- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 45 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 24, 2004
- Originally Released: 1977
- Label: Water Bearer Films
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 04/10/1992
"...[Steadman is] horrendously funny..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2003
"...The television version of Leigh's famous drama..."
Mike Leigh's television adaptation of the play performed by the Hampstead Theatre Production focuses on a disastrous dinner party organized by Beverly (Alison Steadman), a middle-class Londoner who is married to Laurence (Tim Stern). The party's guests include new neighbors Angela (Janine Duvitski), a nurse, and her computer programmer husband, Tony (John Salthouse), as well as Susan (Harriet Reynolds), a divorced single mother whose 15-year-old daughter, Abigail, is throwing her first party next door. As the guests arrive and begin to get settled in, they run through the generic list of get-to-know-you topics of discussion, including work, family, life, and the history of how they met their partners. Gradually, the alcohol takes effect, causing Beverly and Tony to see each other in a sexual light when they begin to slow dance. All of this is disrupted when Laurence short-circuits, first going on a rampage of art appreciation, and then falling to the ground in an apparent fit of choking. The gravity of the situation finally brings sobriety and a well-needed reality check to the situation as Beverly, Tony, and Angela struggle to keep Laurence alive. Shooting the film on video using only one location, ABIGAIL'S PARTY captures the stage production with Leigh's usual intimacy and presents a scathing satire of the social-climbing aspirations of the British middle class.
A middle-class woman who's throwing a dinner party must decide whether to continue the ill-fated fete or tend to her ailing husband. ABIGAIL'S PARTY is another comedy of manners from British satirist Mike Leigh.
Black Comedy |
British Television |
Made-For-Network TV |
Social Issues |
- Filmed for BBC television's "Play For Today" series.
- Shot on location in London, England.
- As opposed to director Mike Leigh's other made-for-television dramas, ABIGAIL'S PARTY was shot on video.