Actress to star in Abigail’s Party at Queen’s Theatre says her character is a ‘horrifying sociopath’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 21 August 2018

Abigail's Party

Abigail's Party

Queen's Theatre

A popular 70s comedy stage production and film centred on a “horrifying sociopath” will be making its way to the borough next month.

Theatre-goers have the chance to see Abigail’s Party at Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, from August 30 - September 22, to watch the party of socially awkward, aspiring hostess Beverly, played by Melanie Gutteridge, slowly unfold.

“It’s so much fun playing her [Beverly], I love it whenever I get to play the baddy”, she said.

“People are always expected to try and be nice and good so when you get the chance to play a character who is vulnerable, angry, sad but at the same time so rude and monstrous, it’s a great way to vent!

“On the surface she’s a horrifying sociopath but she’s a lot more than that which is fascinating.”

The play, which was written by Mike Leigh who says it is set in “theoretical Romford”, tells the story of how Beverly Moss invites her new neighbours Angela and Tony, as well as divorced neighbour Sue, for a few drinks, along with her husband Laurence, as Sue’s daughter Abigail has a party next door.

With the couple sniping at one another at any chance they get and more alcohol being served as the night goes on, the more we find out about each of the characters.

The production is directed by the Queen’s Theatre’s artistic director Douglas Rintoul and co-produced with Derby Theatre, Wiltshire Creative and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.

The Hornchurch community venue and Derby Theatre have also commissioned new play Abi which is a contemporary response to Abigail’s Party.

This will also be performed at the Queen’s Theatre.

Melanie said: “It’s incredibly intricate and fascinating and funny all at the same time - it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.

“Alison Steadman who originally played Beverly was amazing and I hope that I can do the role justice for everyone who love the play.

“I can’t wait!”

For more information, visit or call 01708 443333

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