October 2010

We had another great evening of comedy and drama last night at Crash Test, with the closest audience vote I've ever seen. Three plays all had the exact same number of votes and another three were within four votes of that! Everything ran smoothly after some organisational drama, with two plays withdrawing over the long weekend. I'd like to warmly thank Mark Konik for stepping in as writer and director with just five hours' notice. Thanks also to Felix Carlyle and Colleen Henry for being flexible with short notice.

Our first play was Crash Test regular Graham Yates' Wot r u wearing, starring Kate Buchanan as Margaret and Richard Adams as her accidental young date Sean. We were pleased to see Graham has the same comedic flare as a writer as he has as an actor. Thanks to Adrian Bitel for his apt direction and for helping start our show off with a bang.

Second was Stranded, written and directed by William Russell. Two young women, played by Clare Martin and Jacinta Reuben, are trapped on a bus in croc-infested waters. They discover that their bus driver is setting up a tripod to film what happens as the tide comes in. This play was awarded the Playwright's Encouragement Award for great characterisation and a gripping drama, and to encourage William to make use of his spare three minutes!

Next up was Mark Konik's zany comedy Love In Berlin, featuring Georgie Edwards as Sophie and Damian Hannan as Vlad. Mark's script, direction and great cast helped earn this play Third Place in the Popular Vote, just missing out on the money. He also wins the August Geburtstag In Dem Lustighaus Award.

Wrapping up the first act was Colleen Henry's The News Of The World, excellently directed by Felix Carlyle and performed by Michael McCrann, Dudy Jap, Alison Hodge and Prudence Vindin as the subjects of the news, with Jennifer faletto and Bianka Demets as the newsreaders. A very fast and entertaining piece with good performances all around.

After the interval we had Steve McGrath's Suits With Wings, directed by Kingsley with Pat Brennan as Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Grman as Heath Ledger. Pat was awarded Best Actor and Steve was the winner - once again - of the Popular Vote. We'll be seeing Suits With Wings again in the finals on December 13th.

Sixth for the night was TOAST's Coleslaw, Bacon and Crisps, directed by Nir Shelter and featuring Sandy Velini and Frank Davidson as the sandwich aficionados. This play cleaned up, with prizes for Best Director, Best Actress, Judges' Choice and Popular Vote Runner Up. We'll be seeing it in the finals alongside Suits With Wings.

Second last was Ruth Fingrett's You Used to Call Me Pattycakes. A Farce? directed by Uma Kali Shakti and featuring Maggy Franklin as the cleaner, Lynden Jones as the pantless PI, Jeffrey Feng as the pantless church-urinator, and Steve McGrath as Father Doogan. Ruth's play bounced from comedy to drama and had the audience in stitches then in silence.

Finally, we had Crash Test Drama Sydney founder and host Alex Broun's Five Houses For Harriette, a very interesting play about a woman's life story told in relation to the houses she inhabits. Katy Avery, Ro Dempsey, Alana Wesley and Pauline Trenerry all played Harriette at different ages, with Bri Clark as Davina and Jim Gosden playing all the male roles. Unfortunately, Alex's play busted the time limit and was penalised 10 votes and excluded from consideration for the Judges' Choice.

The Results
Jackie and Gerry Greenland were kind enough, once again, to offer up their services as judges.

Popular Vote First Place: Suits With Wings
Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by Steve McGrath

Popular Vote Runner Up: Coleslaw, Bacon and Crisps

Judges' Choice: Coleslaw, Bacon and Crisps
Wins a place in the Crash Test finals on 13th December 2010
Written by TOAST

Best Actress: Sandy Velini
Best Actress Runner Up: Clare Martin
Best Actor: Pat Brennan
Best Actor Runner Up: Richard Adams

Best Director:
Nir Shelter

Playwright's Encouragement Award: William Russell for Stranded

Thank you to all our wonderful actors, writers and directors for once again offering up their time and talents to make Crash Test Drama happen.

Next show: 1st November.

Hope to see you there.

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