Jodie Prenger stars as Mike Leigh’s modern classic Abigail’s Party tours to Edinburgh

WHEN it comes to plays and modern classics, it’s hard to beat Mike Leigh’s ground-breaking comedy Abigail’s Party.

By Liam Rudden
Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:39 pm

WHEN it comes to plays and modern classics, it’s hard to beat Mike Leigh’s ground-breaking comedy Abigail’s Party.

A new production of the bitter-sweet comedy, starring Jodie Prenger as the domineering Beverly, tours to The King’s next week, and it promises to be one not to miss.

Prenger leads a cast that comprises Vicky Binns as Angela, Calum Callaghan as Tony, Daniel Casey as Lawrence and Rose Keegan as Susan.

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For those unfamiliar with the piece, here’s a quick synopsis: Beverly and her husband Laurence are throwing a party for their newlywed neighbours, Tony and Angela.

Joining them is highly strung Susan who’s been banished from the party of her teenage daughter Abigail.

Welcome to 1970’s suburbia and its heady mix of free-flowing cocktails, classic disco and cheese and pineapple sticks.

As tensions rise and tempers flare the sheen of respectability is torn away by the warring couples with hilarious and potentially disastrous consequences. 

Leigh’s iconic play is one of the UK’s most celebrated comedies and was once described as ‘One of the greatest plays about the human condition ever written.’

Cast members of this production will be familiar to theatre-goers and TV viewers alike.

Prenger, who famously landed the role of Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival production of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane after winning BBC 1’s I’d Do Anything, says, “ ‘Abigail’s Party is a true British classic and a real bucket list part for me. I’m thrilled to be involved in something so wonderful.”

Prenger’s co-star Vicky Binns has had long-running roles in Coronation Street, playing Molly Dobbs for five years, and in Emmerdale as Ollie Reynolds for four years.

Daniel Casey, meanwhile, is probably best known for playing Sergeant Troy in six series of Midsommer Murders.

Calum Callaghan’s TV credits include Black Mirror for Netflix, Mr Selfridge on ITV and Our World War and Torchwood for BBC and Rose Keegan’s film and TV work includes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Match Point, The Mirror Crack’d and Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Abigail’s Party was first devised and directed in 1977 by Mike Leigh It developed in lengthy improvisations and opened in April 1977 at the Hampstead Theatre, before becoming aBBC Play for Today in 1977.

Abigail’s Party, King’s, Leven Street, 16-20 April, 7.30pm (Matinees Wednesday & Saturday 2.30pm), £18.50-£32, 0131-529 6000