Abigails Party is a 5 handed play packed with 70’s nostalgia and wit based around social awkwardness and facade. Are we really what our neighbours think we are?
It stars Jodie Prenger as the formidable Beverley, Coronation Street’s Vicky Binns and Daniel Casey, best known as DS Gavin Troy in Midsomer Murders.
Beverly and husband Laurence throw a party for their newlywed neighbours. The play celebrates how awkward these situations can be amidst the pretense of everyone’s superficial and happy lives.
As with all parties, the more booze that is drunk the looser the tongues waggle!
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Prenger steals the show, naturally, and is a brilliant and flirty gob-shite that doesn’t listen. In fact, she’s a bully. Jodie couldn’t make Beverley more annoying via the endless questions, with non-stop rhetorical statements in the hope that everyone will agree. This is of course to cover infinite insecurities.
Sadly, especially in Act 1, a lot of the pathos is lost through the chaos of ‘more drinks’ and cheap laughs. It becomes a little relentless with Jodie’s ‘dumb blonde’ character. Not her fault of course.
Unfortunately the timeless reality of control, unhappiness and abuse in relationships is as relevant today as it was in 1977 when this play was written. This is somewhat lost though in the cleverly staged and acted piece.
It is worth a visit and those around me had a wonderful time.
Welcome to 1970’s suburbia and its heady mix of free-flowing cocktails, classic disco and cheese and pineapple sticks.
As tensions rise and tempers flare the sheen of respectability is torn away by the warring couples with hilarious and potentially disastrous consequences.
Mike Leigh’s iconic Abigail’s Party is one of Britain’s most celebrated comedies; beloved by audiences, it thrills and delights in equal measure.
Bravo to a strong cast who do the best they can with this somewhat dated, but equally cute and nostalgic piece.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 13th March 2019.