August 2011

Crash Test Season Two kicked off on Monday with one of the best shows of talent we've seen all year. While it was a struggle to put the show together with too few actors turning up, we got there in the end thanks to a couple of brave souls agreeing to star in two plays.

To start off we had Michelle Morgan's Eating Corfu, directed by Kingsley. This strong play featuring Debbie Tilley and Sheila Fielding as two sisters and Graham Yates as the husband missed out on second place by just a few votes, and Michelle was given the Playwright's Encouragement Award for a great first offering.

Next cab off the rank was The Joker, written by another Crash Test newcomer Simon Tonkin and directed by Lisa Eismen. This drama about some poker buddies getting to really know each other for the first time after several years was beautifully performed by David Cutherbertson and Garreth Cruikshank.

Third for the night was Peter Shelley's Deal, which Adrian Bitel directed for us. Unfortunately for their chances at making the Finals, this play went for over 12 minutes and was therefore ineligible for the Judge's Choice. Lucille Lehr and Alex Williams were the performers and Alex was awarded Best Actor Runner-Up for his efforts as the hitman-turned-victim.

To round off the first act was Crash Test newcomer Nisrine Amine's It Must Be The Dairy, directed by the ever-excellent Nir Shelter. Nisrine has done well with her first ever play, taking out the Judge's Second Choice and the Popular Vote Runner-Up, earning this play a place in December's Finals. It starred Ricky Klein, Julian Ramundi, and Debbie Tilley for her second performance of the night!

After interval was Bruno Starrs' Conversion Rites and Wrongs, a play about an atheist deciding he'd like to become a Muslim (for the beard) and his wife trying to talk him out of it. Jed Walker played the husband and Alicia Gonzalez was the wife. Alicia won Best Actress Runner-Up for her performance and Bruno got Best Director for his realisation of his script.

Sixth for the night was The Flowers, written by Crash Test Coordinator Pete Malicki and directed by Jacque Vickers. This monologue about a girl who can't escape from death - or life! - proved to be a hit all round, winning the Popular Vote by quite a margin (70% of the audience voted for it) and also picking up Judge's Choice for best play. Kit Bennett won Best Actress for her performance, doing very well for herself at her first ever Crash Test. The Flowers will join It Must Be The Dairy in the Crash Test Drama December Finals.

Kate McDowell's Learning Adult came next, generously directed by Pauline Kingsford-Smith despite recent wrist surgery. Kate's energetic play about a Spanish class with a very frustrated tutor featured an ensemble cast of Leof Kingsford-Smith (Best Actor for his wonderful performance as Senor Lopez), Grant Moxom, Murray Robertson, Graham Yates in his second performance for the night (go Graham!) and Kate herself, which we usually wouldn't allow at Crash Test but we bent the rules due to a low turnout of actors.

Finally, to finish the evening, was Robert Renshaw's funny monologue Dipping Out. Directed by Sharlene Zeederberg and starring Vicki Tonkin, Dipping Out was a fun play about a diving instructor coaching her students through their dives. Certainly a great way to round off the night.

For anyone who is interested in submitting to Crash Test or signing up as a director, please contact the Coordinator, Pete Malicki, on Also, Short+Sweet Sydney is open for registrations and we're looking for Actors, Directors, Independent Theatre Company proposals and scripts. Get involved now to receive invites to our workshop program, among other things:

Next Crash Test: Season Two Round Two, 10th October 2011. Hope to see you there!

See below for the awards.


Our judge for the first round of the season was Georgie Edwards, Crash Test's Assistant Coordinator and an experienced Crash Test actor. As always, it wasn't easy deciding on the winners:

Judge's Choice: The Flowers

Written by Pete Malicki

Directed by Jacque Vickers

Popular Vote First Place: The Flowers

Written by Pete Malicki

Directed by Jacque Vickers


Popular Vote Runner-Up: It Must Be The Dairy

Written by Nisrine Amine

Directed by Nir Shelter

Judge's Second Choice: It Must Be The Dairy

Written by Nisrine Amine

Directed by Nir Shelter


Best Actor: Leof Kingsford-Smith (from Learning Adult)

Best Actor Runner-Up: Alex Williams (from Deal)

Best Actress: Kit Bennett (from The Flowers)

Best Actress Runner-Up: Alicia Gonzalez (from Conversion Rites And Wrongs)

Best Director: Bruno Starrs (from Conversion Rites And Wrongs)

Playwright's Encouragement Award: Michelle Morgan for Eating Corfu