Wednesday, 23 November 2005

Short & Sweet: 10 Minute Play Festival, 2005, Nov 23, 2005

Short & Sweet: 10 Minute Play Festival
 Black Box, Arts Centre
Wed to Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm  December 10, 2005
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

There is prize money to be made from writing a 10-minute play. The Short & Sweet runs over three weeks with 10 plays featured each week in the main season and another 30 in the Wild Card section on Saturdays.

The ten plays in the Week One program were a mixed bag of lollies. Writing, acting and direction was uneven but there were one or two highlights.

The abstract piece, A Black Cat Kind of Day, (Meg Courtney) has a strong performance from Kelly Trounson as a dead girl who has a fatal asthma attack on the doorstep of a man who slept through her pounding on his door.

The Great Curran is swift and funny political sketch by Neil Cole, an ex-Labour Pollie. Curran uses his colourful personality and language to convince the Arbitration Commissioner (Greg Parker) that a meat worker should not be sacked for swearing at his boss.

Emilie Collyer’s Boxed is the most successful dramatic piece. While an old man listens to the footy, his dead wife’s aged voice is heard but a skilful dancer. (Mia Hollingworth) depicts her youthful self.

Too Dark A Pink (Julian Hobba) is a weak script based on a good comic premise. Dean tells his conservative parents that he is a Socialist and his mother is so horrified, she would prefer he was homosexual.

Cross Purposes (Danielle Elisha) explores Martin Bryant before the Port Arthur massacre. His unfolding obsession with a woman from his childhood is interesting but the writing and collision of the characters’ worlds is clumsy.

The Natashas (Tee O’Neill) is a rather peculiar piece that was part of the Theatre@Risk Wall Project. In a fictional country, a woman discovers that her fiancĂ© is a violent abuser.

Xylophone (Simone Howell) sees plump 70s teenager, Clare obsessing over the anorexic Karen Carpenter during the forty-hour famine.

Mister Subordinate (Samantha Hill) has awkward acting but the idea of a wife being a husband’s boss and firing him raises issues.

Winter Solstice (Susie Alison) does not quite penetrate our factory workers’ plight but tries to reveal something of our Industrial relations laws.

Yoga junkies take a beating in Our Last Time Together, (Fiona Clarke) a parody of yoga class participants.

So start musing on your play idea now. The festival runs at the Arts Centre for three years.

By Kate Herbert

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