Essendon Theatre Company had a wonderful one act play season last year; they won Best Director and Best Ensemble at Mount Players, Macedon and Best Director and Best Ensemble at the Maroondah-Rose Street one act play festivals for their production Things Are Not What They Seem.   
To follow up, Essendon Theatre Company has four more one-act plays to tantalise your theatrical taste buds in their premiere production A Fly On The Wall
 “The title A Fly On The Wall was inspired by the idea that everyone lives interesting and fascinating lives.  We feel that this season of short plays will hopefully give the audience the feeling that they are peering into the lives of the characters and sharing moments of time with them”, says director Tess Maurici Ryan. 
Tess has had a wonderful time collaborating on this project with fellow director Natasha Boyd (director of last year’s Things Are Not What They Seem).  Natasha shares her sentiments, “Last year’s one act plays were a huge success, so we wanted to follow up with some equally inviting plays again this year. Tess and I had worked together last year and thought it would be good to collaborate in this way.” 
The selection of plays was a long and thoughtful process and they are both pleased with the finished product, “We aimed to select a variety of plays that covered a range of themes and I feel we achieved that. We also aimed to select plays in which an ensemble cast could interchange amongst the roles, thus offering them (and us) with an artistic challenge.”
One of the plays featured, Racquet, was penned by Jason Silverii and Natasha Boyd herself.  Natasha has co-written a couple of full length plays and musicals which have been performed at high schools but this is the first one for an outside amateur theatre group like Essendon Theatre Company.
 “We started back mid way through last year and the original focus was on the media and people’s obsession with fame, twitter and the like, looking at celebs like Paris, Britney and Lindsay. The scenes were individually good, but had no overriding arc or empathy. When the Tiger Woods scandal broke out it pushed us in another direction. What seemed to become more important wasn’t really the couple in question but all the players and things being reported around the scandal. That’s the focus of our piece – a focus on the sports manager, the journalist, the DJs, the mistress. I think rehearsals have been going well and Jason has attended a couple as well. Seeing our words come to life on stage is weird but gratifying because we think it flows well and the message gets across well. We have been really blessed with the high calibre of actors. Hopefully the audience thinks so too when they see it!” 
The other three playwrights, Joanna Norland, John Morgan and Alex Broun, are not personally connected to Essendon Theatre Company.  However Alex Broun (a Sydney playwright who began the Short & Sweet festivals and wrote the one act play 10,000 Cigarettes which featured in last year’s season) returns with his new playSelling Johnny Depp.  
A Fly On The Wall, with a cast of 13 is truly an ensemble piece and what they have enjoyed most about this process is ‘seeing each show come to life’.  As Tess elaborates, “I know that sounds cliché, but, for example, one of the plays, Mother’s Have Nine Lives was originally written for a cast of 12 women. However, with workshop, discussion, direction and also the talent of a great cast, we’ve managed to create an exciting piece that works with a small ensemble of 7.  It’s been exciting to be able to pick up a script and interpret it in a way so very different to the ‘obvious outcome’. 
So, finally when asked what is the one act play secret to success, Natasha Boyd had these words of wisdom, 
“Casting well, having a fun journey, exploring characters, being creative with presentation and most of all practice, practice, practice. Amateur theatre needs to still be polished and well rehearsed, it needs to allow for actor’s talents to shine through and the audience to leave thinking about what they’ve seen and being impressed. I think we got that balance right last year at the performance at Essendon Theatre Company as each of the four one act plays were all strong- there was no weak link. Then at the festivals the ones we took there were individually strong and captivating enough to stand out. Hopefully, this will happen on both respects this year.” 
A Fly on the Wall (4 one act plays)
Directed by Natasha Boyd and Tess Maurici Ryan  
The four one act plays are as follows: 
Racquet by Jason Silverii and Natasha Boyd
A celebrity couple has their disintegrating relationship turned into a public circus. As the fate of their relationship hangs in the balance, interested parties decide to have their say. The manager wants them to stay together, the mistress wants them to split, while the media is happy for the uncertainty to continue.   
Selling Johnny Depp by Alex Broun
When Celia finds some merchandise left behind by a world famous actor in the hotel where she cleans, her boyfriend Aaron brings in a dealer called Memos who specialises in celebrity mementos. Once Memos has the authentication he needs, he’s ready for some haggling – and a little bit of show-and-tell.
 Mothers Have 9 Lives by Joanna Norland
Kim needs a double stroller for her twin daughter. Now. Marge jet-sets from the boardroom to the nursery, and back. Double time. And Kim will convince the powers-that-be that her daughter deserves a place in the gifted students class. Fasten your seatbelts for a 45-minute whistle stop tour of the highs and lows of modern motherhood. Nine mothers, nine monologues, and nine stories, interlinked by the games of three girls who know one thing for sure: Being the mommy is the best part.
 Kids by John Morgan  
Exploits of 5 children (adult actors) in a playground who make wry observations on the follies of adulthood and the need to bring about change. Through a hierarchy of blackmail they achieve impossible tasks and their dreamy aspirations are genuine.  
Cast in no particular order:
Susannah Frith, Michael Fennemore-Cocks, Xavier Ryan, Jessica Window, Abbi Berecz, Bobbie Tyburski, Rachael Holt, Dawn Hinrichson, Rosalin Shafik-Eid, Vivian Ghebrial, Claire Watt, Thomas Kay and Sila Simsek  
Essendon Theatre Company
Bradshaw Street Community Hall
Bradshaw Street (off Buckley Street)
West Essendon 
Melways Reference 28 B3 
June 17th, 18th, 19th @ 8:00pm
June 20th Sunday Matinee @ 2:00pm
June 24th, 25th, 26th @ 8:00pm  
Theatre Restaurant Style: BYO food and drinks…7:30pm sit down for an 8:00pm start 
All Evening Performances $15 per ticket
All Matinee Performances $12.00 per ticket  
Please note table position bookings will be surrendered if you are later than 15 minutes to curtain up time. 
Contact Eileen on 9330 4808 or email [email protected] 
More information about Essendon Theatre Company can be found here:
Like last year Essendon Theatre Company will be attending a number of the One Act Play festivals:  
Maroondah-Rose Festival (@1812 theatre, Upper Ferntree Gully) 10-11 July  
The Mount Players (@The Mountview Theatre, Macedon) 17-18 July  
Dandenong Ranges (@ Gemco Players Community Theatre, Emerald) 17-18 July 
More information about the One Act Play Festivals for 2010 can be found here: