August 2010 FINALS

The Crash Test Drama 2010 Season One finals were performed on 2nd August to a full house. So many people turned up, in fact, that we had to put seating on the side of the stage and we ran out of entry tickets!

The pressure was on with such a large audience to entertain, but the performers didn't let a single person down. From the first drop of squeezable honey to the acrobatic attempts to kill a spider, the casts were unfailingly entertaining.

Alastair Buchanan and Katy Avery
rehearsing for Dona Parise's Honey.

First up was Dona Parise's Honey, starring Alastair Buchanan, Katy Avery, Dudy Jap and Alana Wesley, with Dona directing. The hot young couple were genuinely hot, and the psycho young couple were, well, pretty psycho! It was a hilarious start to the night and did well in the audience vote (equal fourth, but it was all pretty marginal). A great start to the night.

Gerry Sont, Lizzie Pikkle and Barton Williams
posing for Craig Delahoy's Castaway Island
Second was Castaway Island, written and directed by Craig Delahoy. This clever satire on reality television starred Gerry Sont as the host of Castaway Island, Lizzie Pikkle as the underdressed reality starlet, and Barton Williams as the sleazy executive director of the show.

Third was Just a Date by Con Nats, a superbly-written drama about a punter who's fallen in love with the prostitute he sees each week. Con's play was awarded the Judges' Choice award (and Audience Vote Runner-Up) and has won a place in Short + Sweet Sydney 2011. Tai Scrivener and Helen Atkinson were brilliant as the punter and the prostitute - perhaps a little too convincing!

Fourth and last before the break was Steve McGrath's Love, Art and Dreams, about a ticket seller trying to fend off a vagina-obsessed man and his promiscuous wife. Nir Shelter did a great job as director, with Alastair Buchanan as the ticket seller, Graham Yates as the man, and Cindi Knapton as the wife. Steve's play nudged ahead of Just a Date to win the audience vote; Love Art and Dreams has also won a place in Short + Sweet Sydney 2011!

Graham Yates, Alastair Buchanan and Cindi Knapton
in Steve McGrath's Love Art and Dreams

Next came the interval. People discussed the first act, bought themselves drinks, and went to the bathroom if necessary.

First up in the second act was Mark Konik's OHS&M, about a bondage mistress who's session is interrupted by OHS officers from the local council. The first of two plays Melissa Lee directed on the night, OHS&M starred a very kinky Jennifer Van Heeckeren as the Mistress, Barton William as the naughty client (who probably has some very real rope burns to deal with now!), and Jim Gosden and Aaron Nilan as the OHS inspectors. More solid performances all round.

Sixth for the night was Frank Davidson's Three in a Departure Lounge, starring Alastair Buchanan (again), Dudy Jap (again) and Kristy-Lea Payne. Melissa Lee directed again and her and the cast brought the best out of Frank's script. A young man stuck at an airport with his girlfriend discusses their future together, then becomes the unknowing victim of drug planting.

Second last was Between a Rock and a Hard Place, written by Kate Toon and directed by Amelia Tranter. Imogen Carn and Kim Knuckey played a husband and wife trapped in the Jenolan Caves after they become separated from their group. With perfect performances and direction, Kate's script was brought to life and the audience rated it highly (equal fourth). For her believable dialogue and for working on the script since the heat in which we first saw Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Kate was awarded the Playwright's Encouragement Award.
Jennifer Van Heeckeren dressed casually
before changing for Mark Konik's OHS&M
Finally, to send the night out with a bang and a girly scream, came The Hero, written collaboratively by Matt McCredie, Emmanuelle Fonsny, and other members of the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Community College Creative Writing Class run by Pete Malicki. Sontaan Hopson and Rory Pie were the young couple going on a date, shortly to be joined by a huntsman and a pair of police officers played by Robert Zavadszky and Georgie Edwards. Rory's acrobatics and general hilariousness earned him the Best Actor Runner-Up, and spot-on performances all round, coupled with Amelia Tranter's direction, made The Hero a great note to end the night on.

An enormous thank you to all the actors, writers and directors who gave their time to put on this amazing show. The scripts were all great, the acting solid all round, the directing professional and the costumes elaborate. The Newtown Theatre might have to do some renovations to fit the crowd in for next time!

See the results of the competitive aspect of the show below.

The Results
A huge thank you to judges Pete Greenaway, Jackie Greenland, Gerry Greenland and Christine Greenough!

Judges' Choice: Just A Date
Written by Con Nats
Wins a place in Short + Sweet Sydney 2011

Popular Vote First Place: Love, Art and Dreams
Written by Steve McGrath
Wins a place in Short + Sweet Sydney 2011

Popular Vote Runner Up: Just A Date
Written by Con Nats

Popular Vote Third Place: The Hero
Written by Matt McCredie and Emmanuelle Fonsny

Best Actor: Tai Scrivener (Just a Date)
Best Actor Runner-Up: Rory Pie (The Hero)
Best Actress: Helen Atkinson (Just a Date)
Best Actress Runner-Up: Katy Avery (Honey)

Best Director: James Balian for Just a Date

Playwright's Encouragement Award: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Kate Toon

Thank you once again to everyone who helped put together this fantastic show. Season Two begins on 30th August 2010 - have a look at the homepage of this site for further details on how to be involved.

Best regards,

Pete Malicki
Crash Test Drama

PS to thank me for my time as Coordinator, check out this page on my website: