Every week of the Festival which runs from January to March, Short and Sweet features brilliant new plays with the very best  returning to compete in March in the Gala Finals.

This very successful and now international ten minute play Festival is now in its sixteenth  year.

Festival Director Wayne Tunks chose just nine plays to be included in Week 3 with every play being very good in its own way. It was a treat to have four wonderful comic delights included in this selection.

(1) – Sparrows Die All the Time

ITC Presented by Space Tiger Theatre Company

Written by Phillip Gallop / Directed by Glen Pead

Heightened by well chosen sound effects, this dramatic and clever monologue in one voice, stars Charlotte Hanson. Hanson plays the lone survivor of a two piece electro-pop band, and she is living an ever diminishing life, forever trapped in a loop of constant repetition.

(2) – Beware the Zebra

ITC Presented by THEM

Written by Xeno Nemos / Directed by Peter Whitehead

Cast: Melissa Hilas, Nicolo Artigas, Roslyn Hicks and Xeno Nemos

Excellent comedy involving a very loud crash, occurring with a cyclist rear-ended by an expensive 007 car. The bogan police officer, illegally uses bias to ignore the injured victim, siding with the driver who should have been charged with “negligent driving”, but the cyclist is determined to come out on top. Brace yourself for the sudden and completely unexpected happy ending.

(3) – Simulationship

Written by David Strauss / Directed by Seymour Nixen

Cast: Matilda Moran and Nyssa Hamilton

This is a Drama set in a future world dominated by using the safety of Artificial Intelligence Sims to practice what to say on their first date. Two women intending to meet on a first date, are no longer willing to rely on the natural course of events, with both practicisng several different fake and quite random possible versions of their first date, trying again and again to achieve the perfect first date experience.

(4) – Crime Fiction

By Rachel Le Rossignol / Directed by Wombat GT

Cast: Jasmine Cabrera and Shayne deGroot

A woman, who was badly bullied at school, is determined to exact revenge. She uses her vivid memories of those awful experiences, and under a pen name becomes a writer who creates several very successful fictional Crime Novels. At a book signing the drama unfolds, ending with a clever double twist ending, that I just didn’t see coming.

(5) – Attachment Theory

Devised by Gina Tay Limpus and Jamie Kendall / Directed by Jamie Kendall

Cast: Gina Tay Limpus, Jamie Kendall

This is physical theatre piece with techno music track. Two creative artists use words and dance to explore their intimate relationship through time. Referencing American psychologist John Bowbly’s theory of relationships, they dance/move from perfect to secure to  avoidant to ambivalent behaviour.

(6) – Sshhh!

Written by Genevieve Tree / Directed by Florence Florens

Cast: Laurel McGowan, Richard Mason, Tim Ressos and Alison Benstead

This is a living room comedy farce. Two burglars, two more burglars, two guns, so what else can go wrong? Huge audience pleaser on the opening night.

(7) – Painting Seventeen

Written by Sharon Cooper / Directed by Alexander Andrews

Cast: Lauren Lloyd Williams and Eleanore Knox

Artist Saskia painted a self portrait when she was just 17. She is now 30. The play features a dialogue between her and her portrait. The dialogue is beautifully written, revealing layer after layer of her life story. The two actors deliver charming and very believable performances. A very entertaining life story coming in at under ten minutes.

(8) – Moon Baby

ITC Presented by She’ll Be Right On the Night

Written by and starring Gina Cohen. Today is the 20th of July 1969 and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are ready to walk on the moon. Carol is planning her moon-walk party with her brilliant moon-walk-cake at her house in suburbia, with all of her female friends.

This was  a magnificent comedy monologue delivered in one voice. After dropping the cake on the floor, what else could possibly go wrong?!

With very clever use of mime, very effective audience participation, this show was a total delight and well worthy of getting a standing ovation.

(9) – Moist

ITC Presented by Grumpy Mandrake Theatre

By Seymour Nixen / Directed by Nathan Farrow

Cast: Nyssa Hamilton, Tayla Jarrett and Debbie Neilson.

This was a beautifully costumed epic comedy, including Frosty wearing those very famous ruby slippers. Sparkle, Frosty and Almond are two cupcakes and a gluten-free organic muffin in a bakery. All three are desperate, because they remain unsold at the end of the business day.

This was a great comic piece., featuring dialogue driven comedy that was expertly timed. The cast gave perfect performances.

This was a magnificent end to the evening, and a shining example of what is possible in this great form of short theatre.

SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2017 Top 80 Week Three is playing till  Sunday 28th January 2017, every night at 7.30 pm at the The Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville. There is free on site parking.

All photos by Robert Miniter.

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