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Mike Leigh's ABIGAIL'S PARTY Will Embark on UK and Ireland Tour Next Year

The production opens at Theatre Royal, Winchester on 1 March 2023 before touring to a further nineteen venues.

Mike Leigh's ABIGAIL'S PARTY Will Embark on UK and Ireland Tour Next Year

London Classic Theatre has announced a new UK and Ireland tour of Mike Leigh's classic comedy Abigail's Party. The production opens at Theatre Royal, Winchester on 1 March 2023 before touring to a further nineteen venues including Lowestoft, Chelmsford, Warwick, Doncaster, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Bromley, Derby, Lincoln, Southport, Perth, Inverness, Oldham, Cork, Eastbourne, Darlington, Exeter, Bury St Edmunds and Malvern, concluding in Wales at Venue Cymru on 15 July 2023.

Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre, Michael Cabot said today "We're delighted to be launching our 2023 season with this iconic play. Abigail's Party is a wonderful mix of acute social observation and laugh-out-loud awkwardness. Mike Leigh's script, famously devised with his original cast, is an absolute treasure trove for actors and directors alike. The characters may seem larger-than-life but there is an extraordinary undercurrent of nuance informing their actions and behaviour. I'm currently in the early stages of planning with Bek Palmer, our set and costume designer, and it's always terrific to see her vision for the piece take shape. The play is set in 1977, so we are spending a lot of time delving into the fashion and interior design of the period, which is a treat in itself!"

It was 1977, the year of skin-tight polyester, the Queen's Silver Jubilee and Saturday Night Fever. The Sex Pistols were storming up the charts, skateboarding was the latest craze and Angela Rippon danced with Morecambe & Wise.

And at Hampstead Theatre in London, Mike Leigh and his cast were putting the finishing touches to Abigail's Party, ferocious black comedy and landmark of twentieth Century Theatre.

In her suburban living room, Beverly prepares for the arrival of her guests. She and husband Laurence will play host to neighbours Angela, Tony and Susan. As the alcohol flows and the 'nibbles' are handed around, Mike Leigh's ruthless, achingly funny examination of 1970s British life begins...

Abigail's Party was premièred at the Hampstead Theatre in 1977, with the role of Beverly being immortalised by Alison Steadman. A record sixteen million people watched its broadcast as Play for Today, launching its status as a true modern classic and national treasure.

Michael Cabot directs and is the founder and Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre. He has directed all forty-four LCT productions since their touring debut in 2000, including Boeing Boeing, Same Time, Next Year, Absurd Person Singular, No Man's Land, My Mother Said I Never Should, Private Lives, Hysteria, The Birthday Party, Waiting for Godot, Absent Friends and Equus. His recent freelance work as director includes three collaborations with award-winning playwright Henry Naylor, The Collector (Arcola Theatre/UK tour), Angel and Borders (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Adelaide Fringe & Brits Off Broadway).

Tour Dates

Theatre Royal, Winchester

1-4 March

Press Night: Thursday 2 March

Box office: 01962 840 440 / www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

7 - 8 March

Box office: 01502 533200 / www.marinatheatre.co.uk

Civic Theatre, Chelmsford

9 - 11 March

Box office: 01245 606505 / www.chelmsfordtheatre.co.uk

Warwick Arts Centre

14 - 18 March

Box office: 02476496000 / www.warwickartscentre.co.uk

Cast, Doncaster

30 March - 1 April

Box office: 01302 303 959 / www.castindoncaster.com

New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme

5 - 15 April

Box office: 01782 717 962 / www.newvictheatre.org.uk

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

19 - 22 April

Box office: 0343 310 0020 / www. churchilltheatre.co.uk

Derby Theatre, Derby

21 - 25 June

Box office: 01332 593939 / www.derbytheatre.co.uk

New Theatre Royal, Lincoln

1 - 2 May

Box office: 01522 519999 / www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk

The Atkinson, Southport

4 - 6 May

Box office: 01704 533 333 / www.theatkinson.co.uk

Perth Theatre, Perth

9 - 13 May

Box office: 01738 62103 / www.perththeatreandconcerthall.com

Eden Court, Inverness

17 - 20 May

Box office: 01463234234 / www.eden-court.co.uk

Oldham Coliseum Theatre

23 - 27 May

Box office: 0161 624 2829 / www.coliseum.org.uk/

Everyman Theatre, Cork

29 May - 2 June

Box office: 021 450 1673 / www.everymancork.com

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

6 - 11 June

Box office: 01323 412000 / www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk

Darlington Hippodrome

13 - 17 June

Box office: 01325 405405 / https://www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk

Exeter Northcott

20 - 24 June

Box office: 01392 726363 / www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

27 June - 1 July

Box office: 01284 769505 / www.theatreroyal.org

Malvern Theatres

4 - 8 July

Box office: 01684 892277 / www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

Venue Cymru, Llandudno

11 - 15 July

Box office: 01492 872000 / www.venuecymru.co.uk



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