July 2010

Full report

This Monday's show was one of the best editions of Crash Test we've had in a long time, with an incredibly high standard of both scripts and acting. Tough choices for the audience and judges alike.

First up was Idiots by Richard Graham, a clever comedy about two thieves, one deaf and one mute, attempting to rob a shopkeeper. Steve McGrath and Matt Thomson were the convincing idiots, with Frank Davidson as the shopkeeper and Maite Carvell in her element as the blind policewoman. Sharlene Zeederberg directed this funny piece and got the night rolling.

Next up was Just a Date by Con Nats, directed by James Balian. A man, played by Tai Scrivener, wants to leave his wife for the woman he loves, who just so happens to be the prostitute he sees each week (played by Deb Bradshaw). Con's well-constructed drama cleaned up on the night, winning Judges' Choice, second place in the audience vote, and awards for both of the actors. As well as reaching the Crash Test finals in August, Just a Date is currently being performed as part of Short + Sweet Singapore.

Crash Test actor Michela Carattini's debut play Culture Crash came next, with a directional debut also from William Russell. An American poet, performed by Kym Parrish, is approached by several fans and critics after her reading in a pub. With Gerry Sont as the sensible friend and Robert Zavadszky and Justine Scali as the drunk or simply overbearing patrons, Michela's play explored issues of culture and prejudice from an angle we don't often consider - that between two Western nations.

Then came Doco, a powerful play written by Nicky Davis and directed by Lincoln Hall, who also played the role of director and co-directs Crash Test. Ann Burbrook was superb as the woman courageously agreeing to speak about her childhood abuse by a Catholic priest for a documentary.

After the interval was Truth Spell by Ruth Fingret, with Raj Muneshwar directing. A couple, played by Barton Williams and Alison Hodge, ask each other questions about their pasts and swear to tell only the truth, but things fall apart when the man pushes too hard to find out about his girlfriend's past. Another great first play from one of our writers!

Next was Steve McGrath's Love, Art and Dreams, a zany comedy about a man with a penchant for vaginas trying to buy tickets to the movies. Graham Yates was awarded best actor for his efforts as the cinema patron, Alastair Buchanan managed to hold his laughs in and play a very bemused ticket seller, and Cindi Knapton proved her worth as the frisky wife. Steve's play will be completing the line up for August's finals and Steve himself will hopefully escape the nuthouse for another night to attend!

What's the Big Deal? written and directed by Grant Wilson was next, a play about three schoolgirls who steal some gum and lollies from a local shop. The tightly-written script was performed by Katy Avery, Hannah Molyneux and Susan Young, each bringing their characters to life in the 90 minutes they had to rehearse. Another great effort all round.

Finally came Michelle Morgan's Thick as Thieves, directed by Kingsley. A uni student, played by Kay Simons, finds herself in an unwanted conversation with a man she quickly accuses of terrorism, played by Jason Murray. With Michael McCrann as the highly-literate security guard and Georgie Edwards as the policewoman (not for the first time she's had that role at Crash Test, either!), Thick as Thieves explored the issues of prejudice and the assumptions we too easily make. A very enjoyable play to end the night on.

The Results

Judges Pete Greenaway, Jackie Greenland and Gerry Greenland once again pooled resources to select their favourite plays, actors and director.

Judges' Choice: Just A Date

Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 2nd August 2010

Written by Con Nats

Popular Vote First Place: Love, Art and Dreams

Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 2nd August 2010

Written by Steve McGrath

Popular Vote Runner Up: Just A Date

Written by Con Nats

Best Actor: Graham Yates

Best Actor Runner-Up: Tai Scrivener

Best Actress: Deborah Bradshaw

Best Actress Runner-Up: Alison Hodge

Best Director: Nir Shelter

Playwright's Encouragement Award: ‘Culture Crash’ by Michaela Carattini

Hope to see you at the finals on August 2nd.

Best regards,

Pete Malicki and Lincoln Hall

Crash Test Drama coordinators