Reviewed: Jacqui Wall
Red Phoenix Theatre is an exciting new addition to the Adelaide Theatre circuit. Their first serving to Adelaide audiences was the 2016 Adelaide Critics Circle Award nominated Titus Andronicus and they have successfully followed up with this David Williamson play Don Parties On. Many will remember the shock of the original, Don’s Party set during the 1969 Federal Election. Don Parties On continues some 40 years later during the 2010 Federal Election. Red Phoenix could not have picked a better time to open this production only one night after the much-publicised American Election.
Director Michael Eustice has gathered an exceptional cast of performers including Wayne Anthoney as Don, Julie Quick as Kath, Kate van der Horst as Belle, Adrian Barnes as Mal, Brant Eustice as Richard, Brian Godfrey as Cooley, Victoria Morgan as Helen, Lyn Wilson as Jenny and Jessica Carroll as Roberta. Expectation was running high with a sell out opening night and the performance did not disappoint.
The tension and emotion radiated from the stage to the back of the theatre and the entire audience jumped when Belle threw a plate at the wall with such force it chipped the paintwork. The sound track used was well interpreted and good old Creedence Clearwater Revival a crowd pleaser. Outstanding Lighting design by Richard Parkhill contributed immensely to the subtle scene shifts and was extremely well executed by Joshua Mensch who also operated the sound. There were some obvious nerves on opening night but absolutely nothing that detracted from the performances.
Well done to Red Phoenix Theatre and thank you for having the nerve to bring new and exciting works to Adelaide. Congratulations on your new home and we welcome you, with open arms, to the fold.
Cooley (Brian Godfrey), Kath (Julie Quick) and Don (Wayne Anthony)