The first play, kicking off Crash Test 2013's second round, was "The Final Exam", written by Graeme Cruise and directed by Craig Delahoy. It starred the talented Joan Rodd and newcomer Charlotte Ellis, who won Best Actress for a top performance. Craig also stepped in as the buzzer guy, due to the low turnout of actors. Come on actors - where were you?! This play was the convincing winner of the Popular Vote and will be back in the Finals on 19 August. Well done to the team.
Second was "What Are You Saying" by Bob Ballinger. Tom Richards was our director, as well as stepping in as the pilot on a skydiving trip. Performing alongside him was Rachel O'Reilly as Sandra and Polish actor Karol Binkowski as Jim. Well done to Bob for his first Crash Test offering.
Third was Ruth Fingret's "Mere Details", which Ruth both wrote and directed on the night. This play about a couple of couples getting some form of dinner-based marriage counselling featured Rosemary Ghazi as Samantha, Toola Andrianopolous as Carolyn, Tim Littlejohn as Monty and Frank Davidson as Roger. Props to Tim for a hilarious stage debut.
Closing act one was Coordinator Pete Malicki's play "The Rise Of Sir Edmund," a re-imagining of the first documented ascent of Mount Everest. Aaron Nilan starred as Edmund Hillary and won Best Actor for his portrayal, with direction from the very busy Rosemary Ghazi (who helped fill the numbers by directing and acting in two plays!). Unfortunately, the play ran in at 12 minutes and four seconds so was disqualified from the Judge's Choice. Tsk tsk, writer.
First up after the interval was "Open For Inspection", written by another Crash Test newcomer, W. Wal Beaumont, and directed by the ever-lovely Maggy Franklin. This story of Espionage and love starred Rosemary Ghazi (again!), Simon Lewis and Abhishek Merukar.
Sixth for the night was "Roomies," by A. Patrick Nilan with Nir Shelter as director. It starred fifteen-year-old Sina Nematian as Tod, Best Actor Runner-Up David O'Donnell as the dole-bludging Eric, Kathy Petrakis as Emily and director Nir stepping in as Ryan.
Seventh was "The Quest For The Lightsaber" by Revelly Robinson, directed by Joy Roberts. This imaginative play starred Jen Jackson, Rebecca Waples, director Joy as narrator and Brandy Tsang, who won Best Actress Runner Up. The play was awarded the Playwright's Encouragement Award for its original subject matter and style.
Lastly, we had "The Colour" by Peter Tucker with Mila Gisbert directing. This prehistoric comedy/drama starred Joshua Rugiano as Gug and Ricky Klein as Urk, a couple of cavemen. It was awarded Best Play and will be back again in the Crash Test Finals on 19 August. Congrats to this team of (mostly) newcomers!
Writer/teacher/director Deb Mulhall stepped into the judges shoes this round.
Best Actor: Aaron Nilan
Best Actress: Charlotte Ellis
Best Actor Runner Up: David O'Donnell
Best Actress Runner Up: Brandy Tsang
Best Director: Craig Delahoy
Best Play: "The Colour"
Popular Vote Winner: "The Final Exam"
Popular Vote Runner Up: "Roomies"
Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Revelly Robinson for "Quest For The Lightsabre"
The Final Exam and The Colour are advancing through to the Crash Test Finals on 19 August 2013.