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Analysis of Abigail's Party in performance

Uploaded by xsparklyvix on Sep 05, 2005

Describe how and why your own experience of watching (rather than participating in as a performer ect) ONE piece of drama (e.g play, film, programme or event) has contributed significantly to your decision to read drama at university.

Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh
20th September 2003
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham
Directed by David Grindley
Lead Performers: Elizabeth Hopley, Simon Wilson

David Grindley’s production of Abigail’s Party came to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Sept 2003. It was widely reviewed and met with critical acclaim. The production was so thought provoking that upon leaving the auditorium the noise in the foyer was deafening as the audience discussed the play. I found that I also had much to say and discuss with my companions: from set interpretation to acting, from costumes to direction. In reading a variety of reviews about the touring production, I found the range of opinions was vast: From “Grindley's direction retains the magic of the original, even down to all the embarrassing pauses” British Theatre Guide to “So often attempts at ‘period’ pieces on stage are let down by visual, verbal or other inconsistencies or misplaced details” Hampstead Theatre Reviewer. I believe that by reading drama at university I would have the opportunity to formally review works such as Abigail’s Party with like minded people. I believe that this would deepen my understanding of the play and allow me to explore different points of view. For me one of the attractions of the theatre is that there are so many different interpretations of a play. Every spectator has a different experience and viewpoint.

One of the aspects of the play that I particularly admired was the director’s production concept. Set firmly in the 1970s, David Grindley has chosen to keep the play in its original environment. The attention to detail and obvious care that had been taken in choosing the minutiae of the set meant that the audience were transported back to that era. Whilst laughing at the eccentricities of the time, the audience was lulled into a false sense of security feeling detached from the characters. As Beverley’s condescension
and working class snobbery became more apparent, the satire was all the more biting with the audience’s realisation to the relevance in their own lives,
David Grindley’s decision to retain the original setting of the text in order to embellish this satire is one of the most admirable decisions in the production. ...

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Uploaded by:   xsparklyvix

Date:   09/05/2005

Category:   Plays

Length:   5 pages (1,231 words)

Views:   8416

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