Mike Leigh’s celebrated comic play Abigail’s Party is coming to the Manchester Opera House next month.
Described as “one of the greatest plays about the human condition ever written” in The Guardian, this suburban comedy of manners is set in ‘theoretical Romford’ (as described by Mike Leigh) in the 1970s and cleverly satirises the aspirations and tastes of the British middle-class.
Beverley and husband Laurence are throwing a party for their newlywed neighbours, Tony and Angela. Joining them is Susan, a quiet character who doesn’t seem to have the courage to say no – and who’s in attendance at the gathering by default, having been banished from her own house by her daughter Abigail who is having a party.
As tensions rise and tempers flare, the sheen of respectability is torn away by the warring couples with hilarious and potentially disastrous consequences.
Complete with the requisite mix of free-flowing cocktails, classic disco and cheese and pineapple sticks, the play captures the intricacies of life in the 1970s suburbs as the neighbouring couples clash – and Susan sits through it all.
Events start off in a stiff, classically British fashion before the alcohol starts to take effect, in turn exposing the obsessions, prejudices, fears and petty insecurities of each character.
Taking on the role of ‘brazen as they come’ Beverley is the stage and TV star Jodie Prenger, who describes her character as the “original desperate housewife.”
Joining her are Coronation Street and Emmerdale favourite Vicky Binns and Daniel Casey, best known as DS Gavin Troy in Midsomer Murders, who lead the cast in this groundbreaking comedy classic.
Beloved by audiences, Abigail’s Party promises to thrill and delight in equal measure. Make sure to grab your tickets before they’re all gone.
Abigail’s Party is at the Opera House, April 8-13th 2019.