The eponymous get-together takes place in Australia on Election Night, 1969. The 11 characters are all friends who, save two, have assembled to cheer in a Labor Party victory. The election day atmosphere is added to by a walk-on appearance by John Gorton as the prime minister of the day – which, indeed, he was.
The central characters in David Williamson’s play may be grotesque, uncouth, drunken louts, but they do represent a streak in the Australian character that exists. Bringing them together at that particular time and place increases the claustrophobic effect they have on the others.
Don’s Party is a vicious and unrelenting attack on suburbia and a harsh look at these who help populate it. The entire cast turn in superlative performances.