Season Two of Crash Test kicked off last night with another 8 great plays, with a range of comedies, dramas, styles and subject matter. With over 30 actors auditioning and a notably large audience, it's clear the show is becoming more and more popular!
First up was The Anniversary, written and directed by Michael McCrann and starring the McCrann Clan! Jude and Molly McCrann were both cast by Michael, alongside Georgie Edwards and Frank Davidson (who played Elvis). This light-hearted comedy about a fibbing youngster (Molly) was a great start to the night, with a team/family effort bringing Michael's Crash Test writing/directional debut to life.
Frank Davidson's Family Fugue was next, directed by Dave Farland. This drama about two pairs of relationships, those of a mother and daughter, had some interesting juxtaposition and displayed Frank's talent for believable dialogue. Damien Hannan and Ro Dempsey were the older couple, with Bianca Demetz and Andrew Anderson as the young lovers.
Third on the night was David Bulmer's touching and funny Beautiful, a play about a suicidal woman having a chance meeting with a young man with Down's Syndrome. Crash Test had the honour of seeing Gerard O'Dwyer, winner of Best Actor at Tropfest, in the rolde of Marty, with Ashley Bale playing Rose. Thanks to the beautiful script, touching performances, and Lisa Eisman's direction, Beautiful cleaned up with both the Judges' Award and the clear winner of the Popular Vote, and we'll be seeing the play again in Crash Test's finals on 13th Dec 2010.
Last before the interval was What If...?, Crash Test Drama Coordinator Pete Malicki's alternative history exploring the idea of Hitler being accepted into art school due to an administrative error. Alastair Buchanan was awarded Best Actor Runner-Up for his portrayal of the young Fuehrer, with David Thompson as Heinrich Himmler, Cindi Knapton as Hitler's mum, and Graham Yates as the art school administrator. William Russell directed this play and it was voted in second in the Popular Vote, missing out on a spot in the finals but bringing out a few laughs and schwanzes.
The fifth play for the night was Vee Malnar's The Mediator, which cleaned up the judges awards. Raj Muneshwar was given Best Director and the actors in the two lead roles, Maurizio Degliesposti and Kym Parrish, earned Best Actor and Best Actress respectively. Veteran Crash Test actor, director and writer Uma Kali Shakti played the frazzled and (mostly) polite mediator and the play wins a place in the Dec finals as the Judges' Second Choice winner. Also, f&^%.
Next was Pat Brennan's I Love That Sound, an intense drama directed by Stephen Carnell and featuring Chris Lewis and Jim Gosden (with a very convincing Oyrish accent!). With an all star team, I Love That Sound was set to do well in the competition side of the show, but was unfortunately lost votes and eligibility for the Judges' Choice Award for running overtime.
Second last was brought to us by another Crash Test veteran: writer/director Craig Delahoy with Young Amazon. Two separate grandparents in a nursing home discover, much to their pleasure, that their grandchildren have inherited the superpowers from their heyday. Steve McGrath was the former supervillan and Nir Shelter his young protege, while Kate Buchanan played the former Amazing Amazon and Katy Avery her granddaughter. Like Craig's plays always do, this clicked with the audience and it came in third in the Popular Vote.
And finally, we had Elizabeth Ban's monologue Sign Here Please. First time director Michela Carattini and actor Christine Greenough did a top job with this drama about refugees and what it means to be a 'boat person' and an 'Australian.' While it was penalised a whopping 15 votes for running overtime, Elizabeth was awarded the Playwright's Encouragement Award for her script.
Congratulations to Beautiful and The Mediator, which both win a place in Crash Test's December finals. A huge thank you to everyone who participated - actors, writers and directors - for once again offering up your talents to make Crash Test the increasingly awesome show that it is!
See below for the awards.
Jackie Greenland and Allan Walpole were kind enough to offer their services as judges.
Popular Vote First Place: Beautiful
Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by David Bulmer
Popular Vote Runner Up: What If...?
Written by Pete Malicki
Judges' Choice: Beautiful
Already in the finals as winner of the Popular Vote
Written by David Bulmer
Judges' Second Choice: The Mediator
Since the judges' and audience choice was the same, The Mediator wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010 as the Judges' Second Choice winner.
Written by Vee Malnar
Best Actor: Maurizio Degliesposti
Best Actor Runner-Up: Alastair Buchanan
Best Actress: Kym Parrish
Best Actress Runner-Up: Christine Greenough
Best Director: Raj Muneshwar
Playwright's Encouragement Award: ‘Sign Here Please’ by Elizabeth Ban
Next show is Mon Oct 4th 2010.
Hope to see you there!
Crash Test Drama