As a get-together of neighbours turns from social embarrassment,
to personal antagonism to crisis, the audience is manipulated
into squirming and laughing but is ultimately shocked. The
host of the party, Beverly,
wears low-cut dresses, too much make-up and has a reputation
as a man-eating monster. She also manages to turn a social
get-together between married couples into a virtual time-bomb
of emotional tension...
number 11 in the British Film Institutes list of all-time
top 100 British TV Programmes, Abigail's Party is painful
to watch - reflecting the lower-middle classes of the 1970's.
The production is made more painful today by the terrible
1970s fashions - tasteful decor and good dress sense went
out of the window to be replaced, paradoxically, by kitch
and flamboyant trends.
Steadman is one of this country's greatest actresses and it
is a shame that she never really became a household name.
If you've seen Leigh's Nuts in May (1984) you'll find
it hard to believe that the drippy hippy is the same actress
who was so openly flirtatious and in control of (nearly) early
situation in Abigail's Party. Steadman won two Best
Actress awards for Abigail's Party.
rest of the characters all have their guilty little secrets
including wife beating and impotency. John Salthouse's Tony
is really the most unpleasent character. He appears mild mannered,
but once the tension to gets to him he, quite literally lashes
of the funniest, painful play's you're ever likely to see.
was, however, disappointed to see that there were no extras
other than a 6-minute featurette on Alison Steadman's character.
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