Abigail’s Party, Review | Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Currently at Royal & Derngate is the classic comedy Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh, directed by Sarah Esdaile.


Beverly and husband Laurence are throwing a party for their new neighbours, Tony and Angela. Susan is a guest who’s been banished from the party of her teenage daughter Abigail. Meet the 5 characters and enjoy a trip to 1977 suburbia with classic Donna Summer’s disco and cheese and pineapple sticks. As gin & tonics are downed tensions rise and tempers flare and you witness the warring couples with funny and potentially disastrous consequences.

Starring stage and TV star Jodie Prenger, Coronation Street and Emmerdale actress Vicky Binns and Daniel Casey, best known as DS Gavin Troy in Midsomer Murders, Calum Callaghan and Rose Keegan.

Jodie Prenger (Beverly) Vicky Binns (Angela) Dan Casey (Lawrence)

Jodie Prenger was amazing as Beverley and she was 100% in character throughout. Even before the show began and she briefly glided across the set looking at the records and plumping a cushion. You could feel her pushy domineering character burst of the stage. You could feel the passive aggressive barbed words she aimed at her husband Laurence and the awkward moments that passed. I thought she commandeered the stage even at the end dropping cigarette ash on poor Laurence.

All four of the other actors were brilliant and I find it remarkable that such a professional show can be achieved with just 5 members of cast. Rose Keegan as Sue was a stand out for me for her simplistic lines delivered with perfect timing.

The staging was immense and fully transported you to the 1970’s. I remember seeing curtains almost identical to those on set in my baby pictures. The cabinet, drinks, ashtrays, cushions were all so authentic and I thought the attention to detail was fantastic.

I award 4 stars. The only reason I haven’t given 5 is because both me and my partner thought the end was a tad abrupt. What happened to Laurence and Abigail? I love a cliff-hanger but I wanted more.

Abigail’s Party runs until Saturday 9 March at Royal & Derngate, Northampton. Find out more at www.royalandderngate.co.uk


Performance: Mon 4 March 2019, Derngate Theatre, Northampton