A new production of the iconic comedy play by Mike Leigh, Abigail's Party will be coming to the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre from 2nd March to 21st April, officially opening on 8th March.
The play, written by Leigh in 1977 made it's debut at the Hampstead Theatre where it ran for 104 performances and was later revived again 25 years later, again at the Hampstead Theatre before transferring to the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre.
Jill Halfpenny will take on the role of Beverly. The role was first played by Alison Steadman and later by Elizabeth Berrington in the 2003 revival.
Well known for her tv successes in Coronation Street, Eastenders and lately Waterloo Road, Jill Halfpenny proved she could dance after becoming champion of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. She then made her West End debut in January 2005 starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Her more recent theatre credits in the West End are Calendar Girls in 2009 and in Legally Blonde at the Savoy until October 2010. For her role of Paulette Bonafonté, Halfpenny received the award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical at the Laurence Olivier Awards.
The production will be directed by award winning Lindsay Posner, the former Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre with extensive work at the National Theatre and with The Royal Shakespeare Company. His most recent successes in the West End include Noises Off now on at the Old Vic, Butley, An Ideal Husband and A View From The Bridge.
The rest of the cast is still to be announced.
Currently playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory is a revival of Pippin starring Harry Hepple, Ian Kelsey, Matt Rawle, Carly Bawden and Frances Ruffelle which continues until 25 February 2012.
[posted by Louise, 09/01/2012]