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Leicester’s Curve theatre has announces the full cast for Associate Director Suba Das’ new production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party. Das will direct Cary Crankson (Tony), Emily Head (Angela), Jackie Morrison (Sue), Patrick Moy (Laurence), and Natalie Thomas (Beverley). The production opens on 21 October, with previews from 17 October, and runs until 8 November.
It’s 1977. Beverly, former beautician and devout Tom Jones fan, is throwing a little party for her neighbours: newlyweds Tony and Angela, and divorcee Sue. Down the road, Sue’s teenage daughter Abigail is throwing a party of her own, but could it be the grown-ups’ night which really spirals out of control?
With little help from long-suffering husband Laurence, Beverly desperately attempts to hold the evening together, but as her guise as the perfect hostess starts to slip and tempers begin to flare, the evening descends into chaos with hilarious and tragic consequences.
Curve’s first show to be staged in the round, this new production of Mike Leigh’s comedy will bring audiences intimately close to the action live on stage.
Cary Crankson plays Tony. His theatre work includes The Saints (Nuffield Theatre), Dealer’s Choice (Royal and Derngate), Hamlet, Thebes, The Robbers, Miss Julie, Mary Stuart (New Diorama/Faction Theatre Company), Wasted, London (Paines Plough), Othello (Rose Theatre, Bankside), The Rover (Southwark Playhouse), Exit Signs (Royal Court) and The Fall (Young Vic). For television, his work includes Wild West; and for You’re Gonna Wake Up One.
Emily Head plays Angela. Her theatre work includes Coram Boy (Bristol Old Vic), Third Floor (Trafalgar Studios), and An Inspector Calls (NT tour). For television, her credits include Rita, The Inbeweeners, M.I. High, The Invisibles, Doc Martin, Trial and Retribution; and for film, The Inbetweeners.
Jackie Morrison plays Sue. Her theatre credits include This Is Ceilidh (Edinburgh Festival and London Southbank Centre), A Bunch of Amateurs (Watermill Theatre), Private Lives, Taking Steps, Hay Fever (Oldham Coliseum), Peribanez (Young Vic), Oh What A Lovely War (National Theatre), After Mrs Rochester (Duke of York’s), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Strand Theatre), and When We Are Married (Savoy Theatre). She has toured several musical shows around Scotland including Rogers and Hammerstein : The Shows The Story. She also has her one woman show Broadway to Burns. For television, her work includes Ultimate Force, Doctor Finlay, The Commander, Monarch of The Glen, Head Over Heels, Absolutely, and Little Miss Jocelyn.
Patrick Moy returns to Curve to play Laurence. He previously appeared in Translations and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Other theatre work includes Richard II (Ouroborous/Everyman/Abbey Theate), Anglo the Musical (Bord Gais Energy Theatre), The Playboy of the Western World (Lyric, Belfast), The Madness of George III (Theatre Royal Bath, national tour, Apollo Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice (RSC) and Titus Andronicus and The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe). For television, his work includes The Big Bow Wow; and for film, The Daisy Chain.
Natalie Thomas plays Beverley. Her theatre credits include Boeing Boeing (Sheffield Crucible), Earthquakes In London (Headlong), Much Ado About Nothing (Wyndham’s Theatre), Macbeth (Suba Das and Rae McKen), After The Dance (National Theatre) and The House of Gingerbread (Edinburgh Festival). For television, her work includes Desperate Romantics.
Mike Leigh is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director. His plays include The Box Play, The Last Crusade of Five Little Nuns, Individual Fruit Pies, Bleak Moments, Wholesome Glory, Too Much of a Good Thing, Ecstasy, Smelling Like a Rat, Greek Tragedy, Two Thousand Years and Grief. His most recent film, Mr Turner, is released later this year.
Abigail’s Party is directed by Curve Associate Director Suba Das, who recently curated Curve’s Inside Out Festival and has previously directed for the National Theatre Studio, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Young Vic. Directing at Curve includes Serious Money, Mother Clap’s Molly House and the UK première of two award-winning Indian plays developed by the Royal Court (Ok Tata Bye Bye by Purva Naresh and Pereira’s Bakery at 76 Chapel Road by Ayeesha Menon); all performed by local actors. Alongside his role at Curve, he continues to develop his own work, recently directing a major community production for the Young Vic, and winning the 2013 IdeasTap Underbelly Award for the world première of Hope Light And Nowhere by Bruntwood Prize winner Andrew Sheridan.