First look at Douglas Rintoul’s revival of Mike Leigh’s cult classic Abigail’s Party which opened at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch last week.

Widely considered a classic of 20th-century British drama for its tragi-comedy and acute satire on the class-consciousness and social climbing of 1970s Britain. It was made famous by the BBC’s Play for Today starring Alison Steadman, which was seen by 16 million viewers.

Playing the gauche, aspirational hostess Beverly is Melanie Gutteridge who is best known for her roles as PC Emma Keane in The Bill and Amy in Not Going Out. The cast also features Eastenders ‘Danny Mitchell’ Liam Bergin as Tony, Amy Downham (Common, National Theatre) as Angela, Susie Emmett (Inherit The Wind, New Vic Theatre) as Susan and Christopher Staines (BBC series Wolf Hall and Our Town, Almeida) as Laurence.

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L-R Amy Downham & Melanie Gutteridge in Abigails Party. Photo credit Mark Sepple

Abigail’s Party began performances on 30 August at the Queen’s Theatre and will tour to Derby Theatre (26 Sept – 20 Oct), Salisbury Playhouse (30 Oct – 17 Nov) and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (27 – 29 Nov).