Programme Review: Before the Party (Almeida)

A series of reviews of theatre programmes

Before the Party by Rodney Ackland, 2013 Production at The Almeida

When purchased:

From the ticket booth before the performance on 5th April 2013




44 including cover. 7 pages of adverts; 21 pages of production specific information; there are no adverts in the production section.

Notable adverts:

  • None – all very dull – restaurants, estate agents and reinsurance


 3 pages of sketches for costume design, 4 pages of rehearsal photos and cast head shots.


  • 1 page brief biography of playwright
  • 1 page timeline of playwright’s life and historical events
  • 1 page, short essay on the playwright and list of works
  • 1 page essay on black market economy
  • 2 page excerpt from a 1949 piece on cocktail parties
  • 3 pages of sketches for costume design
  • 4 pages of rehearsal photos
  • 3 pages cast credits and head shots
  • 3 pages of creative team credits
  • Remainder lists donors and adverts


I liked the style and presentation of the programme as well as the essays which gave a nice bit of context to the play without giving much away. The design sketches were a nice touch, as although there weren’t any photos of the production itself when combined with the rehearsal photos remind you of the feel of the play.


4 out of 5 – A very good value programme with some nice design touches and plenty of interesting material to read on the tube on the way home. Let down by a veeeeery long name of donors and patrons without the upside of amusingly ostentatious/pretentious adverts for girls’ day schools.

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