27th–30th November 2019
Our last show was "Abigail's Party" by Mike Leigh. Our biggest audiences since Calendar Girls gave universally positive feedback on Abigail’s Party:
Our first review is in! Paul Stammers says: "For anyone who wants to indulge in a spot of nostalgia, there’s plenty to savour in this excellent production, directed by Gareth Hammond. All the cast put in strong performances and seem to be enjoying themselves." Read the full review here.
Nigel James, from The Oxford Drama Network, writes: "The excellent set immediately transported you back to the 1970s, as did the costumes.The play was superbly and brilliantly played with great comedic timing. Although only having a cast of five, it was excellently directed by Gareth Hammond who added in some very nice touches. Congratulations to all for an enjoyable production." Read the full review here.
Rob Bertwistle from NODA wrote: "Well done to all the actors – you were a joy to watch. Congratulations to all the cast for providing some excellent and compelling performances. Many thanks to the Bartholomew Players and everyone associated with the production for bringing this classic play so vividly to life." Read the full review here.
We also had excellent audience feedback, with comments such as:
Brilliant, funny, excellently performed
All superbly done - thanks
It was so amazing!!
Excellent dialogue, amusing challenging, great period stuff, very good
2 leading ladies were superb
Beverley and Ange - bloody brilliant!
Play a favourite of mine, superb acting – very professional
Enjoyed v much and v impressed by standard of Bart Players
Better than the original one! Excellent casting. Cringingly 1970's
Costumes great, excellent music too
So a big thank-you to all those involved in putting on the play and helping to make "Abigail's Party" such huge success!
"Abigail's Party" – a play for stage and television devised and directed in 1977 by Mike Leigh. It is a suburban situation comedy of manners, and a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Britain in the 1970s.
If you remember cheese & pineapple served on a cocktail stick, flared trousers and feather-cut hairstyles, orange and brown swirly décor and houses costing £21,000 then “Abigail’s Party” will be a trip down Memory Lane for you! A funny, nostalgia-filled snapshot of married life in the 1970’s, this suburban situation comedy of manners by Mike Leigh is a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Britain at this time.
Director Gareth Hammond says “I have always wanted to put on this play. It had such a powerful effect on me when I saw it in the 1970’s. As the original cringe comedy, it still resonates today with its recognisable characters and their bourgeois attitudes.”
The terrain is "the London side of Essex", "theoretical Romford" according to Leigh. Beverly Moss invites her new neighbours, Angela and Tony, who moved into the road just two weeks ago, over for drinks. She has also invited her neighbour Susan (Sue), divorced for three years, whose fifteen-year-old daughter Abigail is holding a party at home. Beverly's husband Laurence comes home late from work, just before the guests arrive. The gathering starts off in a stiff, insensitive, British middle-class way as the virtual strangers tentatively gather, until Beverly and Laurence start sniping at each other. As Beverly serves more drinks and the alcohol takes effect, Beverly flirts more and more overtly with Tony, as Laurence sits impotently by.
Within this simple framework, all of the obsessions, prejudices, fears and petty competitiveness of the protagonists are ruthlessly exposed.
Interviewed in 2009, writer Leigh said: "Of course I recognise the enduring popularity of "Abigail's Party". It still hits a nerve about the way we live. It's real even though it's apparently a heightened and comic play. It's a reflection of the realities of how we live on a several different levels. It's about aspirationalism and materialism, love and relationships. Like much of my work, it's about the disease I call "the done thing" – basically, keeping up with the Joneses. It's actually quite a complex play. People may not analyse its complexity but it's so popular precisely for that reason."
Beverley Moss – Claire Crowther
Laurence Moss – Nick Smith
Angela Cooper – Elaine Leggett
Tony Cooper – Ianto Wain
Susan Lawson – Mary Fisher
Director – Gareth Hammond
Producer – Denise Santilli
Venue: Eynsham Village Hall, Back Lane, Eynsham, OX29 4QW
Dates: Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th, Friday 29th* and Saturday 30th Nov 2019
Doors open: 7.00pm, Performance: 7.30pm
Price: £10.00 (concessions £9.00)
Available: in advance from:
Denise Santilli, 07721 744020, , online from
www.ticketsource.co.uk/bartholomewplayers, from Evenlode DIY in Eynsham
or on the door
* Please note: tickets for FRIDAY 29th Nov – must be purchased in advance by 24th November (not available online)
As usual, we partnered with a local Charity for our Supper Show, Eynsham Pre-School, an Ofsted-rated “Outstanding” Pre-school, caring for and educating children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old.
They assisted us in organising the evening in return for a share of the profits.
We were delighted to be able to present a cheque for £750, their share of the Friday night's profits. This is the highest amount we have ever awarded - reflecting the huge success of this production.
We are extremely lucky to have been given the support of local businesses for our raffle/auction on the Supper Night.
A huge thank you to:
Blenheim Palace who have kindly donated a Family Ticket
Oxford Ice Rink who have kindly donated a Family Ticket
Oxford United Football Club who have kindly donated Two Match Tickets
Cogges Manor Farm who have kindly donated a Family Ticket
Burford Garden Company who have kindly donated a Gift Voucher
Neves Bees who have kindly donated a Gift Pack
As well as our Charity Partners and Members.
Thank you all so much!
Jacket Potatoes served with chilli*, fresh salad and dressing
Chocolate sponge served with chocolate sauce
* vegetarian option available, please request at time of booking
Tickets for FRIDAY 29th Nov – must be purchased in advance by 24th November
Doors open: 6.10pm
2-course supper served: 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Advance Tickets only: £20.00
Available in advance from:
Denise Santilli 07721 744020
firstname.lastname@example.org (not available online)