War not quite over for Tom Conti in Before The Party

Tom Conti

Tom Conti and Gwen Taylor are set to tour with Somerset Maugham’s Before The Party this autumn.

Rodney Ackland’s hilarious adaptation is a sizzling portrayal of the upper middle classes adjusting to post-war life.

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.

Amid 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.

Gwen Taylor

Tom Conti and Gwen Taylor are two of the UK’s best-loved stars of stage and screen, but have never performed together.

Premiering at the Theatre Royal Windsor this September ahead of a short run, Tom Conti will also be directing this new production of writer Ackland’s black comedy, having first directed it in 1980 at the Apollo Theatre in London starring Jane Asher and the late Michael Gough.

Conti, recently voted Most Popular Actor in the West End alongside Dame Judi Dench, has recently toured with the courtroom hit, Twelve Angry Men.

Gwen Taylor’s long TV career ranges from sitcoms Duty Free and A Bit of A Do to playing Anne Foster, mother of the villainous Frank Foster in Coronation Street.

She also starred as Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat, and has appeared in Yes, Prime Minister, Murder Most Horrid, Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders and Fat Friends.

Her theatre credits include Driving Miss Daisy, The Butterfly Lion, Prick Up Your Ears and Calendar Girls.

Ackland is best known for his play Absolute Hell, set in a decaying West End drinking club at the end of the Second World War and performed at the National Theatre in 1996 starring Judi Dench.

Before The Party is based on a short story by Somerset Maugham.


September 2-12, Theatre Royal, Windsor
September 14-19, Theatre Royal, Norwich
September 21-26, New Victoria Theatre, Woking
September 28-October 3, Festival Theatre, Malvern
October 5-10, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
October 12-17, Theatre Royal, Bath
October 19-24, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

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