Play of the week: Before the Party, Almeida Theatre, London N1
Friday 05 April 2013
There are yelps of scandalised laughter throughout Matthew Dunster's miraculously acted revival of a 1949 gem by Rodney Ackland.
Set in Surrey amid the middle-classes in 1949, it focuses on a family who are preparing to go to a social-climbing function that the stuffy father (Alex Price) can't miss. It all goes wrong when his daughter (Katherine Parkinson, brilliant) tells them part of the reason she's a widow.
Part of the comedy flows from the way that, even when talk of murder et al silences the crew, self-interest soon re-asserts itself. Stella Gonet is beyond praise as the mother and Dunster retains control of the play's waverings of mood. Sheer spiky bliss.
020 7359 4404, to 11 May
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Coolio has sold his soul to Pornhub
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air