And one of the most disastrous ever committed to stage comes to the Grove Theatre in Dunstable next week when Absent Friends is performed at the venue.
As if the whole concept wasn’t daunting enough for many, there’s the guest list, menu and topics of conversation to think about.
And all this is observed in characteristically comic and astute fashion in this Alan Ayckbourn play, which runs from Monday to Wednesday.
Diana, a wealthy and unfulfilled housewife, has decided to organise a dinner party in order to cheer up the recently bereaved Colin.
But preparations for the party spark old tensions and reopen old wounds.
Love affairs, suffocating broody women and cripplingly dependant partners are just a few of the problems that are simmer on the heat of the gathering.
And as lingering resentments and deep-rooted jealousies surface, an unexpectedly cheerful Colin strolls into the mayhem – and that’s before anyone tucks into the food.
The production is directed by Michael Cabot and designed by Simon Kenny. It is presented by London Classic Theatre, which has been touring the country for 15 years.
Tickets cost from £13 with discounts available for schools and concessions.
Call the box office on 01582 60 20 80 or visit www.grovetheatre.co.uk to book.