BEVERLY is the hostess from hell in Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party at Leamington’s Loft Theatre.
Beverly and Laurence have invited new neighbours, Angela andTony, for drinks. They are joined by sensitive mother, Sue, invited to take refuge from her teenage daughter Abilgail’s rowdy party.
Beverly is domineering and pushy and totally unaware of her ghastly taste and uncultured values. As the evening progresses, helped along by liberal amounts of alcohol, dark undertones emerge and Beverly and Laurence’s bickering gets increasingly strident much to the embarrassment of their guests.
Even when tragedy strikes nothing can stop Beverly’s tipsy insensitive prattle.
Directed by Vanessa Comer, real life husband and wife Ruth and Andy MacCallum take on the roles of Beverly and Laurence. They are joined by Alex Cromer and Zoe Faithfull as Angela and Tony, while Sue Wilkinson plays anxious mother Sue.
“I’m the only company member old enough to have been an adult during the 1970s” said Vanessa. It was really odd trying to convince the cast that it was all true – the shagpile carpets, lava lamps and cheesy-pineapple on sticks.
“But once we substituted today’s laminate flooring, digital photo frames and bruschetta it became much easier to understand. The play may be dark but, my goodness, it’s funny in equal measure.”
Abigail’s Party runs from March 18 to 28. Visit www.loft-theatre.co.uk for tickets and further details.