Monday, October 29, 2007

"Do you like Demis Roussos, Sue?"

Last night's thirtieth anniversary documentary "All About Abigail's Party" threw light on lots of the reasons for its success, not least the fact that it was shown on BBC during an ITV strike and therefore drew a disproportionate share of the audience.
What it didn't probe is how the hell actresses step on stages everywhere from Stevenage to Sao Paolo and attempt to fill the agonising shoes of Alison Steadman in the role of Beverly. You could just about play Lady Bracknell without thinking of Edith Evans and maybe put Marlon Brando out of your mind while mounting a production of "On The Waterfront", but how you could speak a single line of Beverly's dialogue in "Abigail's Party" without adopting Steadman's threatening, nasal voice, without bobbing your head in that suggestive, wife-swapping way and without carrying your shoulders like a quarterback is beyond me.
"Definitive" doesn't begin to cover it.

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