"London Classic Theatre has proved that the story of Beverly and Laurence's fateful drinks party remains as engaging, interesting and relevant as ever; Michael and Kathryn Cabot's show is beautifully put together, razor-sharp and devastatingly effective. From the orange leather suite to the geometric wallpaper and textured glass on the drinks cabinet, Bek Palmer's set design is wonderfully elaborate. Rebecca Birch is hilarious as Beverly, and creates some particularly enjoyable moments with Alice De-Warrenne as the weedy new neighbour Angela, who gets a laugh almost every time she opens her mouth. Tom Richardson brings a welcome sense of strength to the role of Laurence, Beverly's husband, an energy that is matched by the taciturn power of George Readshaw's Tony. Jo Castleton creates a genuinely sympathetic character in the older divorcee Susan."

Imogen Usherwood - Broadway World ★★★★★

Abigail’s Party

Playwright: Mike Leigh
Directed by Michael Cabot
Set & Costumes Designed by Bek Palmer
Lighting by Matthew Green
Photography: Sheila Burnett

CAST: Rebecca Birch, Jo Castleton, Alice De Warrenne, George Readshaw, Tom Richardson.

Theatre Royal Bath, Malvern Theatres, Theatre Royal Winchester, Derby Theatre, Perth Theatre, Cambridge Arts Theatre, New Wolsey Ipswich, Everyman Cork and the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

It was 1977, the year of skin-tight polyester, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and Saturday Night Fever. The Sex Pistols were storming up the charts, skateboarding was the latest craze and Angela Rippon danced with Morecambe and Wise. And at Hampstead Theatre in London, Mike Leigh and his cast were putting the finishing touches to Abigail’s Party, ferocious black comedy and landmark of twentieth century theatre.

In her suburban living room, Beverly prepares for the arrival of her guests. She and husband Laurence will play host to neighbours Angela, Tony and Sue. As the alcohol flows and the ‘nibbles’ are handed around, Mike Leigh’s ruthless, achingly funny examination of 1970s British life begins.

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