But it’s not the eponymous festivities we’re summoned to observe, but the suburban soiree just across the way where Susan, teenage Abigail’s divorced mother, is one of a trio of guests invited over by neighbour Beverly to nibble on cheese and pineapple chunks speared on cocktail sticks and over indulge in alcohol.
Slinking around her brown-and-orange living room in a floor-length, lime green halterneck, Jill Halfpenny is spot-on as the Essex hostess from hell with her social aspirations and disparaging digs at stressed out estate agent husband (Andy Nyman) who thinks that the binding of a book tells you all you need to know about its content – and its owner.
Natalie Casey’s rather gormless Angela and Joe Absolom as her monosyllabic, potentially violent spouse are also first rate, as is Susannah Harker’s middleclass Susan, a model of quiet misery trying to maintain her dignity whilst overdoing the G& T’s to disastrous effect.
It’s very funny – but there’s a cruel edge to the humour and (just as in the revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s contemporaneous Absent Friends currently playing in the West End) it’s impossible to ignore the underlying desolation as the remaining marriages fall apart.
Menier Chocolate Factory , 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
Tube London Bridge
Until April 21
£29.50 (Meal deals £37)
– Louise Kingsley