Mike Leigh

Abigail’s Party

A TV classic, Steadman’s character has become part of the cultural landscape.

Image from Abigail’s Party

Play for Today, BBC 1977
Dir Mike Leigh
With Alison Steadman, Janine Duvitski, John Salthouse, Tim Stern

Still one of the most popular TV films of all time, Abigail’s Party is in fact a TV recording of a theatre piece that’s a subversive boulevard comedy with elements of Greek tragedy. Alison Steadman’s monstrous Beverly – big shouldered, bossy and unstoppable–remains the role for which she’s best known, her vulgarity rooted in pathos, her lifestyle banter a treasure trove of funny, quirky phrases. The piece ripples with anxiety and territorial one-upmanship.

The screening on Sunday 14 November will feature a Q&A with Mike Leigh.