Canal Street Online Manchester

Abigails Party

Abigails Party

This revival of Abigail’s Party is an enormous success, taking us back to a late 1970’s suburbia (Walthamstow) and to a time when house prices were £21,000, trousers were flared, furniture was G-Plan – with the mandatory cocktail cabinet in the room divider – and Demis Roussos was at his height. It’s a huge romp of a comedy where middle class social standing and aspirations are dissected. The pace is fast, and the five characters all score off each other perfectly.

Scratch the veneer though and marital disharmony lurks only slightly below the surface.

Archetypal “Essex Girl” Beverley (Jody Prenger) and estate agent Laurence (Daniel Casey) her hen-pecked husband, are hosting a drinks party – complete with the obligatory cheese and pineapple on sticks – for new neighbours Angela (Vicky Binns) and Tony (Calum Callaghan), a nurse and ex-footballer turned computer operator, who have given up smoking. Long standing nervous neighbour Sue is also invited, and reluctantly attends, so she can take refuge from her daughter Abigail’s party which we hear off-stage.

Beverley is a galleon in full sail, and plies everyone with drink, which loosens everyone’s tongues. She sweeps any and all reservations aside and the results are hilarious. This isn’t a time of political correctness though, and some lines come across as a bit blunt in our supposedly more enlightened times. The pace quickens into a roller coaster ride as the drink (and tobacco) takes further hold of everyone and hurries us along to the fateful end.

It's a great evening out and everyone on stage was very good indeed – even when things went slightly wrong towards the end.

Abigail’s Party continues at Manchester Opera House until the 13th of April.

Published: 10-Apr-2019

Canal-st.co.uk Top Stories

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Together Again, Again!

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Together Again, Again!

It’s been 45 years since Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales have set foot on stage together

Band of Gold re-booted

Band of Gold re-booted

David Poucher chats with Shayne Ward and Kieron Richardson at The Lowry Theatre

Manchester Pride 2019: A retrospective

Manchester Pride 2019: A retrospective

We take a look back on the Manchester Pride Festival 2019.

Mother's Ruin - Turn on Fest 2020

Mother's Ruin - Turn on Fest 2020

TWO HOT QUEER consecutive Saturday night gigs as part of TURN ON FEST