Play for Today (1970–1984)
8.0/10
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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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire piece is improvised. Mike Leigh worked with each actor separately to create a character with a history from birth to the present day. Once the characters were fully formed he placed them in the situation and let the action commence. Probably about 90% of each character was left unseen, which is why it appears that Laurence, Sue and Tony are preoccupied with things, but we never discover what they truly are - which adds to the tension. See more »

Goofs

During some scenes, most notable at the start the crew & in particular the sound boom man can be seen clearly reflected in actress Janine Duvitski's (Angela) large glasses. See more »

Quotes

Angela: Buy a Broom! Buy a Broom! Buy a Broom and Sweep the Room!
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Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest TV Moments (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Gin--Vodka--Brandy!
30 June 2008 | by algoyoSee all my reviews

The best bit (for me) is when Beverley is putting on Donna Summer's "Love to Love You" and fixing herself a drink at the beginning of the play. She puts the needle on the record and at the same time she opens the drinks cabinet's sliding door directly above her head with her spare hand in a smooth, perfectly performed robotic motion. She then sits to consume her drink and, with the look of a Basilisk, surveys her domain. It is her appearance which really startles. Her red dress is of the finest polyester, but exposes her flesh in unflattering ways. She sometimes looks like a jellyfish, with the tendrils flapping away, or like some monster who has made a dress out of the leftover bits of red meat of her victims. Either way, you are in no doubt that Beverley is the hostess with the mostest. You know you are in for trouble when her husband Lawrence comes in and she pipes up "Hi". It's done in such a dissatisfied, unloving way, that you can see she's going to kill him one way or another.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1977 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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