Abigail's Party Review

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A group of terribly Suburban English adults attend a soiree held by uptight hostess Beverley whilst her teenage daughter is throwing her own party two doors down. Undercurrents of frustration and awkwardness threaten to break through at any moment.


Originally conceived for radio, the BBC TV play is a painfully funny expose of the mores and desires underpinning a suburban cocktail party and established the hallmarks of Mike Leigh's style genius - astute observation, droll wit (watch lanky Sue dancing with pint-sized Roger) - all carried off by a perfect cast.

At its centre is a superlative performance from Alison Steadman as Beverly, the hostess from hell, seductively swaying around a living room to her beloved Demis Roussos LPs. It gets worse - her husband prefers James Galway.

Uncomfortable viewing but perceptively played and psychologically astute about a certain section of British society in the 1970s.