It was the first round of the year and what a great start to the year it was. With 27 roles to fill it was so wonderful seeing so many actors turn up to audition.
Starting off the night was "Mrs Boardman Widens Her Horizons" written and directed by Frank Davidson. Joan Rodd starred as Mrs Boardman the lovely friend of Middleton performed by Jen Jackson. The laughs kept coming as Mrs Boardman and Middleton talked about their lives and how changes were needed. Mrs Boardman then suggest a cruise with a twist and lovingly Middleton agrees with a cheeky slap at the end.
Second up was writer/director James Gallaway's "There's Something On Your Shoulder". Xanthi played by Michela Carattini was up to her old tricks and wasn't going to let love get in her way. When David, performed by David Roberts remembered there was something familiar about Xanthi he thought it was time to turned the table. David not being a real crock and a big softie at heart fell short once again and was left with only a wet spot on his shoulder.
Next up was the hilarious "The King Of The Tip" written by Dave Burrowes and directed by Kathy Petrakis. With a cast as funny as their lines, it was easy to see why they won both Audience Popular Vote and Judge's first pick on the night. Jim Gosden was on fire again and picked up Best Actor Runner Up award for his performance as Max. Noble performances by Robert Sharpe as Pete and Alex Cubis as Larry, who both had fun with their crowned glory. The white stage didn't look like a tip but when the boys were on stage you felt like you were in the middle of one.
Last up before interval was "The Cure" written and directed by Crash Test newcomer Michael Taylor who was awarded our playwright encouragement award. When friends, Paul, Daniel, Alexandra and Trudi performed by Jay Kallaway, Joshua Rugiano, Billie-Rose Crane and Amanda Mikhael meet up for the night past and present moments become unveiled. What is offered, discussed and projected is not the cure they needed.
First up after interval was "Evil Love" written by Alan Long and directed by Tom Richards. Rick performed by Aaron Nilan life comes to an abrupt end after he discovers his girlfriend Alex performed by Best Actress Winner Toola Andrianapoulos, with another woman. Sophia the lover of Alex performed by Diza Diaz doesn't hold her end of the deal and leaves Alex for another woman Maeve performed by Vikki Herrity who knows the truth behind the death of Rick and seeks revenge.
Next up was Jacque Vicker's "The Projectionist" which Jacque also directed. The Projectionist performed by Matt Thomson brought to life the man who's life is spent in a darken room in an intriguing way. The Narrator performed by Ben Scales, told the story of the man past and present with a hint of what he hopes his future holds.
Seventh play of the night was "Villains Anonymous" written and directed by 3rd time lucky and my good luck charm for the night Maree Santarossa. The play dealt with a support group of a different kind. When you put a group of villains together in a room, it's hard to know who really is the greatest villain. Who would you pick Nurse Ratched performed by Best Actress winner Golda Baker, The Joker performed by David Ross, Darth Vader performed by James Hartley, Anna Wintour performed by Olga Pagrati or Edward Cullen performed by Wayne Prentice? The lines were fast and fresh and kept the audience laughing hard.
Last play for the night was "The Arrest" written by James Hartley and directed by Joy Roberts who was awarded Best Director for the evening. "The Arrest" won the audience and judges second pick for the night and now makes it to the finals in August. When 1st Officer Best Actor winner James Shepherd leads his team of officers performed by Tahera Alikhan, Michelle Prutton and Donna Randall into a high risk mission to stop the wrongful doings of internet user Jack performed by Micha Joel, the team must always stick to protocol to remain on track. But when the key to the mission is to direct the eyes away from the crime, you are just asking for barrels of laughter.
Judge Con Nats once again had the difficult job of picking the winners.
Best Actor: James Shepherd
Best Actress: Golda Baker
Best Actor Runner Up: Jim Gosden
Best Actress Runner Up: Toola Andrianopoulos
Best Director: Joy Roberts
Best Play: "The King Of The Tip"
Popular Vote Winner: "The King Of The Tip"
Popular Vote Runner Up: "The Arrest"
Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Michael Taylor for "The Cure"
The King Of The Tip and The Arrest are advancing through to the Crash Test Finals on 19 August 2013.