TV Preview: Inside No. 9, Nana's Party, BBC2

Nana's Party

“Don’t worry about the future: you can’t predict it,” says Nana at her 79th birthday lunch. You certainly can’t predict what will happen in the consistently distinctive Inside No. 9, which this week goes deep into the black heart of suburbia for Nana’s Party.

All looks lovely. Angela (Claire Skinner) has laid on a lavish spread and hubby Jim (Steve Pemberton) has a playful surprise in mind to settle a score with prank-loving Pat (Reece Shearsmith). Meanwhile Pat has other concerns, keeping his wife Carol (Lorraine Ashbourne) as far away from the drinks table as possible.

Shearsmith and Pemberton also directed this episode and are blessed with a great cast. Skinner is a more anxious variant of her mum in Outnumbered, trying to create the perfect home, right down to straightening the tassels on the living room rug. Ashbourne seems to be channeling Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as she becomes more and more abusive. Pemberton conjures up another classic everyman while Shearsmith plays the irritating tit to perfection

Don’t bother trying to do a Columbo and second-guess what is in store. Needless to say the normal setting makes what occurs all the more disquieting. This is an episode that won’t give you nightmares or move you to tears like others have. Though it may make you anxious whenever you walk into a room and see balloons and a table laden with sausage rolls, cakes and celery sticks. 

Inside No. 9, Thursday, April 23, 10pm, BBC2. Then on iPlayer here.

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