Abigail's Party

Topics: Social class, English-language films, Middle class Pages: 2 (776 words) Published: March 28, 2013
It could be said that Mike Leigh uses the comic convention of disguises at the end of Act 1 to show Beverly’s change of attitude from her disguise back to her real self. This is shown when Beverly suggests “[getting] pissed” after having an argument with Laurence. The use of the word “pissed” as a colloquialism for drunk could be seen as being symbolic of Beverly’s true social class seeping through the performance she continuously puts on throughout the night. This is humorous for the audience as Beverly spends a great deal of time and effort in the first part of Act 1 making sure that she is able to impress guests like Angela and Tony and try to feel in the same social class as Susan. She does this by adding a copy of “[placing] a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine in the magazine rack” and “[putting] on a record (Donna Summer: Love to Love you” among other things yet after one small spat shall we say with her husband represses back to having the personality the audience believes she’s trying to hide. Some might also say that Leigh’s use of fools near the end of Act 1 is to create after a very tense moment. An example of this would be after Laurence makes quite a long speech which gives us an idea of his views about people as he says that people often “just drift through life, without any real aims”. He also describes these people as being “weak”. Both these points are extremely serious and also quite angry. This means that when Angela tells a story about the time “[she] went to a party” right after these serious points, the audience feels sorry for Laurence as no one seems to be listening to him, but they also can’t help but laugh at Angela’s complete vacancy of points Laurence was making. This makes Angela a clear example of a natural fool as she has no real knowledge about when she is making an irrelevant point. It could also be said that the comic convention of foolishness is used when Angela and Beverly doesn’t know when she is saying something inappropriate or...
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