From: Friday, 2nd March 2012
To: Saturday, 21 April 2012
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The Menier Chocolate Factory is delighted to announce the revival of Mike Leigh's acclaimed play, Abigail's Party. From the award-winning writer and director comes some of his best loved characters in this "brilliant and hilarious play" - Daily Telegraph.
In 1970s suburbia, Beverly and her husband Laurence are hosting a drinks party for their neighbours. There is plenty of alcohol, an array of cheese-pineapple savoury bites and olives, and Demis Roussos on the record player. But as prejudices are unmasked and tempers flare, the evening seems headed for disaster...
Mike Leigh's classic comedy is directed by Lindsay Posner, who recently directed Noises Off at the Old Vic. Other credits include: Butley (Duchess), A View from the Bridge (Duke of York's - Olivier nomination) and Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy - Olivier nomination).
The role of the infamous Beverly will be played by Jill Halfpenny, who won both the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards in 2011 for her role as Paulette in Legally Blonde (Savoy). Jill is also well known for her TV roles on EastEnders, Wate rloo Road and Blue Murder.
9 March 2012
It wasn’t all cheesy-pineapples and fibre-lights in the 1970s. Like Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends, Mike Leigh’s best-loved play shows the undercurrents of misogyny and material aspiration swirling beneath the era’s gauche surface.
Leigh’s play, still a cultural marker thanks to the BBC film version, is by far the superior, achieving all that Absent Friends manages (and more) with none of the artifice. Where Ayckbourn needs the kick-start of a drowned fiancée, Leigh requires only the sort of teenage house party that pierces some suburb’s peace every weekend. The fallout is entirely driven by his unrivalled grasp of character.
One now realises that Sue, the middle-class mother taking refuge from that party with her nouveau riche neighbours, is the lynchpin of the play’s continued success.
Her plummy presence – Susannah Harker’s thank-yous are like the polite ding...
Latest User Review
Janet - 12 April 2012:
Loved it..I'm a 67 year old female and went with my 27 year old son--he loved it too! Ageless and very funny from all angles. All actors superb....would love to see it again, but all seats sold out....bring it back!!!...