Mike Leigh’s iconic comedy drama, Abigail’s Party, returns to the London stage at Park Theatre 10 November to 4 December 2021,with former EastEnders star Kellie Shirley playing Beverly, and Ryan Early (Lee Bryce in The Archers) playing her angst-driven husband Laurence.
The 1970s comedy of manners, full of new-found suburban pretensions and social aspirations, was a huge hit when it premiered at the Hampstead Theatre, and the TV adaptation has been voted as one of the greatest British TV programmes by both industry professionals and the public.
Beverly and estate agent husband Laurence are happily ensconced and living the dream in suburbia. They know what records to play, what art prints to buy and what wine to drink. And Beverly just can’t resist the temptation to spread her knowledge and help improve the lives of their neighbours, Tony, Angela and Abigail’s Mum, Susan. What better way to help out than to invite them all for drinks and titbits?
Abigail’s Party is Mike Leigh’s classic 1977 play that was first developed through lengthy improvisations, a style which became the hallmark of Leigh’s future success in film and TV. It first ran at the Hampstead theatre for 104 performances and was due to transfer to the West End, but instead it was whisked into a BBC TV studio and the subsequent broadcast quickly became a cult classic repeated many times over the years.