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Andy Nyman & Natalie Casey join Abigail's Party at Menier

Full casting has today (30 January 2012) been announced for Lindsay Posner's Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Mike Leigh's 1977 play Abigail's Party, led by 2011 Whatsonstage.com Award winner Jill Halfpenny in the iconic role of Beverly.

Joining Halfpenny are Andy Nyman as Laurence, Natalie Casey as Angela, Joe Absolom as Tony and Susannah Harker as Susan. The show opens at the Menier on 8 March (previews from 2 March 2012).

Abigail's Party is set in 1970’s suburbia, where 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. As prejudices are unmasked and tempers flare, the evening can only end in disaster...

A situation comedy of manners set in "the London side of Essex", Abigail's Party debuted at the Hampstead Theatre in 1977, returning to play a total of 104 performances. That revival, directed by David Grindley, transferred to the West End in 2003, running first at the New Ambassadors and then at the Whitehall starring Elizabeth Berrington.

Joe Absolom is best known for his TV roles as Matthew Rose in EastEnders and Al Large in Doc Martin alongside Martin Clunes. Absolom's other TV credits include Ashes To Ashes, New Tricks and Vincent whilst on film he has been seen in Extreme Ops and Long Time Dead.

Natalie Casey will join Abigail's Party from her current role playing Paulette in Legally Blonde at the West End's Savoy Theatre.

Best known for her long-running roles in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks and BBC sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Casey's stage credits include The Vagina Monologues (Palace Theatre Manchester), Hobson's Choice (Watermill Theatre), Well (Trafalgar Studios and Apollo Theatre) and Oklahoma! (Chichester). She returns to the Chocolate Factory having appeared in the 2010 Christmas production of The Invisible Man.

Susannah Harker is best known for her role as Jane in the acclaimed BBC production of Pride and Prejudice and TV series House of Cards. Her stage credits include The Little Platoons at the Bush, Jingo at the Finborough and On the Shore of the Wide World at Manchester's Royal Exchange and the National Theatre.

Having appeared in the Menier's production of Saul Rubinek’s Terrible Advice late last year, Andy Nyman returns to the theatre to play Laurence. His stage credits include Ghost Stories at the Lyric Hammersmith and the Duke of York’s, Moonlight and Magnolias at the Tricycle, Saturday Sunday Monday at Chichester and Lust at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. He has appeared in films such as Death at a Funeral, Severance, The Tournament and Wayne’s World II.

Following its limited season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, through to 21 April, Abigail's Party will transfer to the Theatre Royal, Bath playing a one-week run from 23 to 28 April 2012.

Abigail's Party has set is designed by Mike Britton, whose recent work includes The Deep Blue Sea/ Nijinsky at the Chichester Festival Theatre and Much Ado About Nothing at the Shakespeare's Globe. It is presented by the Menier Chocolate Factory in conjunction with Theatre Royal Bath Productions.


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