December 2018 FINALS

Our 2018 season came to an end last Saturday with a fantastic show made up of the top 10 plays from throughout the year. With only 10 votes separating first place and last place, it was certainly hard to pick the standouts amongst a lineup of great work. But pick them we did – the two winning plays have earned themselves a spot in the Top 80 of Short+Sweet Sydney 2019!

Play one was “Your Call Is Important” by Ruth Fingret, directed by Isaac Owen. Done entirely through rhyme, “Your Call Is Important” highlights a particular lady’s frustration with being kept on hold by the bank. Maria Karambelas starred alongside Best Actor Edric Hong, and this play won the Popular Vote and a spot in S+S Sydney 2019.

Play two was “Robowaiter”, written by Chris Naylor and directed by Michael Block. On stage were Edric Hong (again), Niamh Burke and director Michael. Despite having to do last-minute recasting, this play turned out really well – top effort from the team.

Play three was “Not To Scale” by Crash Test Coordinator Pete Malicki. Latifa Amal-Schwarz directed a cast of Matt Thomson, Esther Adelhardt (who won Best Actress for “Cook”) and Vanessa Davis.

Up fourth was Bob Ballinger’s “A Mobile Affair”, also directed by Latifa Amal-Schwarz and also starring Matt Thomson. Alongside Matt was fellow mobile phone Alice Furze and Hasitha Adhikariarachchi as Siri.

Rounding off Act One was “Cheryl”, written by Playwright’s Encouragement Award winner Katrina Samaras and directed by Jane-Ann Scott. “Cheryl” featured Cris Bocchi, Christine Huynh, writer Katrina and Amanda Yates.

After the interval was “The Snail”, a monologue about a snail whose shell had been chomped off by a bird and who had been forced to live with the slugs. Darren Rich was the writer, Alyssa Gillgren directed and Simon Cabello was on stage. "The Snail" came second in the Popular Vote by a single vote.

Seventh for the evening was “The Conversation” by Teresa Plane. Emily Haydon directed a solid cast of Mickey Richards and Amanda Yates, also featuring Elizabeth Morris.

Play eight was Allan West’s “Happy Birthday”. Ruth Fingret directed Evelyn Schubert and Greg Wilken, with Davo Hardy in a (mostly) non-speaking role.

Play nine was “Cook”, written by Stephen Larkman and directed by Kate Hrayssi. Best Actress Esther Adelhardt starred alongside Best Actor Runner Up Tom Harwood and Paolo Iarossi.

The evening closed with “Witchipoo”, written by Fran Bowick and directed by Best Director Isaac Owen. It featured a strong cast of Best Actor Edric Hong, Best Actress Runner Up Amy Gordon, Maria Karambelas and Joan Rodd.

The results

Our judge for this evening was Short+Sweet Illawarra Festival Director Luke Berman. His picks, alongside the audience favourites, were:

Best Actor Runner Up: Tom Harwood

Best Actor: Edric Hong

Best Actress Runner Up: Amy Gordon

Best Actress: Esther Adelhardt

Best Director: Isaac Owen

Best Play: Cook

Popular Vote Winner: Your Call Is Important

Popular Vote Runner Up: The Snail

Congrats to “Your Call Is Important” and “Cook” which both won a spot in the Top 80 of Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2019.

A special thank you to Darlo Drama, our hosts. They provided endless support and encouragement and gave us a home in 2018. We are very pleased to be returning there in 2019.

And thank you to all of our actors, writers, directors and audience members who participated in and supported the event, making it possible.