Abigail’s Party

By Mike Leigh

The Flaneur – “Anna Friend’s gloriously intimate and flawlessly cast production is one of the finest renderings of the play I have ever seen… Leigh’s knack for structure and sparkling dialogue, coupled with Friend’s sharp and pacy direction are, unlike Beverly and Laurence, a match made in heaven, and certainly give the original a run for its money.” – 

The Story

Now in its 40th year, Abigail’s Party is a pillar stone of modern British theatre, making it the perfect challenge for Schoolhouse Productions’ latest project.  With our sell-out, five-star production, now available to tour, we are offering you a slice of pure 70’s caramel, with Mike Leigh’s signature bitter edge.

Beverley and Laurence are having an informal drinks party with some of their neighbours, while teenager Abigail has her own thumping house-party down the road.  What starts as an uncomfortable evening of forced fun quickly unravels once the liquor starts to flow and Beverley’s hosting style becomes increasingly erratic.

 

Cast and Crew

ANNA FRIEND – DIRECTOR / CO-PRODUCER

HOLLY NEWTON – PRODUCER / CO-DIRECTOR / TECH OPERATOR

DAVID JELL – LIGHTING DESIGNER / TECHNICAL MANAGER

Anna Friend – Beverley

Anna trained at the Central School, before starting Quirky Bird Theatre, a multi award-winning company. She’s recently played all seven female parts in our debut production of Two – on top of this she’s a co-founder of Schoolhouse and our Director.

Adam Elms – Laurence

Adam is a London-based actor, though he’s a familiar face at the Alma, after his acclaimed performance in The Pillowman.  He has most recently finished a summer rep season in Cambridge, including Much Ado About Nothing and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Jennifer Jope – Angela

This is Jenny’s second production with Schoolhouse, after playing Kristine Linde in our 5* A Doll’s House, back in March.  She is also an improviser, performing regularly at the Bristol Improv Theatre.

Ryan Gilks – Tony

After graduating from Drama at Winchester, Ryan spent a year training in Spain before returning to Wiltshire where much of his acting work has been in film ever since. He’s come back to the stage to join Schoolhouse as Tony, in Abigail’s Party.

Diane Lukins – Susan

Diane is no stranger to television and commercial work, having performed in various BBC shows, and Roughcut’s Trollied. But, like Ryan, she is returning to the stage after a 5 year absence to bring the nervous Sue to life.

Audience responses

“Tragedy does create the best laughter and the performances conveyed the misery of the situation with excellent comic timing… We were laughing throughout, there was a standing ovation at the end… It was a thoroughly satisfying evening.” – Alec Reid (Reid Recordings)

“Brilliantly funny *****”

“Really great cast”

“Five-star production”

“Cheesey-pineapple tension”

“Fantastic. Memorable. Hilarious”

“A perfect 105 minutes”

“Very, very enjoyable”

“Top-notch characterisation”

“Hilarious – brilliant show”