Running time: 2 hours 10mins
By Mike Leigh
Presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions
Directed by Sarah Esdaile
Starring Amanda Abbington
The 40th Anniversary production
Prior to the West End
It's forty years since the appalling Beverly first put Donna Summer on the turntable, stacked a plate will little cheesey-pineapple ones, plied her guests with alcohol, cigarettes and Demis Roussos and slow-danced her way across the shag-pile into theatrical history.
The drinks party from hell begins when Beverly and estate agent husband Laurence invite round new neighbours, Tony and Ange, along with nervous divorcee Sue, jittery about the bash her teenage daughter, Abigail, is throwing up the road. As that party reportedly gets out of hand, this one too descends into chaos, and comedy, drama and tragedy combine into an iconic piece of theatre. Hilarious and horribly compelling, Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party is an undisputed classic.
Amanda Abbington is best-known for playing Mary Morstan in Sherlock, Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge and DS Jo Moffat in Cuffs.
Sarah Esdaile directed Alan Bennett's Talking Heads as part of the 2015 Summer Season in Bath. Her acclaimed productions for West Yorkshire Playhouse include Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Deep Blue Sea.
Also starring Ben Caplan (PC Noakes in Call the Midwife, Sunny Afternoon in the West End) as Laurence, Rose Keegan (Stepping Out on tour, Bedroom Farce in the West End) as Sue, Charlotte Mills (Jerusalem) as Angela and Ciaran Owens (Mad World My Masters) as Tony.