Abi, a new production currently showing at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch. The play is a contemporary response to Abigail’s party also showing at the theatre.
Abi, written by Atiha Sen Gupta. Abi is the grand-daughter of the original Abigail from the film and production Abigail’s party. The play is focused on the grand-daughter. She had an enormous script of which she delivered superbly. Her performance was confident and charismatic, she owned the stage.
Safiyya Ingar, (Abi) has had a great deal of experience in preparation for the part by attending workshops with 15 years olds in an attempt to truly understand modern issues felt by teenagers. She delivered the themes explored in a captivating way. She said her younger sister helped her to create her character. Considering she was the only person in the play the audience were fully entertained by her performance, something I’m sure is not easy to do.
The stage was set in 1970’s décor to represent Abigail’s flat from that period. Abi was staying at the flat preparing for her own party almost mimicking the scene of that of her grandmother’s preparing for her own party in Abigail’s party.
The production was directed by Sarah Brighton, of Derby Theatre productions. She wanted to direct a play that was in response to Abigail’s party. She wanted female perspectives on plays previously written by men while exploring issues relevant to today. That production was a good example of that.
I think the play is clever and begs you to explore how times have changed, how words and their meanings have been used in different context over the years to the extent their meaning can been understood in a more serious nature.
The response also highlights the different problems faced by youths including social media and grooming.
There was a series of questions and answers following the show was an interesting and exciting opportunity to get to know Safiyya and her character as well as discuss the themes within the production. I thought this gave a good insight to Abi.
I thought it was a fantastic idea delivered by a very talented actress.
For information and tickets contact the Queens Theatre box office 01708 443333