There are plenty of laughs to be had in the production of Abigail’s Party which finishes an extensive UK tour this week at the King’s.
This touring production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party opts for comedy rather than tragicomedy at the Opera House Manchester, losing a little depth in order to find more laughs.
I am old enough to have seen the original televised play for today of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party in 1977 and have loved it ever since. Therefore, I was really looking forward to seeing Sarah Esdaile’s adaptation of this iconic piece and I wasn’t disappointed.
Mike Leigh’s genius was to offer Abigail’s Party to audiences who roared with laughter without recognising themselves on the stage. Julie Burchill and Jane Robins may have pulled off the same trick with People Like Us.
Mike Leigh’s 1977 play Abigail’s Party is sure to be considered a British classic. And as it is set in Romford, it makes great sense for Douglas Rintoul to stage it at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.
Atiha Sen Gupta’s Abi, a 60-minute monologue, performed with enormous zest and attractive energy by Safiyya Ingar, is a response to Mike Leigh’s play Abigail’s Party and looks at what happened to a couple of his peripheral characters.
At Hornchurch, artistic director Douglas Rintoul seems to have gone for the faithful-to-the-first-production approach: for example, Melanie Gutteridge’s Beverly is a neatly dutiful homage to Alison Steadman.
Director Sarah Meadows and designer Georgia de Grey have created a detailed and often humorous world in Alkaline in at the Park Theatrewith a cast that is agreeably bright and pretty convincing
For all my scepticism about the views expressed by some characters, I decidedly think this is impressive work from a playwright to be taken seriously and it’s only very slightly too long and under-resolved.
Abigail’s Party was quite ground-breaking in its day, with the incomparable Mike Leigh at the helm and Alison Steadman heading up the cast as Beverly, it made waves on screen and on stage. The production that is currently on UK tour keeps to the essentials that are familiar to those who have encountered the show before.
Strains of Donna Summer and Demis Roussos on the turntable, flock wallpaper and a retro bar, can only be setting the scene for Mike Leigh’s classic piece, Abigail’s Party. Devised and directed by Mike Leigh in 1977, the television incarnation starred Alison Steadman as nightmare hostess, Beverly and is an iconic masterpiece.
Theatre Royal Bath has today released production photography of the 40th anniversary, West End-bound production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party starring Amanda Abbington.
Mike Leigh’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera is revived for the first time at the London Coliseum. Here is what critics have been saying about it.
Yesterday, I was extremely glad to attend the Wesker Celebration, which was organised by playwright David Edgar, professor Pamela Howard and publicist Anne Mayer, at the Royal Court.
Critics are in a mad rush all over town at the moment to keep up with the flood of openings. Just the other night Michael Billington was telling me that he’s got a straight run of 10 openings to cover, night after night. The Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings told me just yesterday that he’s got 20 consecutive theatre trips in his diary (he usually does three or four a week).