October 29 2012

Our biggest cast ever at crash test drama with 38 roles being cast. This time everyone who turned up got a role.

Our first play of the evening was Pat Brennan's comedy "George Clooney made me do it" and directed by Dave Farland. Gordon Williams played Fr Poorley a priest dealing with the confessions of other while dealing with his own curse of being a clone of George Clooney. Supporting him in his mission was Annie Thompson as Mrs Luther, with sinners Alex Broun as a very young boy called Mack, Nadia Keenan as the enticing Ruby and Frank Davidson as Moses with Les Davidson as the very helpful altar boy Shane.

Second up was the very touching "My Family" written by Sam Helps who won the Playwright’s Encouragement Award. Wonderfully directed by Greg Eccleston who also played Steven the husband of Sarah performed by Lynn Turnbull Rose with Alice Furze and Caitlyn Burley as their children. A play which dealt with the conflict of being caught between supporting and fighting for freedom in two very different worlds all within one family.

Third was "While you were sleeping" written by Alex Broun and directed by Kingsley. While you were sleeping picked up both the Judge's first choice and the audience's Popular Vote. A stellar performance by Best Actress runner up Amanda Porter shows that sleep drunk texting don't go together and lend the way for Brett Garland, Kate Coates and Debbie Tilley to interpret their messages in the only way possible, the way they were sent.

Fourth up was Arvind Skukla's "Enjoying to the Max" directed by Aish Nidhi. Strong performances by Lisa Hansens who played the daughter and neighbour of David performed by Garreth Cruikshank, with Sheila Fielding as his wife. Penelope Grace also doubled up in roles for the night and went from crazy friend to solicitor.

Last up before interval was "A Surprise Surprise" written by Elizabeth Ban and directed by Uma Kali Shakti. Where do you draw the line on prejudice? Well Ange played by Veronica Carvajal and Claire played by Deborah Graham weren't sure when meeting a young man working in a shoe store performed by Benjamin Kuryo until they met his mother performed by Joan Rodd and got the full story.

First up after interval was David Bofinger's "Fear" which was directed by Jacque Vickers whom will now take another play as director into the final in December. Fear was what hitchhiker Jim Gosden certainly felt after he hitched a ride with driver Brooke Doherty and listened to her explain why she picks up men in need of a ride. Both Brooke and Jim picked up Best Actress and Best Actor prizes on the night with "Fear" coming in second with the audience Popular Vote and Judges pick and now goes into the finals in December.

Next up was "Scabbard" written by Melissa Dax and directed by Best Director winner Nir Shelter. Juliette and David performed by Billie-Rose Crane and Michael Walker who won Best Actor runner-up came crashing into each other while driving to the shop. Special magical power was used and two very helpful constable played by Erin Harvey and Graham Yates tried their best to defuse the situation before David lost his mind.

Third up after interval was Fiona Hamer's "Trespassing" directed by Matt Thomson. Jake played by Gabriel McCarthy and Shauna played by Isaro Kayitesi were in love and had a child on the way. After losing a cat neither wanted to talk to the other at the time. And with missed calls and lack of communication love was lost. Jake's efforts to win his love back were fought with heartache and pain as both came to terms with what they had both lost.

Last up for the evening was "An Author in Search of a Climax" written by Frank Davidson and directed by Tunde Bodnar. When the author played by Bryan McMahon is shot and the cast of actors played by Jen Jackson, Patrick Matijevic, Kunal Sharma and Chelisse Marmont turn the blame on each other, it's not what the author had planned but with a quick spin it plays out just the way the writer had hoped for.

A special thank you to Nir Shelter and Greg Eccleston for stepping in at the last minute (and the very last minute) and directing. You guys are brilliant and don't you forget it!


Judges Gerry and Jackie Greenland once again offered their expertise as judges, taking on the difficult job of picking the winners.

Best Actor: Jim Gosden

Best Actress: Brooke Doherty

Best Actor Runner Up: Michael Walker

Best Actress Runner Up: Amanda Porter

Best Director: Nir Shelter

Best Play: "While You Were Sleeping"

Best Play Runner Up: "Fear"

Popular Vote Winner: "While You Were Sleeping"

Popular Vote Runner Up: "Fear"

Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Sam Helps for "My Family"

"Fear" and "While You Were Sleeping" go through to the December Finals. Congratulations to all of the artists involved, especially those contributing to Crash Test for the first time ever. Next round: Nov 12th.

The team from "My Family"