Short and Sweet is “The biggest little theatre festival in the world” and now returns for the third week of “live on stage” delicious incredible theatre entertainment, weird and vivid comedies plus elegant dramas, this week providing thirteen wonderful plays in bite sized morsels, each under ten minutes. This week also has the best of international entries from the world-wide network of S+S venues, including a full crew visiting Sydney from Chennai.
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 Short+Sweet huge gala finals, all take place in April 2019.
This was an excellent week featuring nine entertaining performances.
1. THE BLOOD OF A THOUSAND CHICKENS
This was a re-imagined epic classical Greek historical comedy with even Socrates getting a mention. Historically inaccurate. Oedipus discovers that offering the Gods the blood of a thousands of chickens and goats did not end the drought. What will the next sacrifice be?
Writer: James Hutchison, Director: Glen Pead, Cast: Nathan Bennett (Oedipus), Keira Bird (Jocasta), Sebastian Lopez (Phallus), Warren Paul Glover (Cretin & The Oracle), Nicole Carney (Penurious).
This was an excellent drama set in an abortion clinic, as a young girl thinks through her very tough decision to end the life of her baby. Her mother arrives, and with her arrival a brand new set of viewpoints come to the fore.
Angela Gibson stars as the Teacher, in a comic monologue, again and again another question is asked, then answered twice. Initially a very very huge lie is told, and then the actual truth is detailed at length. With a unique twist, this delightful comedy, was an audience favourite. ITC: Savage Servants, Writer: Natalie Banach, Director: Cheryl Butler.
4. THE UNEXPECTED
Katie Fairbrother plays Lisa, the Mother and Bridget Durkin is Jeannie, the daughter in THE UNEXPECTED. Both have important news, but their long unresolved mother/daughter issues constantly get in the way in this situation drama, which struck an all too familiar chord with many women in the audience. This poignant comedy drew well deserved applause. Writer: Greg Gould, Director: Adam Grubner.
5. THE GOON
These two goons are never ever supposed to kill the comic book hero. Super heroes comedy ensues as the goons try to cover up the murder. The remaining comic book villain (Mister Baby Chicken) is only supposed to die at the end, in a moment of supreme poignancy. Once you change the reality of the comic book world, what else can go wrong? With perfect cast and direction, this was another audience favourite, with constant laughter. ITC: The Monologue Project, Writer + Director: Pete Malicki, Cast: Mark Longhurst (Gary), Ryan Bown (Blarney), Matt Steel (Main Bad Guy – Mr. Poulette).
6. DOCTORS ORDERS
In this fictional future, two doctors repeatedly try to get their brand new patient to willingly end his life via assisted suicide. The situation was somewhat reminiscent of the 1973 movie, SOYLENT GREEN. In the end, will the doctors decide that this patient is wasting their time and money? The piece was expertly directed, very well cast comedy, was another crowd pleaser. ITC: Blackbox Productions, Writer: Tom Peach, Director: Luke Berman, Cast: Bradley Ward (Dr Smith), Sam Lovell (Dr Armand), Alexander Cuff (Joe Simpson).
7. BABY BLUES
This piece saw Ruth Pieloor (Mother and Baby Puppet) perform delightful comic puppetry. The situation involved a clever but very unhappy baby discussing her very over protective mother whilst being fed, burping, crying and pooping. At length the baby discussed her dissatisfaction with modern-day parenting practises. The piece easily pulled at the heart strings of the audience, and generated laughter and applause. The only criticism was the swearing which added nothing to the performance. ITC: Ruth Pieloor, Writer + Director: Shelly Higgs.
8. BROTHERS IN ARMS
France 1917, the truth finally comes out when two brothers are about to die, just before going ‘over the top’ at the Battle of Passchendaele. The already telegraphed secret is finally delivered near the end, but there is more…Soldiers shirking their duty (cowards) are always immediately killed with friendly fire. ITC + Writer + Director: Warren Paul Glover, Cast: Richard Littlehales (William), Leon Joseph (Humphrey), Daniel Pollock (Tom), Mark Fowler (Charlie).
9. RED EYE TO BANGKOK
Comedy mayhem before the aircraft takes off, so how many phobias can one woman 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: Toasty d’Bechamel (Brad), Melissa Myles (Jeanie), Haki Crisden (Omar)
SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2016 Top 80 Week Three,is playing at the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville until Sunday 24 January 2016.
Production photography by Stephen Favaloro, and photos displayed in performance order.