July 2011 FINALS

Crash Test had our Season One Finals on Monday night and it was definitely a show to remember! In what was a first for Crash Test Finals, we had eight comedies from eight plays. The stage had been cleared after the previous night's performance had wrapped up so we had all the space we could ever have dreamed for.

Kicking off the night was a play by the founder of Crash Test Drama Sydney, Alex Broun, called text messages hurt more when you're sitting at the airport. With an expert cast of Michael Howlett as Kane and Best Actress Runner Up Sandra Campbell as Doris, and apt direction as always from Kingsley, it was a great way to kick off a night of comedy. Alex's play won the Popular Vote Runner Up, coming in second by a mere vote.

Sarah Connor's first ever play Call Me But Love was next. Directed by veteran of the form David Attrill and starring Matt Thomson and Erin Youngblutt as the in-hate Romeo and Juliet, this script was awarded the Playwright's Encouragement Award for a play which is already strong and has the potential to be a real winner, hopefully in a Short+Sweet festival some day soon.

Judges Second Choice, Spakling Effluescence
Third was Sparkling Effluescence, our second first ever play for the night, this time written by David Fingret. Raj Muneshwar directed, with Valentino Arico as Faulkner, Lidia Stojanoska as Sally and Eliza St John as Laura the bread-buttering RTA voice. Sparkling Effluescence came in third place in the Popular Vote by only a few points, but it was awarded the Judge's Second Choice and will go through to be performed at Short+Sweet Sydney 2012! We're all looking forward to seeing it come to life in a full production.

Next up was Jennifer Faletto's Pretty Bird, directed by another Crash Test veteran, Uma Kali Shakti. Richard Mason had his first performance for the night as Dave, who was in a counselling session with his wife, Annie Thompson, and their pet bird Valentine, played by writer of Call Me But Love Sarah Connor. The performance was tight and it was an enjoyable way to end the first act.

~Interval~

Steve McGrath's The Fan-Bearer on the Right Hand Side of the King was first up after the interval. Assistant Coordinator and MC Georgie Edwards did some research before the show and it turns out that Steve has been involved in every Crash Test Finals since the very beginning, as a writer, director and/or actor. He directed his play as well, with Richard Mason as Ay and Rory Pie as the spoiled young Tutankhamun. After watching this play, it was clear why the comic genius has been in every single Finals!

Next was Con Nats' Two Gay Whalers & A Park Bench, another play directed by the writer. Con's clever play was enthusiastically and aptly performed by Garreth Cruikshank and Chris Lewis, who were the surprisingly eloquent homeless men, Adam and Durham. This is but another play we hope to see in next year's Short+Sweet.

The second last play for the evening was Venus In The Shower, written by Vee Malnar and directed by Craig Delahoy. Ellen, played by Kate Buchanan, has her archaeologist friend Harold (Tony Bradley) around for tea. Things already aren't going so hot for Ellen, but when her young German neighbour (Bianka Demets) gets in the shower, her quest for seduction takes a serious blow.

Popular Vote Winner and Judge's Choice, The V-Word        
Finally, we had Dave Bulmer's The V-Word. Dave set himself a pretty high standard at Short+Sweet by winning Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Popular Vote, and Popular Vote Runner Up (out of 195 plays). So we weren't surprised when The V-Word took out a similar slew of awards: Judge's Choice, Popular Vote First Place, Best Director, Best Actor (Graham Yates) and Best Actress (Kate Buchanan). If Dave wasn't such a nice guy, we'd probably all hate the bastard! Congratulations to the team from The V-Word, who we'll be seeing again in Short+Sweet Sydney 2012.


It's been an absolute pleasure coordinating Crash Test for the past 18 months. A huge thanks to everyone for coming along and supporting emerging theatre in Sydney. See below for the results:


Results
Thanks to Stephen Carnell, who had the unenviable task of being our judge for the night. With eight strong comedies and dozens of top actors to choose from, picking the winners was no easy task.

Popular Vote First Place: The V-Word
Written and directed by Dave Bulmer
Wins a place in Short+Sweet Sydney 2012!

Popular Vote Runner Up: text messages hurt more when you're sitting at the airport
Written by Alex Broun
Directed by Kingsley

Judge's Choice: The V-Word
Written and directed by Dave Bulmer

Judge's Second Choice: Sparkling Effluescence
Written by David Fingret
Directed by Raj Muneshwar
Wins a place in Short+Sweet Sydney 2012!
Playwright's Encouragement Award recipient, Sarah Connor        
Best Actor: Graham Yates (from The V-Word)

Best Actor Runner-Up: Valentino Arico (from Sparkling Effluescence)
Best Actress: Kate Buchanan (from The V-Word)
Best Actress Runner-Up: Sandra Campbell (from text messages hurt more when you're sitting at the airport)
Best Director: Dave Bulmer (from The V-Word)

Playwright's Encouragement Award: Call Me But Love by Sarah Connor.

A hearty thanks to the artists who've once again put in their time and effort and demonstrated their expertise to make Crash Test happen. We couldn't do it without you! Seriously, thank you!!!

See below for some pics of our award recipents.

We hope to see you at the Special Edition and during Season Two.

Best wishes,

Pete Malicki
Coordinator

Georgie Edwards
Assistant Coordinator
Crash Test Drama


Best Actor, Graham Yates



Best Actor Runner Up, Valentino Arico

Best Actress, Kate Buchanan

Best Actress Runner Up, Sandra Campbell


Best Director, Dave Bulmer

Crash Test Drama Coordinators, Pete and Georgie

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