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.
Meet the actors who have been cast so far in Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh.
Logie and AFI nominated Daniel Frederiksen has had an extensive career across film, television and theatre. After studying at NIDA, he first achieved recognition in the television series Blue Heelers, followed by a series regular role in Stingers, for which he was nominated for a Logie Award for Best New Talent. Other TV credits include roles in telemovie Underground, Underbelly 6 “ Squizzy Taylor”, Redfern Now, and most recently in the ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Daniel won an AFI nomination for Best Actor in a Television Drama for Bastard Boys. His feature film roles include a lead role in Ten Empty, Closed for Winter & the US telemovie Mermaids, as well as playing opposite Nicolas Cage in the action movie Ghost Rider. Other film credits include Summer Coda, Vessell and Pawno. Some of his stage performances include After Miss Julie, The Pain & The Itch, Leaves of Glass, Fat Boy, Ruben Guthrie, Robot vs. Art and Julius Caesar (Bell Shakespeare Company), The Good Person of Szechuan (Malthouse and The National Theatre of China co-production) and in Melbourne Theatre Company productions of Cheech, Don Juan in Soho, Rockabye, Betty Shaw and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Daniel is a founding member of Red Stitch, Melbourne’s highly regarded independent theatre company.
Eryn Jean Norvill is a graduate of Victorian College of the Arts, she has also studied at L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in France and The Groundlings School in Los Angeles. She has been working in professional theatre in Australia for the last ten years. For Sydney Theatre Company: Masha in Three Sisters, Anne in All My Sons, Cordelia in King Lear, Catherine in Suddenly Last Summer, Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. For Belvoir Theatre Company: The Government Inspector. For Melbourne Theatre Company: Ophelia in Hamlet, Angie in Top Girls. For Griffin Theatre Company: Nola in The Boys. For Q Theatre Company: Sam in_ Truck Stop_. For Hayloft Project: Marya Grekova in Platonov and Irina in 3xSisters. For Complete Works Theatre Company: Margaret Moore in Man for All Seasons. For Red Stitch Company: Dawn in Lobby Hero. Elbow Room: Niche in NICHE and Ralph in a tiny chorus. She has received several theatre awards: Sydney Theatre Award Suddenly Last Summer (2015), Green Room Award Government Inspector (2014), Sydney Theatre Award The Boys (2012), Green Room Award Top Girls (2012), Sydney Theatre Award Truckstop (2012), 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival People’s Choice Award: a tiny chorus. Eryn Jean is also a writer and theatre maker, in 2009 she co-created a tiny chorus, in 2016 she co-created and toured Remake to the REPETITIONS: Performance Art and Philosophy Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia and in 2017 she co-created and premiered NICHE. Eryn Jean is the recent recipient of Marten Bequest Theatre Scholarship (2015), the Gloria Payten Travelling Scholarship (2015) and the Richard Pratt Artistic Fellowship (2006). She is a proud member of Actors Equity.
Benjamin Rigby is an actor and producer based in Melbourne, Australia. After graduating from the University of Southern Queensland with a Bachelor of Theatre arts (Acting), Ben has appeared in numerous film and television projects such as Neighbours (2011), Green Eyed (2012), Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries (2013), Plague (2014), The Secret River (2015), Rigor Mortis (2014) and most recently That’s Not Me (2016), Lion (2016) and Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant (2017). He wrote, co-produced and starred in short film Bridge, which made its world premiere at Palm Springs international shortfest in 2016. Co-founder of independent theatre company Exhibit A: Theatre, he has produced and appeared in stage productions Sight Unseen (2012), EIGHT (2012), SubUrbia (2012), Cowboy Mouth (2013), Flesh Wound (2013). After playing Marty in The House of Yes for Little Ones Theatre in 2014, Ben is thrilled to be working with Stephen Nicolazzo for his Melbourne Theatre Company debut.
Katherine Tonkin has previously appeared for Melbourne Theatre Company in Three Little Words, The Cherry Orchard, Cloud Nine, The Apocalypse Bear Trilogy (co-produced with Stuck Pigs Squealing/MIAF), and, for MTC Education, Explorations: A Streetcar Named Desire. Her other stage appearances include Elektra/Orestes (Belvoir); The Wild Duck(Belvoir/PIAF); Conversation Piece (Belvoir/Lucy Guerin); You and Me and the Space Between (Terrapin/Malthouse/MIAF); Tame (Malthouse); The Histrionic and Baal (Malthouse/STC); OT: Chronicles of the Old Testament (Malthouse/Uncle Semolina); The Eisteddfod (Malthouse/Stuck Pigs Squealing/B Sharp Belvoir); I Heart John McEnroe (Uninvited Guests/Theatreworks); The Man with the September Face (Univited Guests/Arts Centre Melbourne); Smashed (Griffin Theatre), Star Chaser (Arena/Arts Centre Melbourne); Duets for Lovers and Dreamers (fortyfive downstairs/ Insite Arts), 3xSisters (The Hayloft Project); Gilgamesh (Uncle Semolina/MIAF/Sydney Opera House/Barbican, London); Jet of Blood (Ignite Productions/Adelaide Festival Centre); and Actors at Work (Bell Shakespeare). Screen credits include Winners and Losers, City Homicide, Neighbours, Snake Tales, Kick, Blue Heelers, and feature films The BBQ and Macbeth. Katherine is a proud member of Actors Equity.