October 1 2012

We had so many actors angling for a spot in our second show for the season that we sadly had to turn about a dozen away. It was great to see the amount of interest in Crash Test Drama and we'll be programming a larger show for the next round to accommodate everyone!

Kicking off the night was Sonal Moore's "The Particle Collider," a tight and powerful monologue directed by Crash Test/Short+Sweet veteran Dave Farland. Brooke Doherty played Carol, a woman who's stabbed her husband after catching him cheating on her. Despite being over 12 mins long and losing 10 audience votes, this play was equal first in the Popular Vote and will be back in the December Finals.

Next up was "The Loop", written and directed by another Crash Test regular Craig Delahoy. A commendable dramatic effort from Craig, who is known for his comedies. "The Loop" starred Nadia Hamoud as the daughter/mother destined to repeat history, and Matt Thomson as the husband/father. Matt was awarded Best Actor for a solid performance and the play won Judge's Choice for Best Play so will also be back in the Finals.

Third was "The Smartest Man In The Room," a drama by Canberra writer Greg Gould, who came all the way up to Sydney for the show. Jacque vickers directed this play about a bank robber being outdone at his own game. It starred Bryan McMahon as the robber, Shayan Askari as a customer, Veronica Carvajal as the teller, and a special guest appearance from Penelope Grace who played all half dozen bank customers.

Closing act one was "The Departure Lounge", written by Marie McMillan and directed by Alicia Gonzalez. A couple at an airport are in distress when their little boy goes missing and they accept the help of a stranger, who turns out to have less than altruistic intentions. The cast were Ash Barb-Winter, Bill Jordan and Alice Furze.

After interval was "The Sixteen Things She Said", another great play by Kate Toon with Nir Shelter lending us his directing expertise. This was the second play to unfortunately blow the time limit; at 12 minutes and two seconds, it was ineligible for the judge's award. That didn't stop Michela Carattini from winning Best Actress for her efforts or Richard Carwin from winning Best Actor Runner Up. It also featured a hilarious performance by Shelley Booth.

Sixth for the eve was Gabriel McCarthy's "The Moment" which was directed by Felix Carlyle. When a bank robber (hello, theme) is about to shoot a customer, time freezes and she receives a visit from a very special someone from the future. Rosemary Ghazi won Best Actress Runner Up for this one, playing alongside David Roberts, Ken Ward and Jenuel L. Jackson. "The Moment" was equal first in the Popular Vote thanks to "The Particle Collider"'s time penalties and will be back for the December Finals.

"Falling", written and directed by the wonderful Lisa Eismen, came next. A man falling from the sky mulls over the decisions he's made with his life and wonders about this one: should he pull the chord, or should he fall to the ground. Kudos to Lisa for casting a second role in a monologue at the very last minute and trying something different with her work. It starred Gordon Williams and Surangi Somaratne.

To round up the show was "Rewind" by Tim Lea, directed by Stephen Carnell of Actors Anonymous fame. A man's father pops in from the future (hello again, theme) to tell him he can stop and rewind his interactions with his fiesty wife. It goes well... at first. We had Erin Harvey, Isaac Owen and Rob White in this one and Tim was awarded the Playwright's Encouragement Award for a solid effort and for being so active in the Sydney playwriting scene.

The Results

Alex Broun, successful writer and the founder of Crash Test Drama in Sydney, brought in his judging expertise.

Best Actor: Matt Thomson

Best Actress: Michela Carattini

Best Actor Runner Up: Richard Carwin

Best Actress Runner Up: Rosemary Ghazi

Best Director: Nir Shelter

Best Play: The Loop

Popular Vote Winner, tie between: "The Moment" and "The Particle Collider"

Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Tim Lea for "Rewind"

"The Moment", "The Particle Collider" and "The Loop" all go through to the December Finals. Congratulations to all of the artists involved in getting Crash Test up on stage and to those who won awards. Next round: Oct 29th. We're going to be programming bigger casts so I hope to see those actors who missed out coming back for another go then.