There are eleven very different and very original plays, being performed live on stage this week, at Short and Sweet. A delicious comedy monologue provides laugh-out-loud entertainment, message plays about the drug menace, ghosts, relationships, millennials, comedies, dramatic intrigues and dramedy. Explore each ten minute play covering all manner of things, in a tasty assortment of live theatre treats vividly explored on stage during Short and Sweet Week Seven of “The biggest little theatre festival in the world”.
Every week there is a new Short+Sweet Top 80 program (Thursdays-Fridays-Saturdays at 7.30pm and Sundays at 6.00pm) together with a separate new S+S Wildcards program each week (Saturdays at 3.30pm and Sundays at 2.30pm). The annual Short+Sweet huge gala finals, all take place during April 2019.
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.