August 2012 FINALS
The Crash Test Drama 2012 Season One Finals were an enormous success last night, with eight stunning productions of brand new short plays by Sydney writers, put together by local directors and actors. The King Street Theatre was brimming with an enthusiastic and supportive audience (thanks for coming!).
Opening the show was veteran playwright Alex Broun's "Missing Katerina," a comedy about one man writing a play about his failed relationship and the actors redefining the way events took place, or should have taken place. Kingsley put in a solid effort, as always, as director, with an enthusiastic cast of Gabriel McCarthy, Shaelee Rooke and Best Actor Runner Up Aaron Nilan. The play came in second in the Popular Vote and the team won a chunk of the cash prize.
In second place for the night was "Coma Sutra," written and directed by poet and playwright Kate Toon. A man who has incredibly bad luck with buses is in a coma, his brain a non-stop porn machine which creates sexual image after sexual image. He laments the fact that he cheated on his perfect girlfriend and wishes he could right things. This clever and witty play was beautifully performed by James Hartley and Sarah Wadsley, with James winning Best Actor for his portrayal as the guy in the porn coma.
Third play was "Ramona And Julz", written by Uma Kali Shakti and directed by Gabriel McCarthy (who performed in "Missing Katerina"). Uma's hilarious take on the most notable love story of all time was a huge hit, with Romeo and Juliette's sisters exporing their very passionate lesbian love. The cast of Rosemary Ghazi, Imogen Carn and Bill Jordan had the audience in stitches and the play was the clear Popular Vote Winner. We'll be seeing "Ramona And Julz" again in Short+Sweet Sydney 2013! Well done team.
Fourth up was "Filled To Empty" by Crash Test Coordinator Pete Malicki, who stepped in late as director (and wishes Sarah all the best in her recovery!!). Junior is 40 and he's had it all for over a decade. Success has worn him down to nothing and he seeks a new experience through doing something extreme. Doug Messenger was the convincingly creepy star of this one.
After the interval we had "Bondi Hassle," written and directed by Steve McGrath who has the amazing achievement of landing a play in every single Crash Test Drama Finals to date. This funny take on the Cronulla riots and Baywatch was masterfully performed by a cast of Matt Thomson as Ray, Maggie Franklin as Michelle, Alastair Buchanan as the Leb and Gerry Sont as The Hoff.
The sixth play was "Bus Trip," written by Kathryn Yuen and directed by Alison Albany. This monologue about a woman catching public transport and finding herself in a dire situation cleaned up in the awards, winning three of the big ones. Michela Carattini won Best Actress for a powerful performance, Alison won Best Director for her sharp vision for the piece and the play won Best Play and a spot in Short+Sweet Sydney 2013! Congratulations to the team, and come along and support the winning director and our Coordinator with their play "Room" in the Sydney Fringe.
In seventh position was Simon Tonkin's "Change," directed by Crash Test veteran writer/director Ruth Fingret. This play was about a woman who turns out to be the force of change, the only constant in the universe. Another great cast, with Lisa Hanssens starring alongside Kim Webster, who won Best Actress Runner Up for her performance.
Finally, to wrap up the Finals and Season One of Crash Test, we had "A Lawyer's Fantasy" by Bryan McMahon. Greg Eccleston directed a convincing cast of David Roberts as Frank, Alison Chambers as Sue and Jessica Armitage as Hermoine. When a lawyer finds himself being threatened by the daughter of someone he screwed over with the law, he finds a way of turning the tables, only to have them turn back and back again. This clever script won its first-time writer the Playwright's Encouragement Award and we hope to see it again in a short play festival soon (hint hint, Bryan).
We had a panel of judges putting their brainpower together to pick the awards. Con Nats, Lynden Jones and Deb Mulhall had the difficult task of picking their favourite actors, directors and plays.
Best Actor: James Hartley (from Coma Sutra)
Best Actress: Michela Carattini (from Bus Trip)
Best Actor Runner Up: Aaron Nilan (from Missing Katerina)
Best Actress Runner Up: Kim Webster (from Change)
Best Director: Alison Albany (from Bus Trip)
Best Play: Bus Trip
Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Bryan McMahon for "A Lawyer's Fantasy"
Popular Vote Winner: Ramona And Julz
Popular Vote Runner Up: Missing Katerina
"Bus Trip" and "Ramona And Julz" have won a place in Short+Sweet Sydney 2013. Congratulations to all those involved in these plays and we look forward to seeing them again on the main stage!