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Jill Halfpenny in Abigail's Party at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday, 10th Jan 2012  

Lindsay Posner Directs Mike Leigh’s Famous Play at the London Bridge Venue from March

The last time that the Menier Chocolate Factory was in the spotlight was in November when it was revealed that “Pippin” would be appearing at the venue from then until February 2012. Today a new announcement emerged regarding the production set to replace the show in the spring and this has been revealed as Mike Leigh’s famous “Abigail’s Party” with Jill Halfpenny and director Lindsay Posner. The show is set to appear at the London theatre from March to April.

In “Abigail’s Party” we meet the characters of Beverley and Laurence, a married couple whose drinks party that they are hosting for their neighbours is about to become more than they can chew. In this story of black comedy and chaos the guests are treated to alcohol, snacks and music. But that’s not all; along the way they are also treated to prejudices and bad tempers in an evening that is set to end disastrously. The play was penned in the 1970s, the era in which it is set, and was first witnessed by London theatre audiences at the Hampstead Theatre in 1977.

Since then the play has been remembered as one of the finest from the country’s best known writer/directors of the stage and screen, Mike Leigh, who returned to the spotlight recently with his new play “Grief”, which can still be seen at the Cottesloe National Theatre until the end of January. Like his other pieces of work, Leigh created the play through improvisation with the cast and after it was premiered on the stage it was then seen by BBC audiences as well in a successful adaptation.

Actress Jill Halfpenny is best known to audiences in the capital for her roles in successful west end shows like “Chicago” at the Cambridge Theatre, “Calendar Girls” at the  Noel Coward Theatre in 2009 and “Legally Blonde the Musical” in 2011, in addition to appearances in shows like “Waterloo Road”. Meanwhile, director Lindsay Posner’s work can currently be seen in the capital in The Old Vic Theatre’s “Noises Off”.

“Abigail’s Party” is at the Menier Chocolate Factory from Thursday 8th March 2012 (previews from Friday 2nd March 2012) to Saturday 21st April 2012.

Article filed under: Theatre News | New Productions |