Crash Test is back in 2012 for another great year of moved readings! We had our first show last night at the new-look King Street Theatre, which new owner Markus Weber has done a bloody impressive job of reinvigorating.
Mon 30th Apr was our first show for 2012 and it kicked off with some rather odd plays in the mix! Lots of variety in the programme (but I'd be checking the drinking water in your area if you live near any of these writers).
Opening the night was "Bondi Hassle", written and directed by Steve McGrath, whose water supply is surely the most affected of all. It starred Matt Thomson, Maggy Franklin, Pete Morris and Gerry Sont as David Hasslehoff. This whacky and funny play won the Judge's Choice for the night and will be back in the Finals, to be held on 6 August 2012.
Second up was a play by a new Crash Test writer, "Skirts Would Look Better" by Elisa Cristallo. Uma Kali Shakti directed this play about a woman whose S&M lifestyle greatly concerns her family. It was strongly performed by Debbie Tilley, Hazel Savolainen and Alice Keohavong, who won Best Actress Runner Up.
Third was another new writer's work: "Parent Teacher" by David Roberts. This play is about a teacher telling a parent all about the world's most horrible daughter, but it isn't as straightforward as it seems. Emily Garrett directed Graham Yates as Mr Delmaine, Amanada Porter as Ms Hansy, David Thompson as Mr Towchy and Holly Buttler as Hannah. "Parent Teacher" came equal second in the Popular Vote and won a share of the prize.
Fourth was "The Audition - Hammo's Chat To The Actors" put together by husband-and-wife team Bill Jordan (the writer) and Susan Kennedy (the director). Very entertaining piece here, with an Aussified interpretation of Shakespeare. It starred Garreth Cruikshank as the camp director and Michele-Antonio Mattiuzzi as Frank, the auditionee.
Wrapping up the first act was Crash Test Sydney's founder Alex Broun's "Missing Katerina", a rather boisturous comedy which was expertly directed by Kingsley. It featured strong performances by Aaron Nilan, who won Best Actor Runner Up, Short+Sweet Sydney 2012 Best Actor Gabriel McCarthy and Olivia Dodds. It smashed it in the Popular Vote and will be back in the Finals.
Four more plays came after the interval, the first being "Worse Worlds Than This" by Pete Greenaway. A documentary maker and her subject talk environment, population and the need to spread quality genes. Pat Brennan directed Bryan McMahon and Best Actress winner Billie-Rose Crane.
Seventh for the night was Ruth Fingret's "Why We're Here", which Ruth both wrote and directed, with Dania Nour as Assistant Director. This funny and fast-paced play about a marriage breakdown and two cheating partners starred a solid cast, with Jen Jackson as Lisa, Valentino Arico as Steve and Karen Garnsey as Alison. It came equal second in the Popular Vote.
Next was "Perfidy", written and directed by one of the original founders of Crash Test in Melbourne, Pete Flaherty. What to do when you lose your fish? Or find someone else's fish. This play starred Dylan James, Zenith Mccafferty and Dudy Jap, as well as three special guests from the deep blue ocean.
Wrapping up the night was James Gallaway's "Boxed In", which was directed by Joseph Mifsud. If you were worried about that drinking water before, you were on the phone to Sydney Water after this one! Doug Messenger played Perot, Bill Jordan played Rante and Suze Mawer played both Tuchman and the woman. A very entertaining and odd way to end our first show!
It was great to see so many familiar and new faces at Crash Test and I hope you'll all be back in two weeks for the next show.
Short+Sweet publicist and actor Geoff Sirmai judged our first show for the year. His awards were as follows:
Best Actor - Gerry Sont
Best Actor Runner Up - Aaron Nilan
Best Actress - Billie-Rose Crane
Best Actress Runner Up - Alice Keohavong
Best Director - Ruth Fingret
Best Play - "Bondi Hassle"
Popular Vote Winner - "Missing Katerina"
Popular Vote Runner Ups - "Why We're Here" & "Parent Teacher"
Bondi Hassle and Missing Katerina both win a spot in the Crash Test Drama 2012 Season One Finals on 6 August.