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CRASH TEST DRAMA SYDNEY is on each month, and is the most amazing live theatre event. You must experience this unusual form of live theatre, with eight to ten brand-new ten-minute plays, seen for the first time in Sydney. Done as moved readings of plays (script-in-hand) with the auditions, balloted casting and rehearsals all done in under two hours before showtime. Performed live in front of a play’s first audience from 7:30pm, and costs only $15.00 cash at the door, at New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown. Prizes are awarded at the end of the night, so you immediately know which actors/actresses and plays have won.

Opening Crash Test Drama for April 2014 was “The Runner” brought vividly to life by director Kingsley (who stepped in literally at the last minute – legend!) and the cast of Mark Curry as Nige, Graham Yates as Pinto and Alice Furze as Tanya, in under ten minutes the audience experienced the most unexpected outcome, from trying to avoid paying a restaurant bill, with a delightful twist in the end as created by Wayne Mitchell.

Second was the hilarious “Topple”, written by Robert Renshaw and directed by Stephen Carnell. This somewhat worrying play explained in the most indelicate manner the most unusual method of paying rent on rent day. The laughter driven and well timed performances from Isaac Reefman and Joan Rodd.

Third was a monologue largely written in rhyming verse, and Sorcha Harrop did a great job of this piece, which struck an all too familiar note with many in the audience. Jacque Vickers wrote and directed “The Director’s Dilemma”, inspired by her Short+Sweet 2014 crazy experience where she desperately struggled again and again, for all manner of reasons whilst trying to find actors for her play “The Projectionist”.

Fourth was Aaron Nilan’s “Fatherhood”, which Isaac Owen directed. Drama and comedy in less than ten minutes and life lessons to be learnt by Dad and family, performed by Jim Gosden, Dave Hardy and Debbie Tilley.

First after the interval was newcomer playwright Michelle Sewell’s first ever Sydney play called “The Affair” as directed by Wayne Mitchell. Starring Rachel O’Reilly as Lilly and Genevieve Kennedy as Carol. In the absence of the two timing cheating husband politely described as SOB, the two women dissect what little is left of his miserable life, over tea and cakes.

Sixth for the show was “Afterwards”, beautifully written and expertly directed by Alex Broun. Inspired interpretation, telling the story of the torments of five women who were sexually abused by the men in their lives, the victimisation and the lifetime outcomes as survivors of sexual abuse. Cast of five women was impressively performed by the balloted cast of Amanda Mikhael, Alison Chambers, Clare Nightingale, Elise Balek and Milly Caley.

Seventh was “Don’t Feed The Birds”, written by Pheona Mulligan and directed by Brett Garland. Starred Jen Jackson as Ethel and James Parberry as Jeremy as a man who prefers his woman to become plumper and plumper, and watching Jen trying to consume a kilo of chocolate had the audience in stitches.

Eighth was Crash Test Drama’s first ever verbatim play, written and directed by James Hartley, was derived from published chats (heated arguments) on an online gaming forum for Pokemons: “The Name Rater In Eterna City Refuses To Change My Duskull’s Name! Help!” It also now holds the record for the largest ever Crash Test Drama Sydney cast with Carli Carey, Michael Smith, Edric Hong, Les Davidson, Rosemary Ghazi, James Gallaway, Alison Headrick, Christine Morel and Katrina Morel. James won the Playwright’s Encouragement Award, for his creative effort.

The Results: This evening the judge was Maggy Franklin, a long-term theatre artist with decades of experience.

Best Actor: Jim Gosden
Best Actress: Joan Rodd
Best Actor Runner Up: Michael Smith
Best Actress Runner Up: Jen Jackson
Best Director: Alex Broun
Best Play: “The Runner” by Wayne Mitchell
Popular Vote Winner: “Afterwards” by Alex Broun
Popular Vote Runner Up: “Topple” by Robert Renshaw

“Afterwards” and “The Runner” have both won places in the 2014 Crash Test Finals, to be held 7:30pm on Monday 14th July 2014.

CRASH TEST DRAMA ROUND TWO: Mon 5 May 2014 – 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start

ROUND THREE: Mon 19 May 2014 – 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start

ROUND FOUR: Mon 16 June 2014 – 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start

SEASON ONE FINALS: Mon 14 July 2014 – 7:30pm show start

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