Crash Test Drama had our third show for the year on Monday, 6 May, with nine brand new Sydney plays brought to life by as many directors and 27 actors. It was a cold, wet and dark night to start off the evening but once we found the light switches for Newtown Theatre it was all systems go.
First play for the evening was Acting Like Animals written by Pete Greenaway and director by Felix Carlyle. This play dealt with evolution and explored the choices made by the Bird in a captivating performance by Christine Callinan and the Human performed by James Hartley to get them to the point where they are today. The team earned themselves a tied runner up with the Popular Vote from the audience.
Second was Time Has Come written with the wicked comical style of Mark Konik and directed by Jacque Vickers. Mark was on the mark with timing and asked what should happen in one’s relationship. Sarah Connor played Gina the girl who had all the power with Jake played by Garreth Cruikshank who was happy to settle for any attention but gone none in the end.
Steven McGrath is never one to let down an audience and with his perfectly timed comical and self-directed play The Fan-Bearer on the Right Side of the King he once again won a place in a Crash Test Drama Finals. Steven’s style in writing and direction earned his team the Popular Vote and Judge’s Choice on the night and a well-deserved win for Best Director. So convincing was his performance as Tutankhamen that Rory Pie won the Best Actor award - and who didn't feel pity for Ay, Tutankhamen's servant/counsel performed by Richard Mason, who was Best Actor Runner Up.
Next came The Last Angel written and directed by Craig Delahoy, a comedy which looked at how best can a politician really support a small town and its folk. Wonderful performances by Alison Chambers, who got more than she bargained for by having to work with Barclay; Bill Jordan’s performance of Barclay was very convincing, with Michael Howlett as Anderson the fellow who lived on the edge of "his" town.
Before interval was Kingsley's self-directed play A Girl With A Dragon Tale Returns. Kingsley’s love of Dragons enabled him to add a new chapter to his dragon tales. Strong performances by Alicia Gonzalez as the Witness, Maud Pravikoff as the Crown, Stefanie Gerstner as the Defence, Georgie Edwards as the Judge with Kingsley playing the Clerk.
After the interval was The Fridge, The Toilet, The Stomach a very clever play written by Prue Clark who also performed duties as actor on the night due a shortage of female actors. With wonderful and clever direction by William Russell. I'm sure Sontaan Hopson could talk under water if needed, therefore resulting in her win as Best Actress Runner Up for her performance as the Girl who really did eat more than she could chew, thus resulting in many visits to the Toilet performed by Holly Butler and violent abuse towards the Fridge performed by Prue Clark with Kathy V as the every charming mother.
A Quick Bite – The Bloodied Meaning of Life written and directed by Kathryn Yuen was up next. With outstanding performances by all involved. David Attril performed in the role of both the Son and Daugher (again due to shortage of actors) and never looked finer. Annie Thompson was his loved up mum and Matt Thomsom as his blood-loving dad who just wanted to never lose the family he loves so much.
Second last was The V-Word written and directed by David Bulmer. It was an interesting night for Fran performed by Best Actress Kate Buchanan and John performed by Graham Yates, who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Being together for a long time doesn’t mean you’re not interested in trying new and interesting things that can help put the sparkle back. So many awkward and funny moments kept the audience’s eyes glued to the stage. With such a strong performance, the play pick up a tied Runner Up Popular vote and got the Judges Second Choice and will now return for the final in July.
Last up for the night was Faith de Savigne’s Celebrity Crisis Management. Faith had to direct the piece at the last minute and was then caught short with a lack of actors. With a last-minute arrival from Bianka Demets, performing as Monica, and Shaheen who just came along to watch offering to perform the role of Tula, the play was up and running. The ever-charming Chris Lewis was brilliant as Ron and Sally Williams as Robin. The play dealt with what can go wrong when you management team doesn’t always have your best interests at heart.
Acting Like Animals
and Directed by David Bulmer
Second Choice: The V-Word
and Directed by David Bulmer
Many thanks to Georgie Edwards who not only ran the night in Pete's absence and kept everything together under the difficult circumstance of too few actresses turning up, but even managed to perform in one of the plays! Thanks also to Valentino Arico for both Judging and MC-ing the night.
Next Show: Mon 6th June 2011.
Hope to see you there!
Georgie and Pete
Crash Test Drama