Play for Today (1970–1984)
8.2/10
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Abigail's Party 

A TV play based on the Hampstead Theatre production. Beverly has invited her new neighbours, Angela and Tony, over for drinks. She has also asked her divorced neighbour, Sue, because Sue's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Tim Stern ...
Laurence
Janine Duvitski ...
Angela
...
Tony
Harriet Reynolds ...
Susan
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Storyline

A TV play based on the Hampstead Theatre production. Beverly has invited her new neighbours, Angela and Tony, over for drinks. She has also asked her divorced neighbour, Sue, because Sue's fifteen year-old daughter, Abigail, was holding a party in their house. Beverly's husband, Lawrence comes home late from work, just before the guests arrive. The gathering starts off in a stiff insensitive British middle class way with people who do not know each other, until Beverly and Lawrence start sniping at each other. Written by Will Gilbert

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Comedy | Drama

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1 November 1977 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alison Steadman based Beverly on a lady she knew whilst at Drama school in Essex, she merged this person with a woman she saw demonstrating a make-up range at a department store who either knowingly or unknowingly humiliated a lady she had plucked from the passing shoppers and telling a watching crowd she had applied her lipstick very badly. See more »

Quotes

Beverly: Don't get me wrong, Tone, it's not that I can't drive; in fact, I'm a good driver, but... Let me put it to you this way...
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Connections

Referenced in Friends: The One in Vegas: Part 1 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Forever and Ever
Lyrics by Demis Roussos
Sung by Demis Roussos
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User Reviews

 
A modern classic that explores the social deficiencies of the aspiring middle classes in the 70's...
15 April 2001 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Abigail's party is a tremendous piece of drama that was originally developed through a process of improvisation. It is hilariously funny but at the same time deeply moving and the tension created on stage is amongst the most painful I have ever witnessed. Mike Leigh, as a director, clearly has an amazing ability to achieve fantastic performances from his actors. The play, about an awkward drinks gathering, hosted by the atrocious Beverley (Alison Steadman), explores the intricacies of the social order in Britain and the pretentious aspirations of the lower middle class. With a heavy dose of Demis Rusoss, quite a few Gin an' Tonics, a cheesy pineapple stick and a dramatic climax - Abigail's Party is a much-watch. It may be a little dated but it still has a cult following and I hear that people today hold Abigail's Party parties:- So it must be good!


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