Theatre News

Cast announced for Abigail’s Party at Stratford East

Mike Leigh’s classic play returns in a new production

Ashna Rabheru, Tamzin Outhwaite and Kevin Bishop, © Michael Wharley and Steph Pyne
Ashna Rabheru, Tamzin Outhwaite and Kevin Bishop, © Michael Wharley and Steph Pyne

Stratford East has revealed the full cast and creative team for the upcoming production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party.

Directed by Nadia Fall, the play will run from 6 September to 5 October. The cast includes Tamzin Outhwaite as Beverly, Kevin Bishop as Laurence, Pandora Colin as Susan, Omar Malik as Tony, and Ashna Rabheru as Angela.

Fall said today: “I’m really looking forward to directing Mike Leigh’s cult classic as my final show as artistic director at Stratford East, with a cracking company of actors. This deliciously dark comedy, or tragicomedy as Mike Leigh puts it, peeks behind the twitching curtains of ’70s suburbia in all its camp and terrifying glory.

“Even today, communities living in our inner-city boroughs talk about moving out when they’ve ‘made it’: from the East End to Essex, from south London to Kent, from the dust and noise to the more genteel suburbs. However, these peaceful enclaves can become a hotbed for one-upmanship, feuding couples and nosy neighbours, where the notion of social climbing is still very much alive and kicking.

Abigail’s Party follows Beverly, who hosts a party with her husband Laurence for their new neighbours Angela and Tony, along with their next-door neighbour Susan. The seemingly ordinary gathering soon spirals into a night of inappropriate flirtation and marital conflicts, set against the backdrop of a 1970s suburban home.

The creative team for the production includes Peter McKintosh as set and costume designer, Howard Harrison as lighting designer, Alexandra Faye Braithwaite as sound designer, and James Cousins as movement director. Amy Ball is the casting director, with Lily Dyble as assistant director. Mary Charlton serves as costume supervisor, and Lizzie Frankl and Edie Fitt-Martin from Propworks London are the props supervisors.