Rehearsal images have been released for Rodney Ackland’s Before the Party that opens at the Almeida Theatre on 28 March (previews from 21 March).
Directed by Matthew Dunster, the show comprises a cast including Stella Gonet (Blanche), Katherine Parkinson (Laura Skinner), Alex Price (David), Michelle Terry (Kathleen Skinner), Michael Thomas (Aubrey) and June Watson (Nanny). They are joined by Polly Dartford, Anna Devlin and Emily Lane who will alternate the role of Susan Skinner.
Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, the play is based on the Skinner family who are trying to return to normal after the war. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering. Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals a shocking secret that threatens to ruin more than one party on the climb to social success.
Before The Party has designs by Anna Fleischle with lighting by Philip Gladwell and sound by Ian Dickinson. It runs at the Almeida Theatre until 11 May 2013.
-All photos by Keith Pattison