Play for Today (1970–1984)
8.1/10
1,657
24 user 16 critic

Abigail's Party 

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh (devised by)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Alison Steadman ... Beverly
Tim Stern Tim Stern ... Laurence
Janine Duvitski Janine Duvitski ... Angela
John Salthouse ... Tony
Harriet Reynolds Harriet Reynolds ... Susan
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Storyline

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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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1977 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The titular Abigail is never heard or seen. See more »

Quotes

Beverly: Sometimes a little row adds sparkle to a relationship.
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Connections

Referenced in Interview with Chris Petit and Keith Griffiths (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Not Unusual
Written by Gordon Mills and Les Reed
Performed by Tom Jones
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User Reviews

A British TV Gem
27 February 2000 | by colinwjwSee 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.


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