Abigail's Party (BBC) [1977] [DVD] RRP:£15.99 Now £3.99 @ Amazon & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. - HotUKDeals
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Brilliant, part of BBC's Play for today series. An absolute classic. Same price at Play.com but out of stock.
Originally screened as part of BBC's Play for Today series in 1977, Abigail's Party is among Mike Leigh's most celebrated pieces, with his then-wife Alison Steadman appallingly brilliant as what Alan Bennett described as the "brutal hostess" at a ghastly suburban soiree. The Abigail of the title never appears--rather, the dull thud of her lively teenage party forms a distant backdrop (and contrast) to an excruciating evening of chilled red wine, olives and the music of Demis Roussos. Steadman plays the overbearing Beverley, an Amazonian mass of frustrated sensuality in a low-cut party frock. Tim Stern is her small, stressed estate-agent husband. The guests are Janice Duvitski as Angela, a nurse whose quite spectacular gormlessness shields her from the stilted social awkwardness quietly raging around her, John Salthouse as Tony, her taciturn husband and Harriet Reynolds as Sue, the gangly and miserably nervous mother of Abigail.

Rather than play for gags, Leigh and his actors mercilessly turn the screw of embarrassment through a series of too-true-to-life exchanges of dialogue, the stuff of all our collective worst memories of encounters with neighbours, aunts and office colleagues. Often misread as a satirical parade of suburban grotesques, Abigail's Party probes deeper than that, touching on nerves of anxiety and repression that throb behind the net curtains of modern England, culminating not in farce but tragedy. Decades on, Abigail's Party is as psychologically true and close to home as ever--hard to bear but utterly brilliant.

On the DVD: Abigail's Party is perfectly reproduced here in all its 1970s garishness. The one extra is a short featurette, focussing on Alison Steadman's playing of Beverley, with comments from the original actors in the TV series and Peter York marvelling at her "paint-scraping" voice. --David Stubbs
DVD Description
Beverly wears low-cut dresses, too much make-up and has a reputation as a man-eating monster. In Mike Leigh's modern classic, Abigail's Party, she turns a social get-together between married couples into a virtual time bomb of emotional tension. Alison Steadman won two best actress awards for her portrayal of the bored, bitchy hostess in this savagely funny study of pretentious middle-class social manners. It also stars Tim Stern, Janine Duvitski, John Salthouse and Harriet Reynolds.

Running Time: 60 minutes + 6 minutes approx.
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skusey Avatar
6y, 7m agoFound 6 years, 7 months ago
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#1
if youve never seen this ,just get it and it will be one of the best £3.99s you have spent . it is such a classic from the seventies. thoroughly recommended
edit .. absolute bargain by the way and well spotted by "skusey"
#2
cadmus
if youve never seen this ,just get it and it will be one of the best £3.99s you have spent . it is such a classic from the seventies. thoroughly recommended


100% agree, been looking for this for yonks, although its 33 years old, still worth a punt
#3
I was never much into drama at the time, I just happened to sit and watch and was amazed how good it was. Alison Steadman is brilliant.... a great watch
#4
Great to still see her on TV.

Just ordered thanks
#5
Mike Leigh's "Nuts In May" Equally brilliant, but sadly deleted on Video and DVD.
#6
I cringed through every excrutiating minute of this sublime play.

I have to say that I got a free copy from one of the papers last summer.
#7
Mike Leigh is a genius. Hot.
#8
cicobuff
Mike Leigh's "Nuts In May" Equally brilliant, but sadly deleted on Video and DVD.


http://www.cdquest.com/movies/details.aspx?id=0759259140523
availabe here and at other sites, although not cheap
#9
cicobuff
Mike Leigh's "Nuts In May" Equally brilliant, but sadly deleted on Video and DVD.


+1

" Come along Candice Marie ! "
#10
In my opinion this is one of Mike Leigh's best. I already have this but if you havent got it then go for it. A bargain at this price. Bit dated but still very amusing. Alison Steadman is superb.
#11
The weird thing is that those 70s style party dresses seem to have come back into fashion very recently! :thumbsup:
#12
I watched this at the time it was originally broadcast and thought it was a pretty good representation of how adults got on at the time :w00t: (although I probably didn't get a lot of it, then)
Have watched it many times since and still think its wonderful, it really transports me back in time and is soo cringeworthy in its realism, I have let my kids watch it when they tell me the 70's where a great decade, I thought this would enlighten them but they just thought the show was cool.
The whole cast were sublime, Play for the Day - them were the days.
£3.99 :thumbsup: what a bargain, can put my Scotch vhs back up in the attic.


Midge
#13
cicobuff
Mike Leigh's "Nuts In May" Equally brilliant, but sadly deleted on Video and DVD.


Available in Pal region 2 on the box set....
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mike-Leigh-BBC-Collection-DVD/dp/B001UHNXOC/


Includes: ABIGAIL'S PARTY, NUTS IN MAY, FOUR DAYS IN JULY, THE KISS OF DEATH, WHO'S WHO, HOME SWEET HOME, GROWN-UPS, HARD LABOUR and THE PERMISSIVE SOCIETY.
#14
Oh dear,,,,,,,such a cringe worthy flick - reminds me of me parents !!! LOL
#15
Nice spot - been waiting for a good price - Like some Demis Roussos?
#16
Have some heat just for the memories. :thumbsup:

I watched this first time round...brilliant :)
#17
Dated IMHO not funny then or now. Alison Steadmans caricature is unbelievable and over acted, did she get voice coaching from Dick Van Dyke?
#18
brown770
Available in Pal region 2 on the box set....
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mike-Leigh-BBC-Collection-DVD/dp/B001UHNXOC/


Includes: ABIGAIL'S PARTY, NUTS IN MAY, FOUR DAYS IN JULY, THE KISS OF DEATH, WHO'S WHO, HOME SWEET HOME, GROWN-UPS, HARD LABOUR and THE PERMISSIVE SOCIETY.


Grown ups! Had almost forgotten about that one. Brilliant stuff. :thumbsup:
#19
Very painful to watch.

But in a good way.
#20
I'm still scratching my head over the description "appallingly brilliant" (I realise it's the Amazon reviewer and not the OP. Maybe he means the group at the party are appalling!),.But..I have a mate who's always raving about this. Tempted!
#21
I'm pretty sure this was free in The Observer last September. Now I know that's no use now (unless you have a time machine handy), but it's always worth looking out for papers giving away free DVDs. Although they're not technically free, given you have to buy the newspaper.

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