Abigail’s Party

Mike Leigh’s classic comedy, Abigail’s Party, has come to The Lowry.

By Matthew Tyas | May 2nd '13

Following a triumphant West End season, Mike Leigh’s classic comedy, Abigail’s Party, has come to The Lowry, starring Hannah Waterman as Beverly in one of the most popular plays ever written.

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Cheese and pineapple on sticks, gin by the bucket load and Donna Summer warbling in the background – what more could you want from a party – or a play for that matter?
Acting as a window into a changing world in which traditional class systems are becoming confused, Abigail’s Party takes place in the front room of a seventies suburban home. Beverly has invited new neighbours Tony and Angela over for drinks, as well recently divorced Sue. It’s Sue’s daughter Abigail (whom we hear of, but never actually see) whose party is in the title, but the happenings in the front room are what the play is really focused on.

Cheese and pineapple on sticks, gin by the bucket load and Donna Summer warbling in the background – what more could you want from a party…

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Simmering marital discomfort, an overbearing host and an air of snobbery are reflected in hilarious quips that are all shown with an excellent balance of farce and depth. Beverly and her husband Lawrence constantly bicker, Tony threatens to sellotape Angela’s mouth shut and Sue begrudgingly accepts more drinks than she would care for with a meek, “Thank you.”

Although the average age in the theatre was probably around forty-eight, it didn’t mean the younger attendees didn’t enjoy the seventies references – not least because designer Mike Britton has created a set that is a true feast for eyes. With shag pile carpets, fiber-optic lights and wood panels galore it would be at home in many of Northern Quarter’s hippest bars.

Running in Leigh’s native Salford at The Lowry until 4th May, Abigail’s Party is great fun and had the audience screaming with laughter – just be warned; you may leave craving a finger foods.

For more info and tickets visit The Lowry website:
http://www.thelowry.com/event/abigail-s-party

Jessica Matthewman