Abigail’s Party

In a new venture the book club made a group visit to see this famous play by Mike Leigh. Developed in 1977 Leigh relies on improvisations with the actors only writing down a script after the first performance. Abigail’s Party was televised with Leigh’s then wife, Alison Steadman, in the lead role.

Abigail never makes an appearance as the party of the play’s name occurs offstage. Instead Abigail’s mother attends a smaller party of 5 where she is consumed by anxiety at the unsupervised teenage party at her house. The hostess, Beverley, succeeds in embarrassing her guests and her husband through her thoughtless behaviour.

While the play is a comedy it is less a comedy of jokes ( although there are some ) as the comedy of watching the embarrassment of all the characters except Beverley.

One club member felt she knew the play so well that she didn’t attend the performance at the George Hotel , Lichfield.

The production was slightly modified although it kept to the seventies backdrop. Unfortunately one memorable moment when Beverley plays a Demis Rousos record which only she likes had to be changed as clearly the players couldn’t find a suitable record and were forced into a substitution

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