THE Grand Opera House, York, and City of York Council are teaming up to offer any student or people aged 26 and under the chance to see Mike Leigh’s iconic dark comedy Abigail’s Party for £5.

The aim is to help make theatre accessible to everyone, with the discounted ticket price covering all the 7.30pm evening performances and 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees from January 28 to February 2.

First directed by Leigh in 1977 and now directed by Sarah Esdaile on a 2019 tour, Abigail’s Party stars Jodie Prenger in the story of a 1970s' cocktail party that goes terribly wrong.

Beverly (Prenger) and her husband Laurence are throwing a party for their newly-wed neighbours, Tony and Angela. Joining them will be highly strung Susan, who has been banished from teenage daughter Abigail's own party. Welcome to Seventies' suburbia and its heady mix of free-flowing cocktails, classic disco and cheese and pineapple sticks.

As tensions rise and tempers flare, the sheen of respectability is torn away by the warring couples with humorous and potentially disastrous consequences.

Best known for Alison Steadman's tour-de-force performance as Beverly in a Play For Today production, Abigail’s Party is a suburban situation comedy of manners and a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Britain in the 1970s.

Leigh had developed a method for creating narratives that relied on actors’ improvisations to manufacture characters and conflict in an organic manner. That method would become a signature feature of Leigh’s work from then on.

Cllr Keith Myers, City of York Council's executive member for education, children and young people, says: "We welcome this offer which gives young people and students the opportunity to access the theatre, whether for part of their studies or for the pleasure of seeing a great, live performance."

Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism, says: "This is a great offer which makes the city’s rich and varied arts even more easily accessible. Live theatre is a spectacle worth enjoying and I hope many take advantage of this partnership."

Those who qualify for the £5 offer must give the code ABIGAIL5, either in person at Clifford Street box office or at In each case, they must present ID on collection at the box office.