The Party

by Trevor Griffiths
Directed by John Dexter

The National Theatre

The Old Vic
First performance 18th December

  • 'Grease' Ball ... Desmond McNamara
    Andrew Ford ... Denis Quilley
    Angie Shawcross ... Doran Godwin
    Eddie Shawcross ... John Shrapnel
    Jeremy Hayes ... Gawn Grainger
    Joe Shawcross ... Ronald Pickup
    John Tagg ... Laurence Olivier
    Kara Massingham ... Gillian Barge
    Kate Stead ... Rachel Davies
    Louis Preece ... Ram John Holder
    Milanka ... Sarah Atkinson
    Richard Maine ... Harry Waters
    Sloman ... Frank Finlay
    Susie Plaistow ... Anna Carteret

    The year is 1968; in Paris the student risings are taking place. In the London drawing-room of a successful television producer a group of people meet to discuss the implications for them and their belief in a socialist society and how it can be achieved. The Party, commissioned by the National Theatre opened at the Old Vic on 18th December 1973.

    Olivier's Farewell to the Stage.

    Laurence Olivier had a long and fruitful relationship with the Old Vic Theatre. He arrived in 1937 as a young actor and would go on to worldwide acclaim and fame, as well as becoming the first artistic director of the National Theatre, whose initial home was The Old Vic.

    His last stage performance was as John Tagg in The Party. After the final performance on 21 March 1974, he knelt down and kissed the stage.