The debut stage play of Monty Python's Michael Palin is opening the new season at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

The Weekend takes "a sharp look at family values, with a generous helping of dark humour".

The play tells the story of world-weary Stephen Febble, who struggles with his family visiting him for the weekend.

With his daughter, her dreary husband Alan, their precocious teenage daughter and incontinent dog all camping out at Stephen's place, he reaches for his trusty whisky bottle to cope.

In a personal message to the theatre's Company of Ten, Michael Palin wrote: "I’m delighted that the Abbey Theatre have chosen to bring The Weekend to St Albans, featuring a real dog as Pippa.


"There are, I’m told, humans in many of the other parts and I’m sure they’ll do St Albans proud in a play described by my mother as, 'a masterpiece'."

The lead role of Stephen will be played by Rory Byrne.

Performances take place at the Abbey Theatre main stage from Friday, September 15 to Saturday, September 16 at 8pm, Sunday, September 17 at 2.30pm, and from Tuesday, September 19 to Saturday, September 23 at 8pm.

For tickets go to or call 01727 857861.