SKIPTON Little Theatre heads back to the 1970s next week with Mike Leigh’s delicious comedy of suburban life, Abigail’s Party.

Abigail’s Party, directed in the Little Theatre production by Susan Hargreaves, was memorably a BBC television play staring Alison Steadman. It tells the story of Laurence and Beverly (Alison Steadman) who are entertaining their new neighbours, Angela and Tony.

The gathering also includes Susan, whose teenage daughter, Abigail, is having a party, to which her mother has been ‘dis-invited’.

Over drinks and snacks, cliches and fatuous small talk abound. The tension escalates as the marital strain between Beverly and Laurence surfaces.

Mike Leigh, is a British writer and director of film and theatre. He studied theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and studied further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design.

In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between work for the theatre and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterised by a gritty “kitchen sink realism” style. His award winning films include Naked, Vera Drake and Secrets and Lies.

In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Abigail’s Party was placed 11th.

It also appeared in a Radio Times poll to find the top 40 greatest TV shows on British television, published in August 2003.

Abigail’s Party is at Skipton Little Theatre, Clifford Street, from Tuesday, April 5 until April 9. For details and booking, visit: