November 8th 2010

A rainy night of Crash Test last Monday.

After a laborious casting session (with a few gender/role changes needing to be sorted out), the rehearsals all went smoothly and we were ready for the show. Kicking off the night was Nir Shelter's Oh Brother, which featured Nir as director and Pat Brennan and Chris Lewis as the swordfighting actors. A fun and energetic start to the show with comedy, drama and swords in the gullets-!

Second was Crash Test newcomer Kathryn Yuen's Killing With Kindness, Going Out Like Marilyn, which Kathryn both wrote and directed. This piece was a very interesting and theatrical exploration of euthenasia, with a cast made up of Michael McCrann, Sandi Middleton, Stephen Davies, Garreth Cruikshank and Carmen Major (playing herself - a survivor of what was meant to be a terminal disease).

Up next was Robert Armstrong's Creative Type, directed by Craig Delahoy. A 'creative' guy, played by Emrys Quinn, finds himself face to face with the devil, played by Kate Buchanan. He ends up landing a job requiring a great degree of creative artistry. The play slaughtered the time limit, but despite being four and a half minutes overtime, the cast
were both given awards by the judges for their efforts.

Fourth was Burnt Fingers, written by Kate McDowell and directed by Stephen Carnell. Two young women find themselves in a spot of bother when the mayor spontaneously combusts after being dressed up in a diaper. Alana Wesley and Justine Scali performed their roles well, with Jim Gosden as the newsreader. Kate's play snuck in under the time limit by a mere three seconds!

After a brief interval, we had Flatpack Blues by Tracy Richardson. Director Fleur Beaupert and the talented cast of Damian Hannan, Jennifer Faletto, James Belfrage and Michael Browning - along with some convincingly Ikea-esque furniture - helped turn this play into the winner of the Popular Vote. This funny piece will be back again in the finals on Dec 13th.

Following Flatpack Blues was Dona Parise's Normality, a well-conceived and well-executed drama about a dying man who's only wish is for his wife to act the way she always has - as a cold, hard bitch. William Russell was awarded Best Director for his efforts and Graham Yates and Clare Martin's excellent performances helped Dona's script win a place in the December finals as the Judges' Choice.

Second last was Uma Kali Shakti's It's About Us, an exploration of cultural diversity in Australia and the difficulties and prejudice some foreigners face here. Helen Perris stepped in at short notice to take on directorial duties and the cast of Rachel Guerry, Annie Savage, Katy Avery, Maggie Franklin and Kym Parrish did a fantastic job of their characters despite the fact they weren't of the racial backgrounds intended in the script. Thanks to the all-woman cast and crew!

Finally, Jennifer Faletto's The Girl Next Door was a great way to round off the program, with a funny script and good performances from Jude McCrann and Steve McGrath. Uma expertly directed this piece and helped wrap up another excellent night of Crash Tested theatre.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks go out to all those artists who once again offered up their time and talents to make the show happen. Thank you writers, actors and directors!!

The results are below:

The Results
Judges Allan Walpole, Jackie Greenland and Gerry Greenland had another tough night deciding which actors, play and director to give their awards to.

Judges' Choice: Normality
Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by Dona Parise

Popular Vote First Place: Flatpack Blues

Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by Tracy Richardson

Popular Vote Runner Up: Burnt Fingers
Written by Kate McDowell

Best Actor: Emrys Quinn (from Creative Type)
Best Actor Runner-Up: Steve McGrath (from The Girl Next Door)
Best Actress: Clare Martin (from Normality)
Best Actress Runner-Up: Kate Buchanan (from Creative Type)

Playwright's Encouragement Award: The Girl Next Door by Jennifer Faletto

Next show - Mon Nov 29th!

Hope to see you there.

Best regards,

Pete Malicki
Crash Test Drama