It’s forty years since the appalling Beverly first put Donna Summer on the turntable, stacked a plate with little cheesey-pineapple ones, plied her guests with alcohol, cigarettes and Demis Roussos and slow-danced her way across the shag-pile into theatrical history.

The drinks party from hell begins when Beverly and estate agent husband Laurence invite round new neighbours, Tony and Ange, along with nervous divorcee Sue, jittery about the bash her teenage daughter, Abigail, is throwing up the road. As that party reportedly gets out of hand, this one too descends into chaos, and comedy, drama and tragedy combine into an iconic piece of theatre. Hilarious and horribly compelling, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party is an undisputed classic.

This ruthlessly accurate and painfully funny observation of the pretensions of suburbia comedy became an instant classic when it first appeared as a BBC Play For Today in 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Starring Amanda Abbington, best-known for playing Mary Morstan in Sherlock, Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge and DS Jo Moffat in Cuffs, stars as Beverly, and is joined by Ben Caplan from Call the Midwife, Rose Keegan, Charlotte Mills and Ciarán Owens.

Abigail's Party creator Mike Leigh is one of Britain’s most influential theatre and film directors, with numerous awards including a BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema.

Abigail’s Party runs at Malvern Theatres from Monday, April 17 to Saturday, April 22. To book, call the box officeon 01684 892277 or visit