Play for Today: Season 8, Episode 3

Abigail's Party (1 Nov. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,116 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 9 critic

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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Title: Abigail's Party (01 Nov 1977)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Tim Stern ...
Janine Duvitski ...
John Salthouse ...
Harriet Reynolds ...


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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Release Date:

1 November 1977 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on a stage play of the same name produced by Hampstead Theatre. See more »


[Laurence puts the Shakespeare play back on the bookshelf]
Laurence: Our nation's culture. Not something you can actually read, of course.
See more »


Referenced in All About 'Abigail's Party' (2007) See more »


It's Not Unusual
Written by Gordon Mills and Les Reed
Performed by Tom Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

A British TV Gem
27 February 2000 | by (Seattle, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw this first time round, and it's a once seen/never forgotten experience. Yes, THAT good. The TV version has the feel of the stage play it was, with all the action taking place in the living room of the obnoxious Beverly and her equally obnoxious husband.

In the first few seconds, Beverly, expecting the arrival of her guests, puts on the Donna Summer record Love To Love You Baby (which SHE likes, to hell with what the guests might like). Only it isn't Donna Summer, but one of those cheap 49 pence Woolworth cover version albums so prevalent in the seventies. Immediately, the mood is set.

The amazing thing about this play is that one feels throughout that one is intruding on what one should not be seeing. There is definitely that fly on the wall feel, but just try and look away. This is compelling viewing, no matter how far your eyes widen - and they will - as things progress. Even the more subtle touches (such as Angie's tight necklace, with the heart pendant that bobs up and down as she speaks) add light humor to the pervasive dark humor. There are too many classic moments in this one-off to even list, that good it is. This is a British TV gem.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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