70s classic returns with a Yorkshire spin

Bill Templeton (Laurence) and Galye Shepherd as Beverly. Picture: Ian Barltrop.
Bill Templeton (Laurence) and Galye Shepherd as Beverly. Picture: Ian Barltrop.

It’s the summer of 1977 and housewife Beverly Moss and her estate agent husband Laurence throw a drinks party for the neighbours. The scene is set for the Doncaster Little Theatre’s version of Mike Leigh’s classic comedy, Abigail’s Party directed by Janet Rimmer.

Originally performed at Hampstead theatre, starring Alison Steadman as Beverly, Abigail’s Party is perhaps best remembered as a classic Play for Today, which was watched by 16 million people in 1979. The play is a classic comedy of (bad) manners, cringingly uncomfortable, yet hilarious.

When teenager Abigail throws a party for her friends, her next-door neighbour, Beverly Moss, does likewise for the adults – inviting Abigail’s mum, Sue and neighbours Tony and Angela.

In spite of the title of the play, all the action takes place in Beverly’s living room – and Abigail is never seen.

Doncaster Little Theatre produce one show each year which tours the district, as part of its “Big Lottery” funded “Community Development Project”.

It aims to bring theatre to the outlying districts where the distance from Doncaster might limit people’s ability to access the theatre.

Janet Rimmer, directing the show said: “Apart from moving the action north, from London to Yorkshire, we are sticking to the original stage version of the play, and setting it in the 70s.

“Over 40 years on, this play is a classic, and it’s great to be able to bring it to a whole new audience, as well as offer a chance for those who remember the original to see a home-grown Doncaster version.”

Abigail’s Party opens on February 14 at Doncaster Little Theatre and runs until Saturday, February 19, at the theatre – then for a further six nights on tour at various community venues across Doncaster, including Askern, Rossington, Moorends, Stainforth, Campsall, and Whitley Bridge.

For full details of all venues and dates please visit www.doncasterlittletheatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01302 340422.

Tickets £8 adults, £6 concessions. Borough Treasure Pass accepted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (£3 with pass), Mondays 2-for-1 (please note no concessions) Discounts for Group bookings.

For tour venues all tickets are £4.