Saturday, March 23rd, 2013
WITH pineapple and cheese at the ready and Donna Summer on the stereo, Abigail’s Party is a 1970s English class comedy that’s been described as the “social get-together from hell”.

Written by Mike Leigh and directed by Karen Tropiano at Limelight Theatre this April, it follows a simple premise: 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.

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.

“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 Bridesmaids’ 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 (08) 9571 8591 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or online at

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.


ap1: Jeanette Hotop is the pretentious host Beverly who henpecks her husband Laurence (Gordon Park) in Abigail’s Party.

ap2: Abigail’s Party has been described as the “social get-together from hell” – Angela (Susan McDonnell), Laurence (Gordon Park), Sue (Gwen Browning) in front and Beverly (Jeanette Hotop) and Tony (Andrew Govey) at back.

ap3: Sue (Gwen Browning, left) gets some support from Beverly (Jeanette Hotop) – and some gin – in Abigail’s Party.

ab5: Things get out of hand between Tony (Andrew Govey, right) and his wife Angela (Susan McDonnell) in Abigail’s Party.

File Library

Contact Profile

Limelight Theatre

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013, Limelight Theatre is home of Wanneroo Repertory on Civic Drive, Wanneroo, in Perth's northern suburbs, located next to the Aquamotion Centre, opposite the memorial.

The theatre is always pleased to welcome new members, whether they want to act, direct, paint a set or simply receive monthly news.
Karen Tropiano
P: 0422 602 212


WA Western Australia Wanneroo Joondalup northern suburbs Limelight Theatre play performance stage comedy satire 1970s 70s class satire what's on events things to do nightlife Abigail's Party Mike Leigh Alison Steadman



More Formats

View QR Code