Before the Party – at the Almeida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“ ‘But darling, what will people think if the sister’s wearing mourning and the widow’s dressed in pink?’

“The war is over and the Skinner family are trying to return to normal. If only the blasted Government weren’t such a nuisance about the rations and Cook could get some more of those delicious delicacies. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering.

“Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals a shocking secret that threatens to ruin more than one party on the climb to social success. ...” – from the Almeida website

“the audience … [gives] yelps of scandalised and delightedly incredulous laughter throughout Matthew Dunster's miraculously well-acted revival of this forgotten 1949 gem by Rodney Ackland... Sheer spiky bliss.” – 5 stars, the Independent

A “masterful revival” of Rodney Ackland’s “bitingly funny” play, “an evening of chic period style and sharp satirical substance”. “Bringing the tale into the realm of ration-book Britain, with all its illicit cravings and imperial hangovers, Ackland delivers a rebuke to hypocrisy and overbearing propriety... If you’re only scoffing at the Skinner household as it faces an inconvenient bombshell moment ahead of an afternoon garden party and not looking closer to home, then you’re rather missing its enduring, darkly comic point.... The production, full of lovely touches and comic subtleties, is chiefly a testament to ensemble virtue... Bravo all round.” – 4 stars, the Telegraph

“A high-flying cast hits all the right notes; Michelle Terry, as hatchet-faced unmarried sister Kathleen, brings the house down with her grimly crisp delivery.... It’s wonderful to see her and Parkinson, two of our very finest younger actresses, square up to each other.” – 4 stars, the Evening Standard

After an initial phase when I made a payment option available for members who wanted me to book tickets for them to sit as part of a group, this option is now closed. Please pick and buy your own ticket, on the Almeida website, or at the box office in person.

I would be grateful if all members can contribute £1 on arrival on the evening (to help defray the approx. £100 per annum that Meetup charges to run a group) – thanks very much in advance.

As ever, we'll have dinner after the performance, at Le Mercury Deuxiéme, a few minutes away on Upper Street. We have space for up to 16 people (on a first-come-first-served basis). I'll update the Comments below with dinner numbers as they progress. When you RSVP, if there is space remaining do let me know if you'd like to join us.

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  • Andrew

    Just managed to get a last minute ticket.. (G11 - looks like I got Nisha's returned ticket).....if there is still space and I have energy I might go for the restaurant too.... not sure for the plan on meeting up before as it does get very crowded in there before the show... so might be difficult to find each other... I'll be there around 7 to 7.15...

    April 5, 2013

    • Andrew

      Didn't find anyone in the end in the theatre... Oh well hopefully meet the group another time.. Andrew

      April 5, 2013

    • Jane

      Sorry to have missed you Andrew - I re-sent my email with my phone number but didn't have time to ring while at the theatre though hoped you would have a chance to join us at the restaurant after the play - hope you enjoyed the play all the same, and hopefully I'll see you next time around.

      April 8, 2013

  • Virginia

    was at the theatre but couldn't find anyone - sorry to miss you. Didn't have my phone and couldn't remember where you were having dinner. Hope to catch you next time!

    April 5, 2013

  • Giovanni

    Running slightly late but will be there in 10/15...

    April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi! I am stuck at work. But I will see you for dinner layer. Tracey

    April 5, 2013

  • Jane

    We have space for 16 people for dinner, and currently have 14 people coming: me, Una, Gabriela, Ramona Daniel, Louise, Tracey, Michelle, Avranil, Nessie, Jessica Haider, Egor (pencilled), Virginia, Giovanni, Andrew.

    April 5, 2013

  • nisha p.

    Hi Jane,
    Sorry to let you know that I won't make it to the play this evening. I've not been feeling great, so have decided to stay at home and rest. Enjoy the play.
    Nisha

    April 5, 2013

    • Jane

      Sorry to hear it Nisha - get well soon - hope to meet you another time

      April 5, 2013

  • nisha p.

    Hello all. I won't be able to go to the play this evening now, so there's a spare ticket at the box office waiting to be sold of anyone of you still need a ticket.

    April 5, 2013

  • Anne C.

    Sorry for replying last-minute as ever! Fingers crossed I'll be able to get a ticket tomorrow

    April 4, 2013

    • Sally

      Hi Anne, did you manage to get a ticket? If not, you could buy my ticket. I won't be able to make it. Thanks.

      April 5, 2013

  • Giovanni

    Thanks, will be there. Will look for a table under your name. If this is not the case please advise otherwise.

    April 5, 2013

  • Giovanni

    Are dinner and theatre necessarily tied ? I could make it for the dinner, were it be possible, while I won't be able to leave the office early enough for the performance...

    April 4, 2013

    • Jane

      Giovanni, you're welcome to join us for dinner - we'll be arriving at Le Mercury Deuxiéme at 10.10 - please confirm if you'll be coming.

      April 5, 2013

  • christina m.

    Have seen play. Absolutely fabulous. Enjoy!

    April 4, 2013

  • Virginia

    Hi have booked seat C11, and can I join you for dinner? thanks

    April 3, 2013

    • Jane

      Sure Virginia, now done - see you on Friday

      April 3, 2013

  • Jessica H.

    In C26. If not too late to join for dinner, would like to be included. Otherwise, would love to at least meet you before/after the show!

    April 3, 2013

    • Jane

      Thanks Jessica, yes I've included you in the dinner booking - look forward to meeting you on Friday

      April 3, 2013

  • Clare

    Got my ticket!

    April 3, 2013

  • Nil

    Hi Jane, just bought my ticket. Would love to join you all for dinner too.
    Will be sitting on K15. Would like to say hello before the show. See ya!

    April 2, 2013

    • Jane

      Glad you can join us Avranil - looking forward to meeting you on Friday

      April 3, 2013

  • Nessie

    I bought my ticket E23 - Looking forward to it! Would also like to attend the dinner. See you on Friday, Nessie

    April 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Seen it - good play - enjoy!

    March 31, 2013

  • Sally

    Hi, I'll buy my ticket tonight, sounds like fun. I'd like to come for dinner too :)
    Thanks!

    March 25, 2013

  • nisha p.

    Hi Jane,
    I'm new to this, so do I buy my own ticket and meet other attendees at the venue, or are tickets purchased for the group and we reimburse later?

    March 15, 2013

    • Jane

      Hullo Nisha - yes please buy your own ticket, and I'll circulate details for meeting up on the evening in the week prior to the performance. Also, would you like to join us for dinner?

      March 15, 2013

    • nisha p.

      Hi Jane. Thanks for your reply. I've booked my ticket -G11. It would be nice to join you for dinner too.

      March 15, 2013

  • Michelle

    Hi Jane,

    Sitting in J20, I would like to come for the meal as well.

    Thanks,

    Michelle

    March 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi! I have a ticket and would love to join for dinner afterwards. Please add me to the reservation. Tracey:-)

    March 5, 2013

  • Nicole

    Shame I'm having my group do this on the 8th of April.

    March 4, 2013

  • Jane

    The 4 group tickets are now purchased (circle seats C11, 21-23), for Una, Egor, Belinda and me. (I couldn't get 4 together without going back a row; I'll take seat C11 myself.) Looking forward to seeing you all.

    March 1, 2013

    • Jane

      Group tickets now changed slightly as I have a guest. Our seats are circle seats C21-25), for Una, Egor, Belinda and me + guest.

      March 4, 2013

  • Emily H.

    Hi are there two group tickets left? Thanks, emily

    March 3, 2013

    • Jane

      Hi Emily - details are above. The group ticket purchase by me is now closed. But do go ahead and pick and buy the tickets you want with the theatre direct.

      March 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have bought my own ticket and would like to join you for dinner afterwards.

    March 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have bought my own ticket, but would love to join you for dinner as well.

    February 27, 2013

  • Gabriela

    Hi Jane, thanks for organising, I was looking at at it as well. Bought my own ticket. I would like to join also for the dinner.

    February 27, 2013

  • stephen

    will be away

    February 26, 2013

  • Una

    And, yes to dinnner too!
    Thanks again. I 'll pay online now!
    x

    February 25, 2013

  • Una

    Yes please, Myfanwy!
    And, thanks, I'd love a ticket.
    Una

    February 25, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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