboy of the Western World, Romeo and Juliet and Peter Gynt (National Theatre); Fewer Emergencies, Bang, Bang, Bang, O Go My Man and Who Cares (Royal Court); Macbeth and The Deep Blue Sea (Royal Exchange, Manchester); The Merchant of Venice (RSC World Tour); Little Light (Orange Tree Theatre); Ghosts (Arcola Theatre); and Pentecost and In A Little World of Our Own (Donmar Warehouse).

On television, Hickey has appeared in Catherine The Great, The Last Czars, Three Girls, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (series iv-vi), Doctor Who, Father Ted, Nuremberg, Whitechapel, Sunshine, The American, Critical, Doctors, Friends and Crocodiles, The Governor, Murder Squad, Rebel Heart and The Informant. And for the last few years, he has played Johno in Red Rock (BBC/Virgin Media).

Hickey’s films include: 100 streets, Bitter Harvest, Saving Private Ryan, War Machine, Noble, The Matchmaker, Though The Sky Falls, Nora, Spin The Bottle, Moll Flanders, The General, On The Edge and Ordinary Decent Criminal.

Presented by Mark Goucher and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, The Birthday Party will be directed by Everyman Theatre’s Creative Director, Paul Milton, with design by Dawn Allsopp, lighting design by Michael Hall and sound design by Steve Anderson.

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham will be producing and co-producing more work throughout 2020 including Shirley Valentine starring Claire Sweeney, directed by Ian Talbot which opens on February 13, a 10-week national tour starting on April 23 of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s new comedy A Bunch of Amateurs and a co-production with Bath Theatre Royal of The Dresser staring Julian Cleary and Matthew Kelly directed by Terry Johnson which will tour nationally, opening at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham on September 10. For further details visit