London Classic Theatre announce cast for UK tour of Mike Leigh’s Masterpiece, Abigail’s Party.

London Classic Theatre announce cast for UK tour of Mike Leigh’s Masterpiece, Abigail’s Party.

Abigail’s Party premièred at Hampstead Theatre in 1977, with the role of Beverly being immortalised by Alison Steadman. A record sixteen million people watched its broadcast as Play for Today, underlining its status as a true modern classic and national treasure.

London Classic Theatre has announced the full cast for their 2023 UK tour of Mike Leigh’s classic comedy, touring to The Atkinson, Southport, 4-6 May 2023.

Michael Cabot directs Rebecca Birch (Beverly), Jo Castleton (Susan), Alice De-Warrenne (Angela), George Readshaw (Tony) and Tom Richardson (Laurence).

Michael Cabot, Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre, said: “I am delighted to announce the cast for our 2023 tour of Abigail’s Party. Our casting process lies at the centre of everything we do as a company and is fundamental to the work we produce. Not only do we see as many candidates as we can, but we always go through a rigorous recall process where we watch various combinations of actors and how they work together. Putting together the right ensemble is something I have always taken incredibly seriously as those decisions have such a key impact on the work. Our policy has always been to draw from our incredible ‘core company’ as well as opening the door to as many new faces as possible. In this instance, two of the cast are returning to us from previous shows and the remaining three actors are new to the LCT fold. I think we have assembled a first-rate company of actors with impeccable theatre pedigree and can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room with them.”

Abigail’s Party

The Atkinson, Southport
Thursday 4 May- 7:30pm
Friday 5 May – 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Saturday 6 May – 7:30pm

It was 1977, the year of skin-tight polyester, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and Saturday Night Fever. The Sex Pistols were storming up the charts, skateboarding was the latest craze and Angela Rippon danced with Morecambe & Wise.

And at Hampstead Theatre in London, Mike Leigh and his cast were putting the finishing touches to Abigail’s Party, a ferocious black comedy and landmark of twentieth-century theatre.

In her suburban living room, Beverly prepares for the arrival of her guests. She and husband Laurence will play host to neighbours Angela, Tony and Susan. As the alcohol flows and the ‘nibbles’ are handed around, Mike Leigh’s ruthless, achingly funny examination of 1970’s British life begins…


Directed by Michael Cabot
Designed by Bek Palmer
Lighting by Matthew Green

Rebecca Birch plays Beverly, returning to London Classic Theatre following My Mother Said I Never Should (UK tour). Her other theatre credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Ghosts Of The Titanic (Frinton Summer Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Half Cut Theatre), The Girl On The Train (English Theatre Frankfurt), Horrible Christmas (Winter Gardens Blackpool/Birmingham Stage Company), The Sea (NT Studios), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lyric Hammersmith/Filter Theatre), The Beggar’s Opera, The Secret Seven (Storyhouse Theatre Chester), Alice in Wonderland (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre), A Tale of Two Cities (Royal & Derngate/Touring Consortium), Relative Values (Theatre Royal Bath/West End), Variation on a Theme (Finborough Theatre), Health Wealth (Old Vic New Voices), Pygmalion (Garrick Theatre/Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Master Builder (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, her credits include The Commuter – Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K Dick and Victoria.

Jo Castleton plays Susan, returning to London Classic Theatre following Boeing Boeing (UK tour). Her other theatre credits include Vincent River (Bridge Theatre, Brussels), War Horse (National Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre/Gielgud Theatre), Dangerous Corner (Nottingham Playhouse), Round and Round the Garden, Table Manners, A Murder is Announced, Deathtrap, Murder Weapon, Suddenly at Home (Eastbourne Theatres/UK tour), Shock (Nottingham Theatre Royal), Twist of Gold (Polka Theatre), Beauty and the Beast, Oh, What a Lovely War!, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Wind in the Willows, The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol (Haymarket Basingstoke), Elephant 21 (Royal Court Theatre), Family Man (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ghost Train, Sailor Beware, Lilies on the Land, Daisy Pulls It Off (UK tours), and The Magic Flute, The Mystery Plays, Oliver Twist and Shakers (Liverpool Playhouse). For television, her credits include Suspicion and Somewhere Boy.

Alice De-Warrenne plays Angela. Her theatre credits include Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever (Theatre Royal Haymarket/UK tour), The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Pinocchio (Greenwich Theatre), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Reformation (White Bear Theatre), Bing Live (UK tour), Wrecked (VAULT Festival), Santa’s Invitation (Ductac Dubai), Under My Thumb (Greenwich Theatre/New Diorama/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), A Night at the Bard (Floods Tavern), Hay Fever (Upstairs at The Gatehouse/UK tour), Alice in Wonderland (UAE tour) and The Wind in the Willows (Waterloo East Theatre). For television, her credits include Black Ops.

George Readshaw plays Tony. His theatre credits include Moonlight and Magnolias (Frinton Summer Theatre), Indecent Proposal (Southwark Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UK tour), A Christmas Carol (Bristol Old Vic) and Flies (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). For television, his credits include Extraordinary. Readshaw is the co-founder of Half Cut Theatre, a young touring theatre
company set up in the midst of the pandemic.

Tom Richardson plays Laurence. His theatre credits include The Snow Queen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (Storyhouse Theatre Chester), Sherlock, Private Lives, Little Women (Pitlochry Festival Theatre/Watford Palace), Much Ado About Nothing, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (UK tour), As You Like It, She Stoops To Conquer, Twelfth Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Guildford Shakespeare Company), The Prince and The Pauper (New Vic), Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, Sense and Sensibility, Single Spies, Dial ‘M’ For Murder, The Rivals, Watch It Sailor! (Theatre by the Lake/York Theatre Royal), Elton John’s Glasses (Watford Palace Theatre), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, The Wind in The Willows, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors (Chester Performs), The White Carnation (Jermyn Street Theatre), Roots (Nottingham Playhouse), and The Winter’s Tale, The Rivals, The Grapes of Wrath, and Arsenic and Old Lace (Mercury Theatre)

Michael Cabot directs and is the founder and Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre. He has directed all forty-four LCT productions since their touring debut in 2000, including Boeing Boeing, Same Time, Next Year, Absurd Person Singular, No Man’s Land, My Mother Said I Never Should, Private Lives, Hysteria, The Birthday Party, Waiting for Godot, Absent Friends and Equus. His recent freelance work as director includes three collaborations with award-winning playwright Henry Naylor, The Collector (Arcola Theatre/UK tour), Angel and Borders (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Adelaide Fringe & Brits Off Broadway).

About London Classic Theatre

London Classic Theatre is based in Whyteleafe, Surrey and is run by Artistic Director Michael Cabot and Producer Kathryn Cabot. The company was launched in 2000 as a touring theatre company with David Mamet’s Oleanna. This inaugural tour lost a small fortune, but doors had opened and crucially, the work was being seen. Twenty-three years and forty-four tours later, London Classic Theatre is now a successful, established part of the commercial UK touring theatre scene. The company has never received any funding or sponsorship for its work. As Artistic Director, Michael Cabot has programmed a repertoire of classic and modern classic plays, a mixture of the challenging and the commercial, big titles and less well-known, including two UK premières – Hugh Leonard’s Love in the Title and Joanna Murray-Smith’s Nightfall. As venues and audiences have become more familiar with the company’s work, Michael and Kathryn have been able to push the boundaries of what LCT offers, in ambition, scale and complexity.
Facebook: @LondonClassicTheatre
Twitter: @londonclassic1

Posted on 22 February 2023 under General news, Just announced, Theatre & Studio

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