Described as the largest ten minute theatre festival in the world, Short + Sweet Theatre is a mixed bag of nearly 50 short plays happening over three weeks.
Running internationally, the local leg of this festival kicked off on Tuesday night at Auckland’s Herald Theatre. The festival runs until 17 October.
Since it’s inception in Australia this festival has spread to become worldwide. There are plays from across the Tasman, Canada, the US and New Zealand In this year’s Auckland programme.
Each night is a variety showcase of 10 plays by both international and local playwrights, each no longer than 10 minutes. Designed to set your emotional seesaw swinging, the result is high impact.
In the style of popular TV talent shows, the audience decides which play is their festival favourite and who will make it to the Gala Final.
Stiff Justice , by New Zealand playwright Karrie Ann Spicer, opens the show and is mentionable for its clever plot twist. The Australian play, Wisdom of Solomon, pulls off a ridiculous nod to medieval pompousness while Amelia Reynolds,who moonlights across two plays, delivers a powerhouse performance in both ‘Do Not Pull’ and the edgy waiting room drama, ‘Nine Types of Ice’.
Nic Sampson’s ‘The Light House Keeper’ comes out a cut above the rest and earns my vote. This uproariously funny play follows the unlikely tale of an authentically chummy yet clingy robot desperate to become pals with his predecessor.
The talent is pegged as ‘emerging’ so you do get a variety of abilities, but it is the festival’s skill of unveiling surprisingly fresh talent which makes the festivals format a winner.
The brilliance is all in the pace. If a play pops up that doesn’t grab you it will be over in a bearable eight minutes, whilst other plays will leave you wanting more.
Short + Sweet Theatre is a real win-win situation for the patience impaired, or theatre new comers.