Friday, 30 November 2012

Short & Sweet, Nov 23, 2012 ***1/2

Short & Sweet Theatre
Chapel off Chapel, until Dec 9, 2012
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: ***1/2
This review is of Week 1 Theatre only.
Review published in Herald Sun on Tues Dec 4, 2012

One great advantage of seeing Short and Sweet Theatre, a festival of ten-minute plays, is that if you don’t like one of the plays, there’ll be another drama or comedy starting in ten minutes.

Fortunately, this first week of the Top 30 boasts a thoroughly enjoyable and diverse program of nine short scripts, all of which are well structured with simple narratives, clear dramatic development, quirky characters and interesting concepts.

In some of the productions, the acting or direction is uneven and the characters and dialogue are less fully developed, making some pieces more successful than others.

The highlight is In the Parlour (Jenny Lovell, Anna Renzenbrink), a fully improvised, genuinely hilarious piece featuring two 19th century women obsessing over the minutiae of their sheltered lives in the parlour.

Dan Habberfield’s Long Way Down features some tight dialogue between a suicidal drunk (Habberfield) and his bolshy guardian angel (Don Bridges).

Another successful piece is 50 Guns by Alex Broun, in which a girl (Hayman Kent) recites a shocking litany of gun crime statistics and victims, until finally she reveals her own childhood involvement in an accidental shooting.

Other pieces include Ringwood (Matt O’Reilly) in which three people are trapped on the platform at Ringwood station, and Encounter (Renee Boyer-Willisson) about having one’s personal space invaded on a park bench.

Using a camp, Oscar Wilde style, How About Cannons? (David Vazdauskas) playfully suggests that Tchaikovsky’s inventive brother was responsible for the 1812 Overture, while A Different Client (Josh Hartwell) is an unusual drama about a man who calls a rent boy for his dying, gay son.

The Gospel According to Bowser (Dan Borengasser) uses domestic pets as an allegory for human bigotry, and Jilted (Kerrie Spicer) sees a bridegroom handcuffed to a park bench after his stag party.

Week One may be finished, but there is plenty more to entertain in Short and Sweet Theatre, Cabaret and Dance until December 9.

By Kate Herbert


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