RICHARD PARR Abigail's Party
London Classic Theatre, Lynn Arts Centre
A near capacity audience were kept in stitches with this modern classic, essentially a look at the class system in 1970s Britain.
The audience are looking into the suburban house of Beverly Jennings and her husband Laurence who have invited their neighbours, Angela and Tony and Susan, round for drinks.
Michael Cabot's direction of Mike Leigh's famous play is superb. Paula Jennings was outstanding as Beverly and we were able to watch her awful, over-bearing character as she gradually becomes increasingly affected by her endless gin and tonics.
- 1 Murder inquiry as teenage woman dies after car crash in Norfolk village
- 2 Man in 30s dead, two arrested on suspicion of murder in Norfolk town
- 3 Man in 50s dies after medical incident in field
- 4 Two recycling centres to be closed - and replaced with new £4m tips
- 5 'Heartbroken' pet owner thanks community after missing dog found dead
- 6 Customers travelling across Norfolk to try pub's 'afternoon sea'
- 7 Vicar’s astonishing outburst against the Bishop in town's long-running row
- 8 How Covid restrictions will change in England this week
- 9 Devastated family wrongly told prisoner hanged himself weeks before release
- 10 Road rage incident sees van driver run over by car
Helen Jones, as Angela, was another wonderful comic portrayal as she has to cope with her monosyllabic husband Tony, played by Benjamin Warren. As the play progresses we gradually discover more and more details of their personal and private lives.
In sharp contrast to Beverly and Angela is the much more straight-laced and refined Susan who just seems to the butt of all her neighbours' intensive questions but as we eventually discover, she is actually made of stronger stuff.
Cabot's direction has a fresh quality about it and the cast brought the marvellous script to life, not only in the spoken delivery but also in the various ways the characters respond and giving knowing looks to each other.
The role of Beverly is now firmly established as a classic in contemporary theatre in the same way that every generation reinvents its own Hamlet or Lady Bracknell.
A reviewer cannot say too much about Jennings' masterful portrayal of this central figure. We all felt we have met such a character in our own lives, such was her convincing and powerful acting.