“Music is a social activity. It’s done with others. Since, like, the dawn of time or some shit”
FRONT follows the unseen side of the Music Industry, and intense drama unfolds in rehearsal rooms, green rooms, on radio, on television, in recording studios, but especially including those one way discussions with the toughest record label executive, appearing directly from the gates of hell.
This was an original new Australian conceptual play, well acted with believable dialogue filled with both humour and pathos, that explores relationship issues within a new band. Refreshingly catering to today’s audience with its rock metal tunes, loud music, but well enjoyed by the opening night audience. Duration is a fast paced eighty minutes, with no interval.
Running from 28th June until 15 July 2017 at The Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, with on-site free car parking.
Tunks’ play is about the dysfunctional Post family and their friends, everyone has unresolved issues, their attitudes reveal the dark sides of just another typical Caucasian Australian family.
It is a confronting message piece, LGBT life is a bitch w hen you choose denial.
Ultimately it is a very satisfying drama about self-interest and personal trauma, filled with adult cynicism carefully blended with casual discrimination, racism and homophobia, including brutality, appropriate language and some violence. There are sympathetic performances, that were always tempered with pathos and humour.
Frank Bryant (David Jeffrey) has become a tutor, for an Open University English Literature course, entirely just for the money. He is an older middle-class professor, a career academic, and a high-functioning alcoholic, who had ambitions to be a great poet and is bored with his University job of teaching undergraduate English Literature. His first student Rita White (Emily McGowan) struts into his book-filled office.
Rita is an unhappy married hairdresser, down-to-earth and excessively talkative but often rambling, and now aged 26 years, she needs freedom and is driven to dedicate herself to receiving all of the education, that she failed to receive in school.
Rita brings all of her under-educated blunt honesty, to loudly challenge Frank’s deep intellect and limitless knowledge of literature. Each inspires the other to become more alive, and better live their lives. Socially inept Rita believes that she is trapped by her working class life and her husband, and the theme of identity emerges, because she changed her birth name from Susan to Rita. Rita believes that studying literature for twelve months, will give her the worldly knowledge that she needs to grow as a person.
Playwright Willy Russell has sleekly styled EDUCATING RITA with realistic character-driven dialogue, providing the perfect balance of humour and poignancy. The play is fast paced, dialogue intensive 120 minutes of theatre entertainment, full of purpose, comedy and pathos, as these two people, learn more about each other, the class system, and the many shortcomings of institutionalised education systems. Continue reading WILLY RUSSELL’S CLASSIC ‘EDUCATING RITA’ SPARKLES @ THE DEPOT→
Comedy great, Les Dawson famously said “My wife is a sex object. Every time I ask for sex, she objects.”
SEX OBJECT is an absolute joy, gloriously funny, quite wonderful, and is a highly entertaining brand new Australian comedy. SEX OBJECT is exactly and precisely all about her one reason why their six month fully sexual relationship has now evaporated into “My girlfriend is a sex object. Every time her boyfriend asks her for sex . . . she objects.” Beautifully directed by Michael Abercromby, with an excellent cast of four superb actors, each with perfect comedy timing. Continue reading SEX OBJECT @ THE DEPOT THEATRE→
It was a pleasure to experience this delicious and entertaining new play featuring six well-drawn, strong characters played by a good all-female cast.
Monica Zanetti’s play delivers a touching lesbian romantic comedy, blended with LGBT political history, and is an important message piece about respecting sexual minorities. It also touches on the inaction of police and their reluctance to investigate LGBT murders.
Ellie’s mother has provided a litany of lies to protect Ellie from the whole truth about her lesbian Aunt Amber’s sudden death. Ellie, the goody goody School Captain has fallen in love with Abbie a girl from her history class. Ellie, in fact, is getting the ‘ghostly’ counsel of her deceased Aunt to navigate the intricacies of her first lesbian affair.Continue reading Ellie, Abbie & Ellie’s Dead Aunt @ Depot Theatre Marrickville→
After more than two months of heats 120 Short and Sweet plays and over 700 actors, writers and directors, this ingenious and very short play festival, is coming to an end. The winning plays are in competition at the Depot Theatre this Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The winners in the various categories will be announced at the end of Saturday night’s performance.
During the eight weeks of S+S heats, Festival Director Wayne Tunks has picked one S+S play each week which displayed excellence in writing, directing, acting and team work.
This week those eight S+S plays now have their own final, on Thursday March 9 and Friday March 10 at 7.30pm
This is a fierce competition, because one play, will be chosen to go to the S+S Gala Final the following week.
Beard (Week 1)
ITC presented by Viridescent
Written by Erin Middleton and Robert Miniter / Directed by Lawrence Dooley
Cast: Erin Middleton and Robert Miniter
Praying the gay away. The need to pretend to be, what parents incorrectly want. Both ignoring aversion therapy, boy meets girl, and the girl offers to be his beard, to misleadingly prove that the weeks of treatment actually works.
T3 Trojan (Week 2)
ITC presented by Bare Bones Theatre Co.
Written and Directed by Judith Duncan
Cast: Karishma Mathur
Very entertaining, dramatic injustice monologue of woman versus machine, with essential content very reminiscent of “Fahrenheit 451” and “Divergent”. The human element has been removed, dystopian justice is now very blind. Blindfolded and kept in an execution cell, and a computer is your judge jury and executioner, because all justice is badly administered by artificial intelligence, with urgent need for change. The twist ending was inspired, and brilliantly original. Continue reading FESTIVAL DIRECTOR’S PICKS FIGHT IT OUT THIS WEEK @ THE DEPOT THEATRE→
Curated by Festival Director Wayne Tunks, this was presented as part of Short+Sweet Sydney 2017 and the Sydney Mardi Gras 2017.
The plays featured in this brief season taking place on Tuesday 7th March and Wednesday 8th March at 7.30 pm, featured the very best QUEER LGBTQI plays from the Short+Sweet 2017 Season.
(1) – Dress Ups
ITC presented by Grinning Shark Productions
Written and Directed by Graham Yates
Drama unfolds, with the games people play with their lives, piece by piece, as the mask gradually fades away, the world of terror within is revealed. Superb and compelling performance by Garreth Cruikshank.
(2) – Queerachy
Written by Zoe Brinnard / Directed by Megan Shooter
Cast: Rebecca Abdel-Messih, Alana Birtles, Wayne Dawson and Zed Norrie
This is the final week of Top80 S+S heats. Festival Director Wayne Tunks has made good use of the wall of props on display each week, and finally someone found a magnificent use for the shovel. Selected superb theatre pieces, for you to pick and vote for your two preferred plays out of the twelve plays this week. Interesting message pieces, and emotionally moving themes with rap chess prequel, drama, comedy, time travel, true love, chance love, and a resonating vibrator challenge.
Week Eight Plays: March 1-5 (Wed – Sun @ 7.30pm)
(1) – The Bridge
ITC Presented by Mega Theatre Productions
Written by Jayaprakash Kulur / Directed by Sreejith Gangadharan
Cast: Sreejith Gangadharan, Nithin Balakrishnan
A guard enforces NO fishing on bridge. Drama entirely spoken in unintelligible gibberish (spoken in a meaningless nonsense language that no one understands) eventually the fisher-person teaches the guard how to fish.
(2) – Judgement Days
ITC Presented by Mockingbird
Written by Carl J Sorheim / Directed by Chris Baldock
Festival Director Wayne Tunks has selected superb theatre pieces, from the best of the best scripts on offer. Recommended, with amazing and well chosen plays on the stage, for you to pick and vote for your two preferred plays. Short + Sweet is my favourite time of year, with twelve brand new short plays this week. Interesting message pieces, and emotionally moving themes with drama, satire, comedy. time travel, time police, office politics, revenge murder, dementia, George Brandis, afterlife, anniversaries versus aliens, and a resonating vodka experience.
(1) – The Lifecycle of Refrigerators
Written by Nataliya Oryshchuk / Directed by Adam Grubner
Cast: Graham Egan, Luke Evans, Rizcel Gagawanan, David Luke and Sonja Ridden
Over-the-top administration team meeting, dealing with the loneliness of refrigerators provided comedy moments, and included ironic team discussions about community gardens growing food for the homeless, stress relief by using adult colouring books, and befriending dangerous strangers, i.e. the homeless.
(2) – Ten Minutes on a Train Platform
ITC Presented by Mariposa Productions
Written by Felix Carlyle / Directed by Margaret Fitzgerald
Christine Aldridge (Fiona) begins to fear for her life, as ADHD hyper-talkative Isaac Owen (Gerald) menacingly steals her iPhone, with more twists to follow. Perfect cast with beautifully written drama, concerns female personal safety issues not being provided late at night, by video security surveillance. Intense drama between two strangers, unfolds on the platform at Lines End Railway Station.
(3) – Island Journey
ITC Presented by Rainbow Connections Theatre Co.
Written and Directed by Uma Kali Shakti
Cast: Veena Sudarshan
Cultural expectations with inherent limitations, preventing life-affirming growth. Intensive one woman monologue, on the path to closure, takes a trajectory through grief and loss, against the background of a fixed belief system.
(4) – A Bottle of Vodka
Written by Connie Schinewolf
Alcoholics, Liz Hovey (Judy) and Mark Fowler (Will) are two very-drunk drivers who just arrived in hell, because their cars have just crashed by colliding head-on, on Parramatta Road. Comedy one-liners, generated laughter galore. Perfect cast, delicious dialogue to make you “laugh out loud”, and expertly directed Larry Kelly. An unopened bottle of Grey Goose Vodka tempts both, but painful force-field barrier prevents access. Alcohol withdrawal creates dialogue, as these strangers by spending some time together, discover their similarities, leading to a hellish conclusion.
(5) – The Search
Written by Michael Panes / Directed by Isabel Dickson
One year marriage anniversary, of course her scientist husband, Adnan Zey (Gerry) has forgotten, thus making her even more unhappy with her alien finding husband. As a devout catholic Emily Potts (Sandra), can not divorce him. So much comedy, so little time. Alien analogue broadcast transmissions received from 6EQJ5 by SETI, create the comedy path to ruin and divorce.
(6) – Mary Twist
Written and Directed by Mikayla Hatjinikitas
Cast: Izzy Hanly, Damian Asher, Mark Herrison, Indiana Rubin-Tasic, Paris Galanos and Russell Kay
Fresh clever comedy and suffragette message piece, created by sixteen year old playwright Mikayla Hatjinikitas. Time Travel from the Victorian Era, to the far more welcoming world of 2016. YOLO and SWAG confirm the destination year. Inventor’s daughter uses her father’s Time Travel Machine, to escape from the tyranny of being only permitted to cook, to clean and to constantly birth babies every nine months.
(7) – At Home With Larry & George
Written by Gavin Roach / Directed by Amber Wilcox
Edgy adult themes, throughout this stunningly extreme lifestyle comedy. So is this Art or Design? Graphic Adult B&D fetish comedy. Reilly Johnson (Larry the Gimp) is the submissive male, living in a dog-house, with Garreth Cruikshank (George) his master, who is forever on the “endless quest for excellence”. As the politician in charge of choosing recipients of Arts Council grants, to create his “Center of Excellence”, this politician is going to personally use all the money intended for the arts community.
(8) – The Accident
ITC Presented by Marko Mustac Productions
Written By Marko Mustac / Directed by Jenny Hope
Cast: Marko Mustac and Lou Pollard
The strong coarse language content of this play, is completely inappropriate for all children. There are so many Bad and Disrespectful witty one-liners, however my favourite line is when the husband says to his wife “I don’t hate women you c*nt”. Offensive Explicit Language is used creatively and effectively, to metamorphosize this dialogue intensive drama, into a black ironic comedy masterpiece. Dysfunctional couple in a long-term relationship are both cheating on their marriage partner, however their love for each other is a brightly burning fire, that burns down everything that it sees, and are a car crash away from dying. Perfectly cast couple, have so many memorable twisted lines of biting dialogue, this elegantly constructed play delivers outstanding artistry.
(9) – Time Squad
ITC Presented by Black Box Theatre Co.
Written by Alexander Cuff
Cast: Bradley Ward, Alex Groombridge, Sam Sweeting and Sam Lovell
Riotous fun as two Time Travelling Police Agents, constantly provide comedy “time one-liners” as they meet and greet with their criminal future versions of themselves. Will these four Time Travelling Police Agents, solve the Predestination Paradox to stop time unravelling? Luke Berman has expertly directed, nine minutes of never ending audience laughter, arriving from an eager and ultra appreciative audience, that clearly placed this comedy, well ahead of the pack for audiences voting for comedies.
(10) – Wheelchair
Written by Scott Mullen / Directed by Diane Busuttil
Cast: Paul Kohn and Latisha Owens
Strangers in a park. Disabled woman in a wheelchair, meets man in park, and they begin making insane bets about the future behaviour of other people in the park. Interesting comedy becomes very dark drama, with unexpected conclusion, expertly delivered.
(11) – Not Toilet Trained
ITC Presented by Seat of the Pants Productions
Written and Directed by Ruth Fringret
Superb cast choices selected by director Ruth Fringret. Delicious dementia comedy, quickly builds effective back stories into each character, via music lyrics used as dialogue. The undeserving absent son Greg, returns home to visit his quite elderly parents. Sandra Campbell (Mum) urgently needs help managing her husband, Valentino Arico (Dad) however their ungrateful son Lewis Scamozzi (Greg) and is not accepting of any of the challenges, of the dementia related life lessons, now unfolding.
(12) – Mexican Stand Off
Written by Sally Bartley / Directed by Spike Hogan
Cast: Tristan Clarke, Isabel Dickson, Peter Maple and Jaime Ureta
“Democracy when solely determined by a slim majority, is usually nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people have voted to steal away all of the rights of the other 49%”. Message piece, dialogue driven comedy with drama at a Wanderers soccer match. Class warfare from the have-nots (Chas and Gaz) against the haves (Gerry and Marlin). The paradigm, that rules must be broken, that deviant behaviour is expected, and that mob rule involving both violence and intimidation, is always the behaviour expected at soccer.
All photos by Robert Miniter.
Week Seven Plays: February 22-26 (Wed – Sun @ 7.30 pm)
The Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, with on-site free car parking.
Live theatre is the best medicine, and Short + Sweet is my favourite time of year, with eight brand new plays this week, interesting and moving and resonating. Well chosen selection of emotional and thought provoking themes with chess, drama, satire, comedy and dance. Quite impossible to pick just the one winner.
(1) – Broadband Blues
Written and Directed by Geoff McCubbin
Cast: David Humphrey, Fran Bosly-Craft, Mark Smith, Anton Baggerman
Each NBN company provides rhyming verse constant comedy delight, as both Wilma and Fred try to get each NBN company to actually provide a human being to answer the telephone. You would have to be absolutely crazy to sign up with the NBN. Of course there is no support, and there never is any offer of competitive pricing, because every company that is not Telstra, offer the exact same price, for the exact same deal.
(2) – Compos Mentis
Written by Marilyn Millstone / Directed by Patrick Matijevic
Cast: Aileen Beale, Graham Egan and Denise Kitching
We visit Silver Glades Senior Living, nine minutes of excellent comedy ensues, full of guile, as both Robert and Alese deliberately fail the induction interview.
(3) – The Last
Written by Bokkie Robertson / Directed by Chantelle Corbet
Cast: Alex Hatz and Milica Pajic
Nuclear winter following nuclear war, drama as there is now only one human being still alive on Planet Earth, and he enters into a lively conversation and emotional reflection, with the soon to be unemployed “Grim Reaper”.
(4) – Out of the Woods
ITC Presented by Everyday Monster
Starring / Written / Directed by Brenton Amies and Cam Ralph
Incredible dark comedy, of two former Children’s Television Hosts who were “Hooly Dooly”, now meet to resolve their past issues. However one actor has unresolved anger management issues, and is still costumed and still speaking as “The Fluffy Bear” and many other bizarre issues urgently need to be addressed.
(5) – Freestyle Pawn Stars
ITC Presented by e4 Productions
Written by Keegan Fisher, Jake Izzy, Julz Larson and Ziggy Tockuss / Directed by Dudley Levell
Cast: Keegan Fisher, Jake Izzy, Julz Larson, Ziggy Tockuss and Mark Longhurst
Audience participation, the play was an impressive chess game with completely improvised and clever hip hop rap infused dialogue. Every night the brave cast risks all, by randomly trying to find someone from the audience who admits to playing the game of chess. Opening Night volunteer Karl was given black, and chose each of his moves quite badly, to quickly find himself on the losing side in a very fast checkmate, via witty rhythm, rhyme, riffs and freestyle rap. Heaps of applause, a fresh delight that was interesting and precocious, and resonated with the audience.
(6) – My Name is Lucinda
ITC Presented by Backstage Pass
Written and Directed by Lisa Kelaher
Margareta Moir stars as Catherine, telling a perfectly structured, short story monologue all about her life. As a child the simplicity of Catherine the introvert, enjoying all those John Wayne westerns of daytime television, and she decides her life is so much better as the driven “Wild West” extrovert Lucinda. Delivered everything a play should be, Margareta Moir did a beautiful job of providing the wonderful duality of the role, in a superb and winning performance on Opening Night.
(7) – Killjoy
ITC Presented by Imprint Theatre Company (Company Devised Script)
Cast: Wendi Lanham, Laurence Nelmes, Martin Quinn, Rebecca Waters, Kate Vozella and Annie Thorold
Three couples suffering in style through their pain, and these six actors give their all on the boards, with no safety net to save them, and strongly deliver a talented volatile fight for their vision, with stage art versus stage business. Music, physicality, silence, mime, dialogue, with choreographed dance and movement, the cast provide extraordinary power and strength in their performance. As with all theatre art, because we all have non-identical life experiences, what you see is always subject to differing interpretations, hence the exact same play, could also be experienced as just two people with relationship pain, represented by all six actors.
(8) – Ice Cream Mafia
Written by Vee Malnar / Directed by Thomas Richards
Cast: Jay Duncan, Erick Guanlao, Jasper Musgrave and Meili Bookluck
Comedy erupts when the local mafia, decide to take over a sensational ice-cream brand, that has been destroying their ice-cream business.
Week Six Plays: February 15-19 (Wed – Sun @ 7.30pm)
All photos by Robert Miniter.
SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2017 Top80 Week SIX, runs from Wednesday 15th February 2017 to Sunday 19th February 2017.
The Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, with on-site free car parking.
Short + Sweet is my favourite time of year, and this new week offers another quite entertaining evening of live theatre. Festival director Wayne Tunks has chosen ten plays for this week, a fine selection of both comedy and drama. It is quite impossible to pick just the one winner, and this week also includes the unique experience of seven wonderful drama delights.
(1) – Objectum Sexuality
Written by Ron Burch / Directed by Kathryn Thomas
Cast: Bryce Lavery-Jacko and Wayne Buckley
Couples Therapy comedy, because Mike is deeply in love with Rocky (a wooden rocking chair), but Mike has cheated.
(2) – Det-end-tion
ITC Presented By Moontan Productions
Written by Amelia Gilday and Alex Fenner / Directed by Amelia Gilday
Cast: Riley Marnell and Daniel Pryke
Very dramatic message piece, as an earthquake causes exploration of the bully/victim relationship of two young men.
(3) – #NotAllMen
ITC Presented By Village Spirit Productions
Written & Directed by Kel Vane
Cast: Michelle Burge, Margareta Moir and James Walkom
Strange Police procedural drama, police interrogation room delivers rough justice. Just the quirky unrealistic “Police Facts” via analysing all the lies “he says versus she says”. Discover the alleged victim versus the alleged perpetrator. Is she is going to miss out on the tax free $15000.00 NSW victim of crime payout?
(4) – The Wee Small Hours
ITC Presented By Angelfish Productions
Written by Leonie Jordan / Directed by Margaret Fitzgerald / Music by Daniel O’Connor
Cast: Pauline Gardner & Rob White
Drama full of grief, regret and revenge. He has re-married, but has taken this 3am telephone call from his ex, on the anniversary of the death of their young daughter.
(5) – Not So Super
ITC Presented By Musketeer Productions
Written & Directed by Paulene Turner
Cast: Paul Byrne, Nicholas Drummond, Liz Hovey and Rebecca Towns
Comedy version of “The Incredibles” versus the Evil Pulse and starring the crazy super family with Flame, Fast, Mind Reader, Time Keeper.
(6) – Yellow Means Caution
Written by Gregory Crafts / Directed by Victoria Lewis
Cast: Emma Mylott & Andrew Wang
Message drama with comedy one-liners, as video game widow Loretta, in relationship crisis needs to find happiness within her rotten marriage with video gamer Max. She has happy painted every wall of every room, using bright bold “Yellow Submarine” coloured paint.
(7) – Love, Honour & Obey
Written by Sally Williams / Directed by Angeline Andrews
Cast: Kirra Farquharson and Will Reilly
Wife insists that her husband obeys her written instructions (including footnotes) detailing how her husband can get way with murdering her in cold blood, but he desperately needs her to stop interrupting him.
(8) – A Dog’s Dream
Written by Jeffrey Fischer-Smith / Directed by Jace Pickard
Cast: Jack Dawson & Richard Lund
Message piece, yes interesting drama, that will take you on an unexpected trajectory. For Mark his dog’s dreams are real. Recently deceased Mark tells his partner Andy, that the family dog needs to be taken to the local park to grieve about Mark.
(9) – The Secret of Me
ITC Presented By Almost Evkav
Written by Sonal Moore / Directed by Evangeline Moore
Cast: Jack Marsden & Alexandra Joyce
Photographic art trends keep changing, and during Queen Victoria’s time, young children being captured in photos completely naked was a symbol of purity and not of sexuality. Strong believable performances, utterly intense dialogue, set in an photographic art gallery storeroom. Unexpectedly Ruth sees an extremely confronting paedophile photo of herself on exhibition, that unknowingly her Uncle Leo had taken of her, over twenty years ago. Dramatically ends with an unexpected resolution of her dilemma.
(10) – Waiting To Go
Written by Elspeth Tilley / Directed by Kym Vaitiekus
Cast: Barbara Hastings, Seb Normel
Clever comedy stereotyping, as these two dancing lollypop-sign-controller road-workers, from just outside your front gate, provide detailed political insanity, whilst doing a famous slapstick routine clearly inspired by the movie film “The Plank”.
All photos by Robert Miniter.
SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2017 Top 80 Week FIVE, runs from Wednesday 8th February 2017 to Sunday 12th February 2017 at 7.30 pm at the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, with on-site free car parking.
There are nine simply superb plays being performed live on stage this week, at Short and Sweet. Captivating, strange, unique, and laugh-out-loud entertainment galore, and one with live music.
(1) – Wish You Were Hair
ITC Presented by RAPA Inc
Written by Kaz Getts / Directed by Kaz Getts and Warren Bradley
Cast – Warren Bradley, Christine Engelheart
Comedy all about HAIR from first pubes, cut hair, shaving, nair, long hair wig, chemo. Warren Bradley and Christine Engelheart are endearing with their multiple characters through time, constant flow of costume changes, covering from teenagers to seniors.
(2) – Diary of a Breakup / Breakdown
ITC Presented by Alex Broun Company
Written By Alex Broun / Directed by Peter Whitehead
Cast – Claire Bird, Michael Booker.
Alex Broun, is one of the world’s leading ten-minute playwrights, and has written more than one hundred ten minute plays : http://www.alexbroun.com/ Dialogue intense dramatic delight, as Claire Bird and Michael Booker individually deconstruct each and every intense moment, day by day during the thirty days immediately after their relationship ended.
(3) – Brexit
ITC Presented by Budding Theatre Company
Written and directed by Kirsty Budding
Cast: Kaivu Suvarna, Amelia Green, Michael Ubrihien and Rina Onorato
Excellent comedy message piece set on Thursday 23rd June, the voting day for the EU Referendum, four Brits at a bus stop agree to disagree on the vote discussing Cultural Imperialism and stereotyping, all lead along to the very unexpected twist.
(4) – The Story of Darling Brown
ITC Presented by The Monologue Project
Written and Directed by Pete Malicki
Cast – Katharine Babatzanis
Comedy monologue as Katharine Babatzanis plays Darling Brown. Discusses her identical twin sister Jesse, berates her parents (Claire and John) for their calling their first born twin “Darling”. Darling pretending to be Jesse, ends up enjoying being completely different to her identical twin, all caused by her hating the name her parents assigned her at birth.
(5) – Tapping Out
Written by Maura Pierlot / Directed by Cecile Payet
Cast: Kaiya Bartholomew, Brayden Harry, Ethan Mestroni and Anton Smilek
Winning dialogue drama and timpani musical piece, with the drummers’s tap tap tap of musical syncopation on assorted musical instruments in the percussion family. Private language created in tap, introvert versus extrovert, a war between Wes with Jay, then Jay with Declan. Wes is trapped in his mind palace, by reliving all the complex events that occurred twelve months ago.
(6) – Hidden Depths
Written by Pamela Western / Directed by Mark Fowler
Cast: Christine Aldridge and James Sugrue
A beautifully costumed Pirate (Roger), arrives for his first job interview at the the Tax Office. Perfectly timed comedy with perfect cast, expertly directed, was a huge audience favourite on the Opening Night. Reliving the glory days of buccaneers and flogging, apparently this modern day pirate is a computer hacker. Perfectly chosen music with nautical sound effects, end the performance.
(7) – Still Alive
ITC Presented by Nautanki Theatre
Written and Directed by Dilbagh Singh
Cast: Dilroop Khangura, Shanelle Sin and Dilbagh Singh
Tulip is the delusional girl, trapped in the hot hell of her one room limbo. The devil is dressed as a doctor. Dressed in white as a nurse, is the angel. This fine drama, is subject to many possible interpretations.
(8) – Arthur and Marilyn
ITC Presented by Half Boy Company
Written By Jasper-Lee Lindsay / Directed by Danen Young
Cast: Meg Hyeronimus and Alec Ebert
Delicious fictionalised dialogue, as we learn exactly how Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller met. All that they talked about, with a smoky haze caused by the cast constantly smoking a seemingly infinite amount of herbal cigarettes.
(9) – One Night Stan
ITC Presented by Third Bite
Written by Adam Szudrich / Directed by Grant Wilson
Cast: Gina Cohen, Ally O’Brien and Emma Caldwell
Back into the dating game, and always at the same restaurant, Stan is dating these three women, Rachel, Holly and Marie. Comedy dialogue flows as each woman has vastly different dating experiences with the same man. Delightful and well worthy of getting a standing ovation, and of course easily garnered the longest applause from the Opening Night audience.
SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2017 Top 80 Week Four is playing the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, with on-site free parking, until Sunday 5th February 2017.
Featured photo from Hidden Depths. All photos by Robert Miniter.
Short and Sweet Theatre Sydney is the largest festival of ten minute plays in the world. Now in its 16th year, the festival takes place over a period of three months starting in January each year. Around 160 brand new scripts by Australian and international writers, will be performed during the festival. Spoilt for choice, with nine brand new plays this week:-
1 – T3 Trojan
ITC presented by Bare Bones Theatre Co.
Written and Directed by Judith Duncan
Cast: Karishma Mathur
Very entertaining, dramatic injustice monologue of woman versus machine, with essential content very reminiscent of “Fahrenheit 451” and “Divergent”. The human element has been removed, dystopian justice is now very blind, a computer is your judge jury and executioner, because all justice is badly administered by artificial intelligence, with urgent need for change. Continue reading SHORT+ SWEET 2017 TOP 80 : WEEK TWO @ THE DEPOT THEATRE→
Featured photo- Elaine Hudson, Taylor Owynns and Anne Tenney in Let’s Talk About You. Pic by Vicki Skarratt.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU is the newest offering by playwright Rivka Hartman (My Mother & Other Catastrophies) – a Melbourne born, Yiddish speaking thespian who’s Jewish identity informs much of her writing. Her voice is front and centre in this personal play – a black comedy about a lesbian love triangle.
At the play’s core lies the deconstruction of the neurotic and highly strung cosmetic surgeon and wife, Dr Ernestine Brilliant (Elaine Hudson), whose alter ego (Anne Tenney) allows the audience into her more truthful, internal self, free of expectation or inhibition. Think Freudian Id personified. Hartman cleverly uses this dramatic device for comedic effect, highlighting the internal dialectic within the emotionally stunted protagonist, providing some very amusing tension, with which many of us can identity. Continue reading LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU @ THE DEPOT THEATRE→
Mustard Seed Productions is currently presenting their inaugural production, the world premiere of Murray Lambert’s subversive and hilarious dark comedy MY FATHERS LEFT TESTICLE.
The play exposes the physical/mental dangers to refugee adults and children, directly resulting from the Australian Government immigration policy to “stop the boats” and the hypocrisy of the barbaric treatment those refugees receive in the overseas processing camps. Five refugees exist in an alternate reality, and these five Australian Citizens have decided to flee their homeland of Australia, and are processed overseas through a refugee detention centre called “Camp Assimilation.” Continue reading MY FATHERS LEFT TESTICLE @ THE DEPOT THEATRE→
THE DAYS ARE AS GRASS by Carol Hall, in ninety-five minutes comprises eight short entertaining plays, each delightful in its own way, but all with dialogue designed to make you think, and to make you contemplate your future. The director has chosen a fine cast of the best of Sydney’s more mature (in age) actors.
Vacation starring Felicity Steel and Richard Cotter
A happily married couple are flying for a romantic weekend in Cairns, but instead become obsessed with a cheating couple.
Last Will and Testament starring Susan M Kennedy
Beautifully delivered monologue, socialite tries to write her will to leave everyone a small memento, and the worrying about Contesting A Will – defence of Succession Claims and Family Provision Act NSW Claims. This clever monologue delivers the important message, to just leave your worldly goods to only your relatives.
Life Time starring Christine Greenough and Kimbal Knuckey
Apparent memory loss, a blessing in disguise, as this couple heavily rely on silence instead of conversation.
Jack and Jill starring Sarah Plummer and Richard Cotter
Adult children, brother and sister. After 35 years apart, their happily divorced parents are ruining their children’s lives by remarrying.
The River Jordan Lamp starring Sandra Campbell
One woman monologue, with perfect timing tells the delightful tale an unusual connection with Raymond, a very young indigenous man, and her “sin of the flesh” that allows a precious lamp to find a new home.
Sensations starring Felicity Steel and Kimbal Knuckey
Constant memories of childhood, as this very angry bickering couple in matching bathrobes and slippers, have just taken all of their secretly saved up pills, and are waiting for those pills to end their lives.
The Days Are As Grass starring Christine Greenough and Richard Cotter
In love with always having the last word, we see a younger man with no natural charm, pitted against an erudite older woman via an intense argument about what happened to their lust affair of many years ago. Dialogue intensive, each effectively uses literary quotes with affection, but with intentions unknown.
The Last Word starring Felicity Steel and Kimbal Knuckey
A husband chatters away as he pushes his mute and paralysed wife around in her wheelchair. However as she dances around the stage, the audience learns her thoughts.
The season runs at the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville from the 19th until the 29th October. Performance times 8 pm Wednesdays to Saturdays and 5 pm Sundays.
Running at just over two hours (including one interval) and with their well chosen, ensemble cast of seventeen actors, SECRET HOUSE has expertly delivered their fast-paced version, plus their well timed tweaks easily delighted the opening night audience.
Stunningly retold by director Sean O’Riordan, this ensemble piece is well worth seeing at least twice during its very limited run at The Depot Theatre. This adaptation of CYMBELINE repeatedly delivers on many levels, a quite brilliant but confronting evening of great entertainment.
Shakespeare’s rarely performed CYMBELINE, is a very dark comedy set in ancient Britain, and contains the dramatic themes of innocence and jealousy.
CYMBELINE has a very convoluted plot, with very familiar characters as found in many of his iconic works. Innogen is the only living heir of the KING CYMBELINE, but has secretly married her sweetheart Posthumus Leonatus, and Posthumus Leonatus is banished from the kingdom without his wife.
Set/Costume Designer Angelika Nieweglowski, has built this unique set by creating solid walls composed of broken wooden pallets, and a further collection of unbroken wooden pallets, that are frequently moved and shifted and stacked to become exactly what is required for each new scene/setting.
Almost every character has been deliberately costumed with torn and tattered fabrics, to my mind indicating a civilisation nearing its end, adding an extra atmosphere that gives almost post-apocalyptic expectations that are later mirrored, in the violent blood and carnage on the battlefield.
Cast includedDeborah An, Jane Angharad, Alison Benstead, Alex Brown, Tom Coyne, Morgan Junor-Larwood, Celia Kelly, Dave Kirkham, Ben Scales, Keturah Sheen, Roger Smith, James Smithers, Romney Stanton.
Secret House presented CYMBELINE by William Shakespeare at the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville between the 5th and 15th October.
Cristina has decided upon a self imposed exile, to live in a cupboard incommunicado. She feels that modern life is shallow and inauthentic.
Cristina, excellently played by Emily McGowan, is going to stay in her cupboard and examine her life, her family, her friends and the impact of significant events in her upbringing. Cristina has taken a different approach than Socrates suggested. As Socrates supposedly said at his trial, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He would rather die than live in exile unable to debate and engage with his students and fellow citizens.
Above – Isobel Dickson and Rebecca Clay in Wayne Tunks Flame Trees. Production photography by Isobel Markus-Dunworth
”Who needs that sentimental bullshit anyway?” decries the pamphlet that I grabbed before going in to see FLAME TREES at the Depot Theatre in Marrickville last night.
The answer seems to be that we all do. For this play is all about sentiment. And about fire, fires and an old flame.
The Depot is part of the Marrickville Enmore/Newtown burgeoning theatre scene. Vibrant Young and Raw. The play is a reflection of that. Tess Ashley, finely played by Isabel Dickson, returns to the small town she left many years ago and we all wonder why. The reasons are gradually revealed in this drama which has it all. Love, sacrifice, crime, punishment, betrayal and duplicity. It is also a psycho drama and a whodunnit. Have I left something out? Continue reading FLAME TREES BY WAYNE TUNKS @ DEPOT THEATRE MARRICKVILLE→
It was a dark and stormy night when your intrepid theatre critic ventured into the bowels of Marrickville to find The Depot Theatre and to review this musical. We drove into a forlorn precinct in which there were a scattered miscellany of various buildings and there, suddenly a dimly lit sign “The Depot” . An uncertain push, or was it a pull of the door and we were inside and then ushered to our seat amidst a sea of bright earnest young faces.
The biggest little play festival in the world. 2016 and this is the fifteenth year of SHORT+SWEET THEATRE SYDNEY, running Wednesdays to Sundays, from 6 January 2016 to 13 March 2016 with the very best of the best are returning in March at the Gala Final.
All the heats have finished, and these twelve just simply superb plays all deserved getting to the S+S WILDCARDS finals. Providing clever message-pieces and both drama and laugh-out-loud entertainment galore, presented in the ten minute play format.
(1) HARRY JEEVA AND THE GATES TO SELF DESTRUCTION – Wildcards Week 6 – Meditation comedy, freshly divorced Harry manages the eternal battle between mind, intellect and soul. Methods explained for controlling anger, greed and lust. ITC: Vedanta, Writer + Director: Robert Grant, Cast: Uma Kali Shakti (Soul), Sanket Das (Harry Jeeva), Belinda Maree Elchaar (Ms. Brill and Amanda), Cristina Siciliano (Mind), Brad Yee (Intellect) Continue reading SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2016 WILDCARDS FINAL @ Depot Theatre→
The biggest little play festival in the world. 2016 and this is the fifteenth year of SHORT+SWEET THEATRE SYDNEY, running Wednesdays to Sundays, from 6 January 2016 to 13 March 2016 with the very best returning in March at the Gala Final.
All the heats have finished, and this week is the first round of finals. There are eleven just simply superb plays this week, providing two great monologues and both drama and laugh-out-loud entertainment galore, presented in the ten minute play format.
(1) TUPPERWARE GEORGE – Top 80 Week 7 – Moving day woes, Marge (Madeline Beukers) with little time to spare before the final inspection from the Real Estate Agent. Marge wants her former housemates, the vegans, Nina (Amelia Morris) and Sunny (Elliott Falzon) to use chlorine bleach to kill all the fungus living inside the shared fridge. Their stoner friend Tucker (Ricky Klein) arrives, and comedy mayhem ensues. The fungus has learned to speak English, and wants to be known as George (Sam Nixen). George’s arrival drew gasps from an appreciative audience, with the clever denouement gaining lengthy applause. ITC: Grumpy Mandrake Theatre, Writer: Sam Nixen, Director: Nathan Farrow
(2) THE SCULPTURE GALLERY – Wildcards Week 1 – Drama hypothetical set inside a marble sculpture gallery. As the Photographer uses his camera, discovering everything provocative, that is only ever in the eye of the beholder. Writer: Aoise Stratford, Director: Don Lacey, Cast: Laura Nash (Kennedy), Peter Brown (Jack), uncredited (the Marble Sculpture), uncredited (voiceover)
(3) POP PORN – Top 80 Week 6 – Just ribald and very crude dialogue, and this Strictly for Adults Only comedy is set in a quite quiet hotel lobby. Mr Barton (Dudley Levell) has trouble getting his adult pay television channel to work, and needs to purchase the Special Code that includes many extras, from the crazy Concierge at the reception desk. But then Miss Elizabeth Hope (Emma Dalton) arrives, and will Mr Barton still need the Special Code? Writer + Director: Wayne Mitchell
(4) THE SHOEBOX – Top 80 Week 4 – In the gardens of a nursing home, the mysterious shoebox. Just what is contained inside? Expectations aroused by the charming wheelchair bound war veteran, so if Vic finishes reading aloud GREAT EXPECTATIONS, she will learn the secret of the shoebox. Having learnt the secret, her mother will be set the exact same task. ITC: Village Spirit Productions, Writer + Director: Kel Vance, Cast: Ashlyn Hunter (Vic), Saban Lloyd Berrell (Mr Dent – in wheelchair), Charlotte Hanson (Vic’s Mother)
(5) BETWEEN OLD FRIENDS – Top 80 Week 1 – Two high school girl friends, are now mature women with families. They suddenly meet up again because of Facebook web pages. They are lunching at a restaurant chosen by Samantha (Lisa Hanssens) that is just too expensive for Jeanine (Alison Grace). Were they ever actually friends, or perhaps only acquaintances? Find out just exactly how much their past relationship is actually worth. ITC: The Performance Crew, Writer + Director: Wendy Crew
(6) BLIND DATE – Top 80 Week 6 – Comedy bliss with four actors on stage, vividly creating a unique Blind Date experience, with every inner thought, vividly exposed. ITC: Musketeer Productions, Writer + Director: Paulene Turner, Cast: Paul Byrne (Fraser – inner voice), Liz Hovey (McKenzie – inner voice), Nicholas Drummond (Fraser), Rebecca Towns (McKenzie)
(7) SLOW DATING – Top 80 Week 5 – Superb monologue comedy with unexpected twists. Ester (Debbie Tilley) is an elderly married woman who tells a delightful short story, that cleverly deals with “speed dating for seniors” and her night spent with a charming stranger. Heaps of laughter, perfectly paced and the forever memorable, quite delicious and delightful dialogue was expertly delivered. A crowd pleaser. ITC: Second Bite, Writer: Adam Szudrich, Director: Grant Wilson
(8) MUM AND DAD – Wildcards Week 2 – Tyla (Holly) is a very young girl, and despite the knowledge of domestic violence from her father Michael (Bob Deacon) against her mother Sammy (Natalie Freeman), remains both cheerful and strong throughout the struggle of living at home. Writer: Ashley Milne, Director: Ayla Camille De Anastacio
(9) RED EYE TO BANGKOK – Top 80 Week 3 – Comedy mayhem during the minutes before the aircraft takes off to Bangkok, so how many weird phobias can this female passenger have? There is no escape, from the nightmare departure scenario, that gets funnier by the second. Received well deserved applause from an appreciative audience. ITC: Crash Test Drama Cronulla, Writer + Director: Susan Turner, Cast: Jay Duncan (Brad), Melissa Myles (Jeanie), Haki Crisden (Omar)
(10) SAME TIME NEXT WEEK – Top 80 Week 8 – Perfectly directed and performed domestic violence drama monologue, in one voice. Brave choices in lighting states achieved the maximum possible impact, to illustrate the multitude of scars from an extremely violent childhood, and all of the suppressed violence within, released via alcohol. Past violence by his father, ultimately generated violence by the son Alan (Dudley Levell) to his wife of five years, Jenny. Concussion, bruises, three broken ribs, gbh, avo, and just so much more. Writer: Dudley Levell, Director: Valentino Arico
(11) WHO WANTS TO BE A CHANNEL NINE INTERN? – Top 80 Week 2 – A laugh out loud comedy, with a truly outstanding performance by Davey Reynolds as “Bryan from HR” as the interviewer. Chris Heaslip (Matthew) arrives for his job interview, that immediately turns into a rigged television game show, including a very weird “phone a friend”. The unanswered question is, who actually wins the game? With a very witty script, and believable performances, this was definitely a constant crowd pleaser. DIRECTOR: Dave Reynolds WRITER: Chris Heaslip ITC: SlipDavey
SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2016 PEOPLE’S CHOICE SHOWCASE Week 9 @ Depot Theatre, runs from Thursday 3 March 2016 to Saturday 5 March 2016.