Week 1 of Short+Sweet’s 11th season begins 4 January at King Street Theatre with 10 tasty treats of short theatre… and something for everyone.

Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2012 will present 180 works from January to March – starting at the King Street Theatre (formerly Newtown Theatre) on 4 January. The festival, which features independent judges as well as audience voting, climaxes at the Gala Finals on 30 and 31 March.

Short+Sweet began life at the Newtown Theatre in 2002 and has expanded nationally to Melbourne, the Central Coast, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Rockhampton; as well as internationally to Auckland, Malaysia, Singapore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. The Short+Sweet family includes dance, cabaret, musical, youth and touring versions. It is, quite simply, conquering the world… ten minutes at a time. In its ten year history Short+Sweet Sydney has presented more than 2000 of the best ten minute plays from writers all over the world, with more than half of those coming from Australian writers. 3500 actors and 1500 directors have taken part with hundreds more staff, volunteers and crew members. This year 145 of the 180 chosen plays are original Australian works.

Week One highlights running Wed to Sun include Ill Met by Moonlight by Jodi McAlister and directed by Luke Berman; Baccalaureate Mnuemonic by Frank Leggett with Helen Perris directing; and The V-Word written and directed by David Bulmer;  the latter two both recent winners of Best Play awards at the festival. Well-known Australian playwright Ron Elisha’s Crime Scene will also feature in the opening week, directed by Central Coast theatre luminary Rose Cooper.



Ron Elisha’s Crime Scene stars Central Coast actors Damian Fitzpatrick and Daniella Hoffman. “Norman is excited about his first day in a brand new job – he wants to make a good impression. The trouble is, his wife doesn’t ‘do’ impressions…”  Ron Elisha (Two, Einstein, In Duty Bound, The Goldberg Variations)  is one of Australia’s best known playwrights (and children’s authors) with hundreds of productions of his plays to his name in Australia and internationally. Director Rose Cooper is a veteran of Short+Sweet – mostly as writer or actor. This is her first year directing another playwright’s work.

Train Reaction by Queensland writer Danelle Dobinson sees three strangers brought together by tragic chance. “A young man with all the time in the world; a woman saving others every day who can’t save herself; and a man on the cusp of living the dream…All it took was one train and one wrong turn.” Karen Bayly directs Jade Yeong, Rhys McMahon and Darren Pinks – who was born at Stratford-upon-Avon!

Baccalaureate Mnemonic by Frank Leggett (whose play Mr and Mrs Metcalfe Enjoy the Music of Elton John won Best Play Short+Sweet in 2010) brings together Deb and Michael at their 15-year school reunion. “They rekindle a spark from their unrequited romance… but there’s something that stands in their way…”  Helen Perris directs Clare Martin and Daniel Placido.

In the Wildcard section, Anika Herbert’s The Black Velvet Glove is a farce with plenty of hilarious twists. “When a writer is confronted in his apartment by the rogue characters he has created, his story is challenged by the suave hero and his sexy femme fatale partner-in-crime. How will he save himself?”
Directed by Lyndall Johnston with Sebastian Wang, Rachel Oliver, Nathan Bowen and Lauren Crowe.
Give a Girl a Hand by Victorian Cielle Lee is relationship play with a theme of self-mutilation. Directed  by Hazel Savolainen, it stars Natarsha Wrensted, Pash Julian, Stefanie Funnel and Tamsin Rennie.

The full week one program is on the following page and the season’s complete schedule of works for Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2012 and online booking is available at  www.shortandsweet.org/sydney

Week Two – Jane Austen, Blues and Black Bengali Satire!

Week 2 of Short+Sweet’s 11th season begins 11 January at King Street Theatre with 10 tasty treats of funny, sexy and shocking short theatre…

Week 2 highlights running Wed to Sun include an extraordinary Bengali play adapted for Australian audiences and performed by Bengali-Australian cast and crew.

An Unreal Story by Bimal Banrejee and translated, adapted and directed by Asim Das is a satirical story of a man’s hanging after being convicted of killing his wife. After the first attempt to execute him fails – causing only amnesia in the poor chap – police re-enact the alleged crime in an attempt to jog his memory. Slowly it appears the case is not so clear-cut after all! The piece is presented by Natguru – an informal group of Bengali-speaking performers living in Sydney and features Sam Trivedi, Rana Banerjee, Amitav Goswami, Deb Bhakta & Saikat Das with set, makeup and original music by Jeet.  Something special in the Wildcard section!

One Day in the Life of Keef: The Human Riff by Benito di Fonzo (“The Chronic Ills of Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan” and “Lenny Bruce: 13 Daze un-Dug in Sydney 1962” at Darlinghurst 2012) is his ‘theatrical talking blues surrealisation’ and tribute to larger than life rock legend, the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards. Directed by Alana Hicks and starring David Attrill as ‘Keef’. “Mick was a thick git with a miniscule prick but elephantitis of the bollocks wot gave ‘im a unique dancing style that strangely endeared me to him.”

One of Sydney’s most prolific playwrights, Deborah Mulhall’s Jane Austen Made Me Do It stars Olivia Gailiunas and Vincent Andriano and poses the question “What’s a guy to do when the girl he fancies can only think of Jane Austen’s heroes?”

Jackie Greenland’s The Actor, directed by husband Gerry, features fellow Short+Sweet veteran Valentino Arico in a tour-de-force performance as an actor preparing backstage. “Nerves kick in. Will there be an audience?”

The Interview, by Melbourne’s Andrew O’Keefe, writer of Uncomfortable Silences which won best play at Short+Sweet Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland (and which still holds the all-time record for highest ever audience vote) is powerful mystery play. 60-year-old Tom is interviewing his 80-year-old father Jack. Is it just for the benefit of his grandkids? Or is there a hidden agenda? Directed by Markus Weber and starring Keith McIlroy and Marty O’Neil.

Six Naked Girls at a Nudist Beach is a hilariously titled burlesque with a difference by Robert Sharpe, set at Coogee Beach in the 1960s and inspired by last year’s Sydney heatwave. Directed by Lucy Shepherd, it features Hayley Kerrigan, Gretchen Mach and 16-year-old schoolgirl actress Jessica Heath “jiggling and shaking their way through the hottest summer on record”. Plus Sean Brandtman and the playwright himself!

The Cause features Neel Kolhatkar and Jacob Boylan, young writer/director/actor duo, NSW school Theatresports winners and winners of Fast+Fresh youth theatre festival in 2010. A satire on the Cronulla riots.

In the Wildcard section (Sat 3pm and Sun 1pm), Fleur Kilpatrick’s Thief, directed by Bridget Wood, stars Marissa Wynne and Bryce Roberts as two estranged siblings meeting in an alley outside their father’s engagement party…  Tommy’s Last Call by Michael Stang (USA) and directed by Marjorie Licett, stars William Maher as a passenger on a plane about to crash, making a last call to his wife (Fleur Evans). And Phillip Gallop stars with David B Fowler in his own “The Unspeakable Thing that Happened to the Monkey on the Spaceship. Directed by Brett Jeffers. “In Space, no one can hear a monkey scream…”

The full week one program is on the following page and the season’s complete schedule of works for Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2012 and online booking is available at  www.shortandsweet.org/sydney