Abigail’s Party

It is the soiree which defined an era and brought social interaction into sharp focus.

Abigail’s Party saw the appalling Beverly put Donna Summer on the timetable, fill plates with cheesy-pineapple ones, and slow-dance across the carpet to Demis Roussos.

Created by the award-winning Mike Leigh, it was a phenomenon after being screened as a Play For Today forty years ago.

Now it is set to be revived with an anniversary tour heading to Norwich Theatre Royal on March 27 to April 1.

And the cast is headed by Amanda Abbington, who is well-known for a range of TV roles including Mary Morstan in Sherlock, Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge, and DS Jo Moffat in the Brighton-set crime drama Cuffs.

It sees the always-vocal Beverly and her estate agent husband decide to invite around their new neighbours Tony and Ange for an evening gathering. Add in nervous divorcee Sue who is concerned about leaving her teenage daughter at home with lots of friends.

As the young people’s party starts getting out of hand, chaos also ensues for the adults in a story mixing comedy, drama and tragedy.

Frighteningly accurate with pin-sharp observational comedy, Mike Leigh is one of the globe’s most influential playwrights winning a host of awards for his work including a Bafta for Life Is Sweet and the Palme D’or at Cannes for Secrets and Lies.

The production comes from Theatre Royal Bath, which won critical acclaim for Hobson’s Choice starring Martin Shaw, which came to Norwich last year.

And it boasts a strong supporting cast on stage opposite Amanda Abbington. They include Ben Caplan, who played PC Noakes in Call The Midwife and also starred in Sunny Afternoon in the West End, and Rose Keegan who has a strong stage career appearing in the likes of Bedroom Farce in the West End and Stepping Out on tour.

John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said the production is set to be a must-see show…

“Amanda’s acting pedigree speaks for itself. Bringing her together with a top-class cast and an excellent creative team means Abigail’s Party is something you should definitely RSVP to”

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Abigail’s Party runs at the Norwich Theatre Royal from Monday 27 March to Saturday 1 April. Shows are at 7.30pm each day, with a Wednesday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. There will be a captioned performance on Wednesday 29 March at 2.30pm.

Tickets £8-£28.50, with Discounts for Friends, Corporate Club, Over-60s, Under-18s, and Groups. 

To book or for more information, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.[/box]

The show will also visit Cambridge Arts Theatre from the 10th-15th April.