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
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
What are the best first lines in fiction?
Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
Sharknado 2: Former WWE wrestler Kurt Angle to fight second wave of flying sharks
Call The Midwife: Jessica Raine leaves in series three finale
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 2 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 3 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 4 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
- 5 Sharknado 2: Former WWE wrestler Kurt Angle to fight second wave of flying sharks