November 2014

24 November 2014

The fourth round of season two and the last round of the year.  When you combine those two ingredients into a mixture of wonderful writing, perfect direction and stellar performances, you are always going to have a pleasant night full of entertainment.  The evening was filled with laughter, drama and a spot of nudity that had us laughing a bit too much for a dramatic piece.

First play for the evening was “Doctor” written by Ross Menzies and Directed by Courtney Farrow.  A hitchhiker’s guide to getting a lift? That’s how it started, but how did it really end?  Wonderful performances by Thomas E.S. Kelly as the Passenger and James Parbery as the Doctor.

Second play was “Obvious” written by Chris Parkes and directed by Sahn Millington. A witty and entertaining piece of comedy that had an obvious meaning in the end. “Pun intended”.  Starring the ill-fated Jen Jackson as Christine, Wendy Morton as Grace and Mimi Parfitt as the nurse. 

Third up for the night was “A night in With Squeezy”, the debut play by actor Nick Subjak with direction from Brandon Lacey. When the mistakes of the past follow you into the future but in reverse.  An outstanding performance by Daniel Pollock as Connor won him the Best Actor award with strong performance by Cerise Kofoed as Dani and Victor Popov as Squeezy. 

Fourth play was “A Chinese girl walked into the cafe…” written and directed by TOAST D’Bechamel.  When describing a person, one must always make sure to only use factual information or you could end up in a bloody mess.  Wonderful performances and sharp writing resulted in “A Chinese girl walked into the cafe…” winning both the Judge’s Choice for Best Play and the Popular Vote as voted by the audience. Reich Webber-Montenegro starred as Lexi alongside Rosemary Ghazi as Jennifer, which has resulted in Rosemary now being part of three plays in the finals as an actress. Isaac Owen’s silent but colourful performance on stage as the Customer has resulted in him also being a contributor to three final’s plays (as a writer, director and actor – a Crash Test first!). This play will be back at the Crash Test Finals on Mon 8 December.

Last up before interval was “Waiting for Graham” written by Alastair Brown and Directed by Ann Elbourne.  “The man” named “Graham” had two girls, who remained nameless, waiting. They had guns, books, keys and a tiny box, with that mixture anything could happen. Sonya Kerr won Best Actress for her performance starring opposite Kim Do.

After the interval was “Audience Therapy” written by Mark Smith. Wonderful directing by Joy Roberts resulted in her winning the Best Director award.  With audience participation, normal therapy sessions are a thing of the past. And on that note it also seemed the audience liked being part of this therapy session as “Audience Therapy” won Popular Vote runner up and Judge’s second choice. This play will also be back at the Crash Test Finals on Mon 8 December. Stellar performances by Sam Jenkins as Jordan which won him Best Actor Runner Up, Diane Yzaguirre as Antoinette, Alan Long as Sidebar, Graham Yates as Roger and Uma Kali Shakti as Harrison.

Next up was “The Last Doughnut” written by Chris Naylor and directed by Jacque Vickers. We all like doughnuts right? But is the last doughnut what dreams are really made of? For young Pepe, performed by Jack Ngu, they sure are, or maybe it’s Ahmed’s - performed by David Wiernik – dream too. 

Eighth play for the evening was “Here Comes The Bride” written by newcomer and Playwright’s Encouragement Award winner Paulene Turner. The day Renee has always dreamed of is moments away but then her best friend Cassidy brings up the subject of Renee’s ex and questions fill the room. Georgina Neville won Best Actress Runner up for her performance as Cassidy starring opposite Alison Albany as Renee.

Last up for the evening was “Time of Our Lives” written by Davo Hardy and directed by Mila Gisbert.  Family is family but also means sibling rivalry when you have two sisters fighting for the number one spot. First time act Suzie Q was fabulous as Arlene, as was Raechel Carlsen’s performance as Edith, with Davo Hardy hanging about on stage in various positions in his performance as Nicholas.

Results
Our judges were Maggy Franklin, Vee Malnar and Kingsley, all long-term theatre artists with decades of experience under their belt. Their choice of winners were:

Best Actor: Daniel Pollock
Best Actress: Sonya Kerr
Best Actor Runner Up: Sam Jenkins
Best Actress Runner Up: Georgina Neville
Best Director: Joy Roberts
Best Play: “A Chinese girl walked into the cafe…”
Best Play Runner Up:  “Audience Therapy”

Popular Vote Winner: “A Chinese girl walked into the cafe…”
Popular Vote Runner Up: “Audience Therapy”

“A Chinese girl walked into the cafe…” and : “Audience Therapy” have both won places in the Crash Test Finals to be hold on Monday 8 December 2014. 

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