Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party to transfer to Wyndham's Theatre in May 2012

Posted: 26th April 2012
After the stage version of The King's Speech failed to capture the public's imagination, a rampant classic is taking its place next month - tickets available now

Cheese and pineapple cubes on cocktail sticks, music centres and the silky tones of Greek chanteur Demis Roussos. All will be familiar to anyone who can remember the seventies and each was beautifully showcased in Mike Leigh's award-winning play Abigail's Party; a black comedy of manners and social awkwardness at a parents' drinks party, held whilst their teenage children, including the titular Abigail, party at a neighbour's house.

But Abigail's Party is more than a chronicle of life in seventies' Britain; it is a cringingly accurate depiction of suburban England with its gossiping curtain-twitchers, high divorce rate and wayward teenagers, and it is as accurate a record now as it was then.

Fresh from a hit run at the Menier and moving to Wyndham's to replace the ailing King's Speech, this revival sees Lindsay Posner direct Jill Halfpenny in the iconic lead role of Beverly, played originally by Alison Steadman. Steadman may have defined the part but Halfpenny is a good fit, with her girl-next-door appeal and a face familiar from Strictly Come Dancing, Eastenders, Waterloo Road and, more recently, a string of West End hits.

Put a bottle of Blue Nun on ice, leave the Ford Capri at home, set the Ferguson Videostar to record The Sweeney and prepare to laugh until your massive sideburns hurt.

Abigail's Party opens at Wyndham's Theatre on 15th May, running until 1st September 2012. We have tickets available now, priced from around £20.

Stewart Darkin