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Abigail's Party @ Limelight

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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’70s class comedy in social get-together “from hell”
Beverly invites two new neighbours over for drinks with divorcee Sue, whose 15-year-old daughter Abigail is having a party next door.

Beverly is flamboyant, pretentious and henpecks her workaholic husband, who comes home late, while most of the guests don't really want to be there.

As the evening progresses, drinks continue to flow – as does the tension between the couples.

"Abigail's Party

Written by Mike Leigh and directed by Karen Tropiano at Limelight Theatre this April, Abigail's Party is a 1970s English class comedy that's been described as the "social get-together from hell".

Playwright Leigh is best known for his films Secrets & Lies, Naked and Vera Drake while the 1977 BBC Play for Today recording of Abigail's Party came 11th out of the 100 greatest British television programs compiled by the British Film Institute.

"The play is set in the mid-70s and really reflects that," Tropiano said.

Abigail's Party
Things get out of hand between Tony (Andrew Govey, right) and his wife Angela (Susan McDonnell) in "Abigail's Party"

"Gordon Park, who is playing Beverly's husband Laurence, gave me a video of Abigail's Party many years ago.

"I hadn't given it much thought until recently so watched it again on YouTube and decided it would go down well at Limelight Theatre."

Performing with Limelight and Stirling Theatres for more than 20 years, Tropiano has also directed numerous plays including Secret Bridesmaid's Business, Play On, Lend Me A Tenor and Nunsense.

Nunsense was runner-up for best musical at the 2009 Finley Awards and best production at the annual Limelight Theatre awards.

Last year, Tropiano directed Cash On Delivery, named one of the top 10 plays of the year at the annual Finley Awards, also scoring an award for its washing machine effect.

"I'm confident Abigail's Party will be another success," she said. "There are always a few teething problems during the rehearsal phase but these are worked out in due course.

"There's also a lot of business with the topping up of drinks and smoking – fake, of course – which needs to be fine-tuned."

Abigail's Party plays at 8pm, April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 – tickets are $20 adults, $17 concession.

Book on 9571 8591 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or online.

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

Abigail's Party
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Why? Pineapple and cheese at the ready and Donna Summer on the stereo, Abigail’s Party is a 1970s English class comedy
When: 8:00pm
Phone: 9571 8591
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo
Cost: $20, $17 Concession
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