Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre
Date : June 1990
Genre : Play
A Superb look at the awful
Mike Leigh’s incisive pose of suburban snobbery, ignorance and awfulness is superbly handled by a strong and confident cast.
Angela Smith dominates the play with a devastating vulgarity and a costly confidential dreadfulness which pin you in your seat.
But she has excellent support in Roger Warren as the overworked husband. Val Archer gives a lovely account of Abigail’s mother. She is a gentle delight, clearly out of place in her raucous surroundings.
Mary Allen is a joy of twittering naivety and Ted Rogers grows believably from monosyllabic utterances to explosive desperation.
Dave Wilkins has designed a set worthy of his production, which ends tonight.
(Production at Palace Theatre Redditch)
John Slim, Birmingham Evening Mail
Local Paper Review
The quality of the programmes produced by amateur theatre groups varies tremendously.
Usually, in the nature of things, it is the operatic societies, rather than the drama groups, which go for the big, glossy, picture-filled programme, with messages from the president and the producer and a note from the musical director.
They also tend to include a synopsis of the story, which is thoughtful of them but it always strikes me as being a bit superfluous, unless they are not proposing to do the show in English.
But drama groups — and I exclude in this context most of those which are resident at any of the region's little theatres frequently go for the more ersatz offering, often consisting of just a single folded A4 sheet and typed with enthusiasm but not too much flair on the communal Smith-Corona.
There are those, however, which see the programme quite properly as a potential source of income at times of rising costs and which make a serious attempt to reap a harvest of local advertisers.
In this respect, I really must touch the awestruck forelock to Wythall Theatre Group, whose recent production of Abigail's Party at the Palace Theatre, Redditch, was accompanied by a 28-page programme containing no fewer than 68 advertisements.
Gerry Solomon, the group's president, was the man responsible for selling all that space. He actually did it three years ago, in deals covering three shows a year. The programmes have yielded a profit of £1,000.
Unknown, Unknown Publication