The enduring appeal of Abigail’s Party

Abigail's Party

With new productions at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Hull Truck Theatre this month, Mark Ludmon examines the continuing popularity of Abigail’s Party With its dissection of marriage and social mobility to the sounds and tastes of the Seventies, Abigail’s Party was very much a play for its day when it was first staged in 1977 at London’s Hampstead Theatre. Attitudes to class and the impact of “women’s lib” and other changes in society were played out in the painfully awkward drinks party hosted by Beverly and her husband Laurence for their neighbours, young couple Ange and Tone and Sue, escaping her 15-year-old daughter Abigail’s eponymous party down the road. After it was adapted for BBC1 later that year, it was such a hit that it was broadcast several times, with one repeat gaining 16 million viewers (boosted by storms and an ITV strike), putting it firmly on the path … Read more

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