April 2011



Crash Test Drama had our second show for the year on Monday, with nine brand new Sydney plays brought to life by as many directors and 30 actors. The writers did themselves proud this month, with only one play busting the time limit and that be a mere two seconds!

First play for the evening was Zoo Party, written and directed by Crash Test newcomer Nathalie Lawson. This play about an old turtle having a birthday party was performed by Damian Hannah, Mikaela Franco and Maud Pravikoff, with Sam Sida as the charasmatic lion and Chris Barker as the zookeeper.

Second was Fourteen, featuring an all-star Short+Sweet cast and crew. Written by Ruth Fingret and directed by David Attrill, this play about an awkward family 'reunion' featured Cheryl Pomering, Holly Butler and Short+Sweet Sydney 2011 Best Actress Elise Fabris.

Third was Pretty Bird, written and directed by Jennifer Faletto. This cute and clever play about an unhappy couple using a bird as their counsellor won over the audience and will go through to the Crash Test Finals to be held on Mon 4th July. Richard Mason and Annie Thompson were the couple and Lisa Hanssens, who won Best Actress Runner-Up, played Valentine the bird.

Ruth Fingret appeared again, this time as director of our fourth play A Grim Mistake by Mary Zegura. Thanassis Boulic and Louis de Silva played Hitler and the Boston Strangler respectively, with Graham Yates as the Devil and Michael McCrann as Mac, the heroic bikie who claimed to be in 'the wrong place.'

Last up before interval was the unstoppable Kate Toon with her play Holyistic Therapy. Directed by Best Director winner Adrian Bitel, this hilarious play about a frighteningly unique 'natural therapy' won Judge's Choice and Popular Vote Runner-Up (by only one vote) and will be back in July's finals. There were stella performances by Robert Zavadszky, Kate Buchanan and Best Actor Chris Lewis, with a two-second walk-on role by the always ready-and-willing and highly-appreciated Kingsley.

After the break was Melissa Lee's Freycinet, directed by Uma Kali Shakti. This intense drama about a man meeting his long lost sister was wonderfully performed by Amanda Porter and James Hartley.

Our seventh play for the night was Santa Lives, written and directed by James Whittington. This play about shopping centre santas in crisis featured a cast of Pat Brennan and David Thompson as the disgruntled santas and Mairead Berne and Alicia Gonzalez as the organiser and photographer respectively.

A Perfect Man was next, written by Rob Choi and directed by Jacque Vickers. A scientist is trying to make the perfect man and is horrified when he gets sent a female assistant. Stefanie Funnell and the perfect man himself Matt Thomson brought this script to life.

Our penultimate play was Sparkling Effluescence, the first ever play by David Fingret. Raj Muneshwar did a fantastic job as always directing, with a talented cast of Valetino Arico (Best Actor Runner-Up), Lidia Stojanoska (Best Actress) and Eliza St John as the RTA voice recording. Had this play run just three seconds shorter, it would have equalled Popular Vote Winner Pretty Bird and been one vote ahead of third place in a Balmain-esque race for the top. David received the Playwright's Encouragement Award for a brilliant first offering.

The Results

Our judge for the night was film critic and successful Short+Sweet writer and director Con Nats, who, like the audience, struggled to pick a winner.

Popular Vote First Place: Pretty Bird

Wins a place in Crash Test Drama 2011 Season One Finals

Written and directed by Jennifer Faletto

Popular Vote Runner Up: Holyistic Therapy

Written by Kate Toon

Directed by Adrian Bitel

Judge's Choice: Holyistic Therapy

Written by Kate Toon

Directed by Adrian Bitel

Wins a place in Crash Test Drama 2011 Season One Finals

Best Actor: Chris Lewis (from Holyistic Therapy)

Best Actor Runner-Up: Valention Arico (from Sparkling Effluescence)

Best Actress: Lidia Stojanoska (from Sparkling Effluescence)

Best Actress Runner-Up: Lisa Hanssens (from Pretty Bird)

Best Director: Adrian Bitel (from Holyistic Therapy)

Playwright's Encouragement Award: Sparkling Effluescence by David Fingret

Thanks to all the actors, writers and directors who volunteered their time and expertise once again to make Crash Test such a success. An enormous, extra-special thank you to Alex Broun for being our wonderful MC and to Newtown Theatre for once again offering us a space to put on our show. Please read below for some info on a fundraiser the theatre is running and support the theatre which supports us!

Hope to see you next month, Mon 9th May 2011.

Best regards,

Pete Malicki


Crash Test Drama

Manga Tribute Night

Take a trip through Japan's animated awesomeness....

And feast your eyes on the visual kingdoms of My Neighbour Totoro & Metropolis...

plus a special intermission performance by the Harajuku Cadettes

starring Jayde Bond, Jenevieve Chang, Ryuichi Fujiwara, Clare Mackey, Venettia Miller & Nalina Wait

Music Selection by Clary Ikon

(Optional) Dress Code: Robot, Wood creatures, Big eyes, Meiji Haute Couture, Anything Harajuku, Murakami meets Brecht, Last year's Karaoke Party.

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