November 29th 2010

Our final round of Crash Test Drama was held this Monday night with a large cast of almost 30 actors. This round has determined the lineup for our December finals, the last Crash Test event for the year.

The first play we had on was written and directed by the fabulous Kate Toon, called Sock. With solid performances (as usual) from Matt Thomson and Kym Parrish, Kate's play about a couple going through relationship hardships was brought to life. Sock was a close third in the popular vote and has made its way into our finals as the Judges Second Choice. Kate is heading up to the Central Coast and Crash Test would like to wish her the very best. We'll miss you, Kate! (sniff)

Felicity Burke's Motive was up second, which Felicity both wrote and directed. An aspiring policewoman is given the chance to win a promotion as Inspector of a rural area, which she very much wants in order to get her kids away from the violence of the city. Paul Mackenzie and Kate Buchanan played the policeman/woman, and Shoshana Cohen and Steven Davies were the kids with a dark secret.

Next was Ashleigh Barbe-Winter's Things Best Forgotten, directed by Ruth Edington. Sine Bianco played a pregnant woman who visited a psychic (Susan Young) to find out how her future would turn out. A dark past was revealed and the play ended, well, darkly! Ash's play was developed in Crash Test host Alex Broun's playwriting workshop and will be part of Short + Sweet Sydney 2011.

Fourth was Is It Happening Here?, written by Faith de Savigne and directed by Kingsley. Two young women (Katy Avery and Stefanie Gerstner) were waiting for something to happen, when a security guard played by Jim Gosden tried to move them on from where something else was meant to happen, then something else happened when a busker (Sahelee Rooke) came along and got the girls singing and dancing, but something else happened here with the introduction of an actor played by actor Veronika Sebova. It was all happening.

After the interval was Garreth Cruikshank's God's Will, a thought-provoking play addressing some serious topics. David Farland directed a strong cast of Alana Wesley playing the gay-bashing fundamentalist Christian wife (and winning Best Actress), Steve McGrath as the husband, and James Barron and Michael McCrann as the gay couple. God's Will proved that 10 minute theatre can be more than just skits and Garreth did a great job of raising issues of sexuality, religion and difficult choices in the short timeframe.

Over The Hill, written and directed by Felix Carlyle, was next. An ageing actor (played by the youthful Kim Knuckey) finds himself forgetting his lines while an ambitious young actress (Nicole Fahey) tries to help him along. When the older gentleman breaks down, the young actress fears for her career and goes berserk. This play within a play was based on Alex Broun's script The First Fireworks and also featured Samantha Roylance, Annie Thompson and Felix himself as the director playing the director.

Then came The Worst Thing written by newcomer Rob Choi and directed by Lisa Eismen. This tightly-written script was about three people who had all just died "on a Monday" and were talking about the bad things they had done leading up to their expiration. Rob's script earned him the Playwright's Encouragement Award and we certainly hope to see him back next year.

Finally, Deborah Mulhall's hilarious The Candidate ended the evening with much laughter and one of the biggest award clean-ups in Crash Test history. The Candidate won the Popular Vote, the Judges Choice, Best Director and Best Actor for Damian Hannan, who played the presidential candidate of Slovenia. Props to Chris Lewis and Valentino Arico, the image consultants. It was a well-deserved win - even with some stiff competition - and The Candidate will be back again on December 13th for the finals.


The Results
Judges Allan Walpole, Jackie Greenland and Gerry Greenland once again offered up their expertise, with the usual difficult choices to make.

Popular Vote First Place: The Candidate

Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by Deborah Mulhall

Popular Vote Runner Up: God's Will
Written by Garreth Cruikshank

Judges' Choice: The Candidate
Written by Deborah Mulhall

Judges' Second Choice: Sock
Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by Kate Toon

Best Actor: Damian Hannan (from The Candidate)
Best Actor Runner-Up: Graham Yates (from The Worst Thing)
Best Actress: Alana Wesley (from God's Will)
Best Actress Runner-Up: Kym Parrish (from Sock)

Playwright's Encouragement Award: The Worst Thing by Rob Choi

Next show - Finals 13th December 2010.

A huge thank-you to all the fantastic writers, actors and directors who've offered their talents to Crash Test to make it such a successful year. The finals will be a night not to miss, for sure!


Hope to see you there.

Best regards,

Pete Malicki
Coordinator
Crash Test Drama
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