Review: ‘Don’s Party’

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 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.

Don's Party

Australia

Production

Double Head. Director Bruce Beresford; Producer Philip Adams; Screenplay David Williamson; Camera Don McAlpine; Editor Bill Anderson; Art Director Rhoisin Harrison

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Ray Barrett Claire Binney Pat Bishop Graeme Blundell Jeannie Drynan John Gorton
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