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Jill Halfpenny at the 2012 Olivier Awards with MasterCard

Jill Halfpenny

Halfpenny hosts Abigail’s Party at Menier

Published 9 January 2012

Olivier Award-winning actress Jill Halfpenny will star in Lindsay Posner’s production of classic comedy Abigail’s Party at the Menier Chocolate Factory this spring.

Arguably Oscar-winner Mike Leigh’s most-loved play, Abigail’s Party will play the London Bridge venue from 2 March, facing the press on 8 March. Set in 1970’s suburbia, the cult comedy premiered in 1977 at the Hampstead theatre to critical acclaim with the original cast, which included Alison Steadman, later starring in the BBC’s hugely-successful television adaptation.

A comedy of manners with plenty of black humour, Abigail’s Party centres on Beverly and her husband Laurence who are hosting a drinks party for their neighbours. There is plenty of alcohol, an array of cheese-pineapple savoury bites, olives and Demis Roussos on the record player. But as prejudices are unmasked and tempers flare, the evening can only end in disaster…

Best known for her long-running role in EastEnders and, more recently Waterloo Road, Halfpenny earned her theatrical stripes in her recent stint in Legally Blonde The Musical which saw her take home the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

After leaving the BBC soap, Halfpenny joined the cast of Chicago at the Cambridge theatre before starring in the West End run of Calendar Girls. The actress’s other screen credits include Wild At Heart, Shameless and Coronation Street.

Posner proved his comedic directing credentials this Christmas with his critically-acclaimed production of Noises Off at the Old Vic. The director’s other credits include Butley at the Duchess, An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville and A View From The Bridge at the Duke of York’s.

Abigail’s Party runs until 21 April.



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