It was the last round before finals and what a great end to the season.
Starting off the night was "Hayati" written by Dania Nour who picked up our Playwright’s Encouragement Award for her interesting look at the struggles youth face when living within a new cultural society. Wonderful direction by Ruth Fingret brought the best out of Caitlyn Burley who won Best Actress Runner Up for her wonderful performance as a young girl caught up in her parent's world which also included Gabriel McCarthy expressing his pains and struggles in life while Graham Yates just dished it out.
Second up was writer/director Peter Shelley's "The Second Time Around is Always Better". Maggie played by Annie Schofield hoped life would be better, but knew in her heart that when her ex David, performed by Michael Faustmann, came back into the picture to take her back into his arms, nothing was going to change, except her.
Next up was "When Yesterday Dies" written by Robert Luxford and directed by Jamie Livingstone. Jim Gosden was on fire again and picked up Best Actor Runner Up award as a father losing more than his mind. Patrick Matijezic was the restless son with Kara Boland as his crazy girlfriend. Max Frohlich was the shadow men messing with Norman's mind before taking his life.
Fourth up was "The Birthday Cake" by Pheona Mulligan and directed by Maggy Franklin. It was time to impress the boss Nigel performed by Bryan McMahon. Sue performed by Alison Albany had a wonderful idea of organising a surprise work party for Nancy performed by Annie Thompson as it was her birthday. Lucky it was stage cake because when Nancy told Sue it wasn't her birthday and Nigel found out, it was more than cake that hit the fan.
Last up before interval was "The Real One" written by Crash Test newcomer Peter Woolf and directed by Isaac Owen. "The Real One" pick up the Audience Popular Vote Runner Up vote and missing out on first place by 2 votes. When Malik and Jasmin performed by Ken Ward and Uma Kali Shakti kidnapped Alan Jones performed by Bill Jordon they got less than they hoped for until Producer Penelope, performed by Sophie Cook, stepped into their tiny apartment and give them a deal of a life time.
First up after interval was our Audience Popular Vote winner and Judge's first pick "Dead Man Flying" written by another newcomer Dorothy Paramore. Jacque Vickers directed another winner and now takes 3 plays into the finals on December 10. "Dead Man Flying" had solid performances by a stellar cast of Penelope Grace, Kate Coates, Kathryn Wenborn, Gordon Williams and Dudy Jap. As Mr and Mrs Neumann get ready to board their plane after visiting their loving daughter Anusic in Australia they are shocked to discover their desire to keep father happy and quite didn't go to plan when a airport staff member and Doctor made an upsetting and odd discovery. A judge's special mention went to Dudy Jap for his solid and "moving" performance.
Next up was Kathryn Yuen's "A Mother Writes" director by Best Director winner Garreth Cruikshank. Finding time to write is not the only issue this mother has with her life and having a sock loving son only add flavour to the mix. Alice Furze picked up the Judges best actress award for wonder performance as the mother and Matt Thomson brought out his inner child in the most amazing way.
Eighth up for the night was Bridget Wood's "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes" directed by Cassady Maddox it showed how complex people are. "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes" went over time by one minute and 13 seconds and lost 5 votes but was still eligible for the Judge's pick and now goes into the final on December 10th. Best friends Janice and Sahra performed by Jen Jackson and Amanda Porter never thought a man would come between them until Dave performed by Best Actor Winner Michael Walker come into their lives. Both Jen and Amanda will now be performing in 3 plays on the night. 5 plays in total. Congrats girls on a great season.
Last play for the season was "Deck and Diamonds" written by Maree Santarossa and directed by Veronica Carvajal. This all-girl team did an amazing job and I was very lucky to have them all take part in the show. We were short actors and with Veronica agreeing to stand in and calling on Nadia Hamoud to act at the last minute the play was still missing one. Lucky for the team Nadia Keenan slept past her stop and turned up anyway just in case there was a space body needed. We don't call it Crash Test Drama for nothing. The girl were short in preparation but were not short on presentation and performance and that is what mark a great play along with writing and directing. The stories unfold as Aunty plays cards with her niece to the disuse of her daughter. A mother will always love her child but will never has an empty heart when she has special people in her life to always keep her feeling young.
Judge Con Nats once again stepped up to the difficult task of picking the winners.
Best Actor: Michael Walker
Best Actress: Alice Furze
Best Actor Runner Up: Jim Gosden
Best Actress Runner Up: Caitlyn Burley
Best Director: Garreth Cruikshank
Best Play: "Dead Man Flying"
Best Play Runner Up: "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes"
Popular Vote Winner: "Dead Man Flying"
Popular Vote Runner Up: "The Real One"
Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Dania Nour for "Hayati"
"Dead Man Flying" and "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes" are the two plays advancing to our Finals.
See you at the Finals on 10th Dec 2012!