Abigail’s Party
Posted by admin in November 11, 2014

Opening April 22nd at Theatre Passe Muraille, is the Toronto premier of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party.

Abigail's Party_Nov 15I’m beyond excited to be playing Beverly Moss. This play launched Mike Leigh‘s career in 1977, and it was devised through improvisation with the original cast at the Hampstead Theatre, London,  over a lengthly rehearsal period. The play was then televised on the BBC and it was an instant hit. It’s got a bit of a cult following in the UK. My family in England are pretty “chuffed” I’m in Abigail’s Party, and they’re a bit horrified I’m playing Beverly Moss. Let’s just put it this way, she drinks over seven gin and tonics by the end of Act One and she can be perceived as a bit of a bully towards her high-strung husband.

Mike Leigh is one of my favourite filmmakers. Another Year is one of his latest, and it’s stunning. Happy Go Lucky, Vera Drake, Secrets and Lies, All or Nothing, Life is Sweet… The list goes on. His portraits of his characters are incredibly intimate and filled with such love. Often it’s the tiny details that strike you in his characters, the day to day mundanity of their lives made somehow poetic.  He never judges them, though he shows them in all their rawness. It’s rich territory.

The cast I get to work with is incredible. Astrid Van Wieren (Mamma Mia), Dylan Roberts (War Horse), Claire Burns (This Wide Night) and Cody-Ray Thomson (Sweeney Todd) are wonderful to dive into this 1970’s cocktail party from hell with every day. The talented director John Shooter has recently moved here from the UK and his enthusiasm for this play is contagious. He brings an authenticity to the work, and he’s also been scouring vintage shops here and in England for ages, so that we can properly portray Essex in the 1970’s, down to the shag rugs, polyester dresses and fibre lamps.

We open April 22 and were extended to May 10th at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. You can grab tickets at www.artsboxoffice.ca and check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/preciselypeterproductions.

Here’s a lovely promo video to put you in the mood:

See you at the Party!

Cheers everyone!

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