Play for Today (1970–1984)
8.0/10
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25 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 ... 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 cramp Angela is crippled by at the end of the play was originally genuine. During rehearsals for the stage play Janine Duvitski was suddenly struck down with cramp and doubled over, Mike Leigh ruthlessly cried "Keep Acting" and the whole thing ended up remaining in the stage and TV play. See more »

Quotes

Beverly: Just because a picture happens to be erotic, does not make it pornographic.
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Connections

Featured in 'Abigail's Party' Pack (2007) 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 modern classic that explores the social deficiencies of the aspiring middle classes in the 70's...
15 April 2001 | by mentalistomSee 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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