September 2012

Season Two of Crash Test Drama 2012 kicked off on Monday with eight great new plays. We had an excellent response from actors this month and the directors had rich pickings (though it was a shame for those who didn't get cast!).

The first show for the night was "LSD" written and directed by Bryan McMahon. It might be a case of not-what-you-think-it-is: LSD stood for Love Song Dedications. James Hartley played the downtrodden DJ, with Rosemary Ghazi winning Best Actress Runner Up for her portrayal as several psychotic character. It also starred newcomers Patch May and Ken Ward. "LSD" was unfortunately penalised for timing in at over 11 minutes and consequently came third instead of second in the Popular Vote, costing it the prize money and reminding everyone that staying under time is critical at Crash Test!

Second was "The Family Party Trick," written by Elisa Cristallo and directed by Nir Shelter. A father receives a visit from his son - from the future! A clever concept which was well performed by Bill Jordan as Jim the father and Alex Di Ferdinando as Alex the son.

Next up was "Driveway," a moving drama about a couple whose daughter was killed by their own car on their driveway, written by Dominic Witkop. Ruth Fingret directed another strong cast of Lance Rice as Dave and Kim Webster as Miriam. Unfortunately, "Driveway" timed in at over 12 minutes and was heavily penalised in the Popular Vote and made ineligible for the Judges' awards.

Our fourth play was "The Consultation" by Crash Test newcomer Graeme Cruise. This play cleaned up, winning the Popular Vote and Judges' Choice awards. It will be back again in our December Finals. Sadashivam Rao won Best Director for his work, and with an upcoming move to Germany, it was a good way to send off a Crash Test / Short+Sweet regular (bon voyage, mate!). It starred a stellar cast of Garreth Cruikshank, Susan Kennedy, Best Actress winner Jennifer Jackson and Best Actor winner Jim Gosden (welcome back, Jim!). Congratulations to the team for their success and we're looking forward to seeing it again in the Finals.

First after the interval was Vee Malnar's "Diet Dilemma," directed by Jacque Vickers. Vee continues her success with her Crash Test plays by earning her way to another Finals as Best Play Runner Up - not to mention coming second in the Popular Vote to boot. Kunal Sharma was awarded Best Actor Runner Up for his role as the starving boyfriend, with Amanda Porter as the health-obsessed, neurotic girlfriend.

Next in line was Coordinator Pete Malicki's "To Jump From A Burning Building," which Lisa Eismen directed. This grim drama about a woman trapped in a coma and wishing for release was based on concepts from the late author David Foster Wallace and it starred a cast of Belinda Anderson-Hunt, Georgie Edwards, Brett Garland, Rachel O'Reilly and Ben Kuruo.

Seventh was "Mitch 'n' PC" by another Crash Test newbie, Ingrid Yin Hu. Mitch, played by Jake Attard, is obsessed with getting past level 102 of his computer game. He'd leave home if independence was more appealing than his mum's cooking and cleaning. Adrian Bitel was director and Veronica Carvejal co-starred as the PC. Ingrid was given the Playwright's Encouragement Award for tackling a topic we don't see much of at Crash Test Drama.

Finally, to close the night, we had "The Phone Company" written and directed by James Gallaway. The Phone Company are coming, and they're not to be messed with. This comedic satire was performed by Crash Test veteran Grahama Yates, alongside Crash Test up-and-comer Billie-Rose Crane.

Thanks to the huge number of actors who turned up and helped make the start of Season Two another huge success.

The Results

Three judges pooled their expertise to come up with this month's results. Thanks to Gerry and Jackie Greenland, and Allan Walpole, for helping out.

Best Actor: Jim Gosden

Best Actress: Jennifer Jackson

Best Actor Runner Up: Kunal Sharma

Best Actress Runner Up: Rosemary Ghazi

Best Director: Sadashivam Rao

Best Play: The Consultation

Best Play Runner Up: Diet Dilemma

Popular Vote Winner: The Consultation

Playwright’s Encouragement Award: Ingrid Yin Hu for "Mitch 'n' PC"

"The Consultation" goes through to the December Finals, alongside "Diet Dilemma" as the Judges' Runner Up. Looking forward to seeing them again soon!