I thought that 'The Abbey' was very poor indeed and wasted the talents of Reece, Russell Brand & Liz Smith
Basically the problem was the script...if that's not good then its very hard for even the most talented performers to make it work. Uneven & shambolic, every character was cliched & underwritten.
It didn't help that the pilot was less than 25 minutes long - meaning no time for any depth or any sort - & the subject matter called for depth & some darkness!
Its only good points were some of the acting talent involved - namely Reece, Russell Brand & Liz Smith.
Reece had absolutely nothing to work with - he was barely in it for a start (about three small scenes) & the character so sketchily written as to be non-existent. That his performance (along with Russell Brand's) was the only memorable & positive aspect of the whole thing says alot about his skills as an actor which were utterly wasted!
Apart from Reece, I have to say I was really impressed with Russell Brand's performance - subtle and understated. The only scene where the characters interacted in a convincing & credible way was the scene between Reece and Russell.
Liz Smith was in it even less than Reece...terrible waste of a great actress
Reece and Russell gave the most restrained & low key performances - & were the only good thing about this shoddy vanity project for Morwenna Banks (a good actress but not, from last night's evidence, even a mediocre writer. Reece can write better material in his sleep than the stuff he and the other actors had to work with)
The show was mainly centred around Morwenna Banks and Omid Djalili with Reece, Russell et al reduced to cameo roles. Banks and Djalili gave terrible, unrestrained performances.
Reece & Russell were a breath of fresh air as they didn't try for the laughs & attempted to make their characters exist on a more naturalistic level.
There was not enough even half decent material in this pilot to sustain an anorexic sparrow. If this is made into a series then I'm the junkie lovechild of Pete Doherty & Kate Moss.
Very disappointing considering some of the talent involved...Reece, Russell and Liz Smith deserve so much better!