December 2013 FINALS

Our last show for the year, the Crash Test Drama 2013 Season Two Finals, was a huge success last Sunday, with nine plays being performed in front of a packed house. Despite the air cons not working and the theatre being about 40oC, it was still a great night of entertainment. Kudos to the four plays who had to recast and whose first rehearsals were on the day itself.

Kicking off was "As A Great Man Once Said", written by Robert Armstrong and directed by Michael Taylor. It starred Nic di Vinuto and Greg Wilken, both of whom were only cast on the day. Well done to the team for putting on a great play in the true Crash Test fashion.

The second play, "Fear And Trembling", was also directed by Michael Taylor. Written by Playwright's Encouragement Award winner Peter Tucker, it starred Kaye Lopez as Abraham, Mariama Whitton as Isaac and Nieves Merlo as the director. Mariama won Best Actress for this and her subsequent role for the evening.

Third up was "Falling For Harry", written and directed by Warren Glover. This two-hander featured strong performances from Terry Ryan and Best Actress Runner Up Katie Lees. The play was a huge hit with the audience and won the Popular Vote and a place in Short+Sweet Sydney 2014! Come along and see it in Top 80 Week 4 of the festival: www.shortandsweet.org/sydney.

The fourth play was Gemma Kaye's "A Play Like This", about a bored couple deciding to write a play about being bored. Vickie Saunders directed Edric Hong and Clare Martin in this cute play.

Closing the first act was "Fairy Story", written by Peter Woolf and directed by Jacque Vickers. On stage was Greg Wilken, who won Best Actor for his two strong performances, Mariama Whitton, Vee Malnar, Bernice Breckon and James Anderson.

Act two began with "Personal Training", written and directed by Peter Shelley. It featured great performances from Rosemary Ghazi, whose American accent was impressive, and the imperturbable Alan Long.

The seventh play was "Cry For Me", a monologue written by Coordinator Pete Malicki and directed by Stephanie Merriman. Alicia from Argentina, played by Alice Furze, has herself an unusual job - a funeral fluffer. "Cry For Me" won Best Play and will be back in Top 80 Week 3 of Short+Sweet Sydney 2014.

Next was "Android Upgrade", written by Vee Malnar and directed by Joy Roberts, whose attention to detail and colourful costumes/props earned her Best Director. It starred Debbie Tilley, Katherine Wasiel and James Anderson, who won Best Actor Runner Up. The play was the judge's equal pick for Best Play and also won its way to Short+Sweet Sydney 2014.

Finally, Jillian Wade wrote and directed "Recreational Hazards." This play had some late casting changes but still came together nicely, starring Bill Jordan, Di Mifsud, Rachel Smith and our MC Georgie Edwards.


The Results
Short play master Alex Broun was kind enough to judge the show and offer some words of inspiration. His picks were:

Best Actor: Greg Wilken
Best Actress: Mariama Whitton
Best Actor Runner Up: James Anderson
Best Actress Runner Up: Katie Lees
Best Director: Joy Roberts
Best Play: "Cry For Me" and "Android Upgrade"
Popular Vote Winner: "Falling For Harry"
Popular Vote Runner Up: "Cry For Me"

Cry For Me, Android Upgrade and Falling For Harry have all won places in Short+Sweet Sydney 2014.

You can read more about the festival and come along at www.shortandsweet.org/sydney. Don't miss seeing the winners in a full professional production in a night of fantastic plays.

A big thank you as always to Georgie Edwards, our Co-Coordinator, and all of the writers, actors and directors whose hard work and talent made the Crash Test Finals the great show it was.

We'll be back in April 2014. Keep your eye on the website for details.

Pete + Georgie
Crash Test Coordinators
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