This week explore comedy, drama and physical theatre with each ten minute play covering all manner of things, including high society celebrity, Irish superstitions, the drug menace, surviving grief and theatre ghosts in a tasty assortment of live theatre treats vividly explored on stage during Short and Sweet Week Six 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.
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.