Take your place as Derby Theatre stages ‘drinks party from hell’

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Derby Theatre’s big production for the autumn season will be Mike Leigh’s cult classic, Abigail’s Party, a co-production with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Wiltshire Creative and Les Théatres de la Ville de Luxembourg.

It can be seen at the city centre venue from Wednesday, September 26, until Saturday, October 20.

Starring in the role of socially awkward, aspirational hostess Beverly is Melanie Gutteridge (pictured), best known for her roles as PC Emma Keane in The Bill and Amy in Not Going Out.

Her recent credits include the British-American horror film The Watcher in the Woods (directed by Melissa Joan Hart) and on stage in Roaring Trade at the Park Theatre.

She will be joined by Liam Bergin (Danny Mitchell in EastEnders), Amy Downham (Jen Gilmore in Hollyoaks), Susie Emmett (she performed opposite Richard E Grant in the film The Man Who Married Himself) and Christopher Staines (Hamlet, National Theatre) as Laurence.

According to Leigh, this delicious 70s comedy that cracks open social climbing suburbia was set in theoretical Romford and is notorious for its references to cheesy pineapple and Demis Roussos. Made famous by the BBC Play for Today starring Alison Steadman, which was seen by 16 million viewers, audiences will not want to miss this great night out at the drinks party from hell.

This production is directed by the Queen’s Theatre’s artistic director Douglas Rintoul.

Derby Theatre and the Queens Theatre have also commissioned a brand new play, Abi, a contemporary response to Abigail’s Party. Abi is part of Derby Theatre’s RETOLD series and is written by one of Britain’s most exciting new

writers, Atiha Sen Gupta (Skins, Holby City). It stars Safiyya Ingar (LAVA, Nottingham Playhouse) and is directed by Sarah Brigham, Derby Theatre’s artistic director. Abi runs at Derby Theatre from Saturday, September 29, until Saturday, October 20.

For more, call the box office on 01332 255800 or go to www.derbytheatre.co.uk