By Mike Leigh. Presented By Melbourne Theatre Company, 2018.
You’re invited to the suburban drinks party from hell. Desperate-to impress Beverly and her staid real estate agent husband Laurence are the hosts. The guests are their neighbours – eager-to-please nurse Angela with her bully-boy husband Tony, and divorcee Susan who’s steering clear of her daughter Abigail’s own party down the road. Over cheese and pineapple sticks, Demis Roussos records and copious amounts of alcohol, we witness one disastrous evening of social awkwardness, outrageous flirting, cringeworthy one-upmanship and hilarious put-downs.
UK doyen of stage and screen writing, Mike Leigh, wrote his most famous play Abigail’s Party 40 years ago, but this undisputed classic has lost none of its acerbic wit and biting satire. In fact, in this age of bold aspiration and excessive consumption, it gains new relevance. Riotously funny and disturbingly compelling, Abigail’s Party is an iconic piece of theatre, every bit as cutting as it ever was.
Nicolazzo's Melbourne Theatre Company debut was a commercial hit, taking in over $1.2 million in box office. Critics and audiences alike praised the bold camp approach to the material and the cast were uniformly celebrated. It played from the 17 March- 21 April, 2018, in the Sumner Theatre at Southbank.
With: Pip Edwards, Dan Frederikson, Katherine Tonkin, Benjamin Rigby and Zoe Boesen.
DIirector: Stephen Nicolazzo
Writer: Mike Leigh
Set Design: Anna Cordingley
Costume Design: Eugyeene Teh
Lighting Design: Katie Sfetkidis
Sound Design: Daniel Nixon