The fun starts before you even enter the theatre. When you pick up your ticket and program for Short + Sweet (the biggest little theatre festival in the world). Your ticket is your voting form and after watching 10 x 10 minute plays - you, the audience get to vote on the winner! I love to have my say, don't you?
Short + Sweet captivates with these amazingly interesting snippets of original work.
But it's not just the audience that get to have their say. There are also a industry judges and in 2020 these include actors Amanda Muggleton, Tony Bonner, Peter Mochrie, Peter Kowitz, Danny Adcock and casting agents Faith Martin & Jo Briant.
Week 1 declared the same vignette Rentals both the winner by the Peoples Choice and Judges. This audience judge (considering all script, staging and acting) feels confident in her review abilities by picking the same top four as the Judges and Peoples Choice. Although it's personal, and weighted perhaps by topic. My top pick Into The Windcame in 3rd (by the Judges only).
Highlights of the Week 2 line-up (which opened Thursday 20 February) included Jeremy Godwin’s extraordinary one-hander and Buddhist allegory, Bodhirattva. Godwin - a NIDA graduate, veteran school drama master and ordained monk - plays a rat – traumatised by his brother’s death and racked with guilt over-eating the cheese he left behind. Now he must face The Great Evil… and the cheese!
Festival director Sarah Purdue said this year’s offerings were unique, diverse and ground-breaking.
“For the first time, we have a play – Silent Agreement by Davo Hardy – entirely in Auslan (sign-language).
Playwrights – even visiting directors are coming from all over Greater Sydney… and beyond to Adelaide and even Los Angeles.
Our actors hail from India, Spain, France, London and Malta. And many have won international awards for their work.”
What I loved most from our 13 February opening night invitation was the diversity of performances, as well as the fostering of local playwrights and local acting and directing talent. The added bonus is the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills is rolling distance to anywhere in Sydney. Central Station is just a few metres away.
Short+Sweet Theatre at the Tom Mann Theatre, 136 Chalmers St, Surry Hills runs through to April 26 (Thurs-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 1pm and 6.00pm).