Oct/Nov 1997

Abigail's Party
by Mike Leigh

Directed by
Babs Hughes

A great play
Braintree & Witham Times

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This production of Mike Leigh's tale of suburban manners set in the 1970's was produced and directed by Babs Hughes, one of the founders of the Greville Theatre Club 40 years ago. Very difficult to pigeonhole into a particular genre, this play pokes fun at the stupid attitudes and priorities of lower middle class England in the period.

"Neighbours from Hell" Laurence and Beverley, a discontented middle aged childless couple, invite their friends, Angela and Tony, for an evening of cocktails and music, also inviting Susan, newly moved in to the area, since Susan's teenage daughter, Abigail, is having a party of her own.

Alcohol flows, and a number of farcical situations and conversations take place, the sexual tension between Lawrence and Beverley finally exploding into outright hostility. The action reaches a climax when Lawrence collapses with a heart attack and dies.

Beverley and Angela are two of the silliest women in England, and so are great friends.

Susan, the one ray of sanity in an otherwise insane ensemble, is forced to dance with a reluctant Lawrence.

Beverley makes a play for the monosyllabic Tony, who, as you can see, remains indifferent.



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