Our second Crash Test for the year kicked off with what was quite possibly the darkest act of our show's history, with plays about paedophilia, suicide, paedophilia again and self-mutilation all in the first half of the night!
Opening the show was Pat Brennan's "A Beautiful Child," which Pat both wrote and directed. A young girl is approached by a stranger after losing her mum at the shops. He pretends to call her mother and tells the girl he's been asked to take her back to his place while she comes to pick her up. This chilling play starred Coco Frohlich - one of the youngest Crash Test performers ever! - alongside Dudy Jap and Crash Test Drama Sydney founder Alex Broun. Our host for the night and Assistant Coordinator Georgie Edwards also stepped in for a role.
The second play was a monologue by Jacque Vickers called "Blue Roses." Jacque directed her script about a woman whose daughter jumps out of the sixth storey of her apartment. Karen Garnsey did a great job performing in this piece - always a challenge to take on a monologue with just 90 mins to prepare!
Next up was "Innocent," written and directed by long-term Crash Tester and the driving force behind Crash Test Cronulla, Graham Yates. A police officer has arrested a man he suspects of sexually assaulting a minor, but it turns out to be much more complicated than it first seems. Starring strong performances by Frank Davidson and Best Actor Runner Up David Roberts.
Rounding off act one was "Filled To Empty," our second monologue for the night. Written by Crash Test Coordinator Pete Malicki and directed by Sarah Cross, this play saw a man who's had everything he's ever wanted decide to throw a spanner in the works of his life. It was performed by Doug Messenger and was awarded Best Play by our judge, meaning it'll be back in the Finals to be held on 6 August 2012.
After interval was a play by a new writer, Trish Koutrodimos, called "Man VS Pants." A man finds himself in a spot of bother when his pants decide to run away from him! A very different play for a Crash Test but really quite fun, with performances by Best Actor winner Ricky Klein as the man, Bryan McMahon as the Pants, Bill Jordan as Mr Fowler and Kim Webster as the secretary. Emily Garrett was the director.
Sixth was Richard Graham's "Cronulla, 1057 A.D." This Shakespearean play with a twist was a clever and interesting take on a famous Australian event (see if you can guess which one!) and was directed by Raj Muneshwar. It starred a cast of Vicki Tonkin, Alison Albany and Sheila Fielding.
The seventh play was Frank Davidson's "One In The Bath," directed by Simon Tonkin - who won Best Director for his efforts. A woman comes home to find a dead man lying in her bathtub. Or so she thinks. This fun show was performed by Holly Butler, Garreth Cruikshank and the winner of our Best Actress award, Jen Jackson.
Finally, to round up the night was a play written by Simon Tonkin, who directed the previous play. "Change" was directed by Ruth Fingret and was about a woman who was, well, the force of change, the only constant in the universe. Lisa Hanssens starred alongside Kim Webster, who won Best Actress Runner Up for her performance. "Change" won the Popular Vote and will be back again in the August Finals.
Our judge for Round Two was writer/director Con Nats, whose moving drama "The Pond" was in this year's Short+Sweet Gala Finals. His awards were as follows:
Best Actor - Ricky Klein
Best Actor Runner Up - David Roberts
Best Actress - Jen Jackson
Best Actress Runner Up - Kim Webster
Best Director - Simon Tonkin for "One In The Bath"
Best Play - "Filled To Empty"
Playwright's Encouragement Award - Trish Koutrodimos for "Man VS Pants"
Popular Vote Winner - "Change"
Popular Vote Runner Ups - "One In The Bath"
Change and Filled To Empty both win a spot in the Crash Test Drama 2012 Season One Finals on 6 August.
Hope to see you back again on 11 June 2012 for Round Three!