October 2017 - Let Us Entertain You: Abigail's Party
Abigail’s Party was devised and directed in 1977 by English playwright/director, Mike Leigh. Laurence and Beverly are entertaining their new neighbors, Angela and Tony, as well as their divorced neighbor, Susan. Susan’s teenage daughter, Abigail, is having a party to which Susan is not invited. Over drinks and snacks, clichés and fatuous small talk abound. It is a suburban situation comedy of manners, and a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Great Britain in the 1970s.
According to director, Marty Epstein, “it is about relationships, about the British class structure in the late 1970’s and the desires of the characters to move up that ladder into that next tier of society. It is about marital stress and financial pressures, trying to achieve that class movement on the backs or at the expense of others. By putting others down and poking, perhaps not so innocent, fun at others we make ourselves appear to be better and at the same time point out our insecurities. It is a fun and challenging piece as it is comedic with a dark side to it. Mike Leigh has fashioned a play about real people and real relationships and sometimes we just want to laugh about how absurd those things sometimes are.”
The five outstanding actors are Tim Crofton, Jessica Osbourne, Colleen McClure, Laira Magnusson and Dean Squibb.
Marty Epstein most recently directed Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn at The Adobe Theater. For twenty-five years he has been directing at many venues in Albuquerque including The Nance at The Vortex Theatre last year. He is a CPA teaching full time at CNM Community College.
Abigail’s Party is the third production this year from West End Productions as part of its inaugural season. Albuquerque’s newest theater company, West End Productions exclusively performs plays, past and present, from the United Kingdom. Abigail’s Party runs until Sunday, October 15th at VSA North 4th Art Center located at 4904 4th St. NW. Tickets can be purchased via www.westendproductions.org.