The Shows in London staff popped down to the Wyndham’s Theatre last night, to watch Abigail’s Party. Here’s what we thought.
Never having seen the BBC television version of Abigail’s Party I was unsure what to expect but loved every second of it. The set was wonderfully kitsch; the beige, brown and orange colour scheme, a shag pile rug and the retro snacks of cheese and pineapple sticks screamed 1970s. Jill Halfpenny is fantastic in her role as Beverley, the spoilt and selfish housewife with a penchant for gin and tonic and an eye for her neighbour’s husband. The show is witty and hilarious but with dark undertones and continual clashes between Beverley and her pent up husband. The 2 hours flies by, leaving you slightly disappointed that it’s finished.
Abigail’s Party is great little play that had my attention the whole way through. I’m not usually a big fan of plays, but this was a great one to see – it had me laughing and cringing throughout, while learning more about middle class life in the 70s. Jill Halfpenny is fantastic as Beverley and Natalie Casey had me in stiches as Angela.
The play is set in Beverley’s front room, as she invites her neighbours over for an evening of entertainment. Prepare to be transported back to 70s life and reminisce those awkward home party situations… cheese and pineapple anyone?
Mike Leigh’s signature style can be seen all over this hilarious comedy of manners. Set in 1970s Essex, it’s a brilliant observational piece on the changing face of the neighbourhood. Each of the guests represent a different sect of the middle class; recent arrivals Tony and Ange being the lower middle-class, host Beverley and her husband Laurence as the aspirational middle middle-class and well-spoken Susan as the upper middle-class.
For me, Natalie Casey shone through, delievering plenty of fabulously cringe-worthy moments. Definitely one I’d recommend to any one!