Short + Sweet Festival Week 3

Never a disappointment, the Short + Sweet Theatre festival brings together a further ten plays with rich plot twists in its third and final week before the Gala Final.

This week’s programme showcases a particularly vast variety of themes within some occasionally off the wall contexts.

On the Shelf by Australian playwright Michelle Wallace, takes a look into the complex private life of a bunch of personified vegetables. Within the unusual setting of a supermarket Wallace explores with comic dexterity themes of passion, disillusionment and ostracism. The vegetables costumes are cleverly sensationalised and one in particular, sharpens the edge of this humorous tale.

Conversely, Sauna follows four women in the more predictable background of a sauna who quickly find themselves in a capricious predicament. The remarkably comic actress Kura Forrester steams the performance along, at one point she charmingly exclaims “Man! Emergencies make me excited”. Forrester also hits the mark in the highly observational play Speed Dating.

This week’s lone musical number Starving, Carving, Darling takes a stab at cosmetic perfection, a somewhat over worn theme. Although it perseveres by its excellent song lyrics and delivery, its costumes are over the top, the overall act comes across as ‘blockbuster’ and the result is superficial. Stage Fright is light hearted and interactive yet also misses the mark as it lacks pace.

Jess Holly Bates delivers an exceptionally energetic performance in Spit for Tat, whereas Bruce Hopkins and Kelson Henderson consecutively produce a remarkably sensitive tension during their ‘split’ monologues in Mothers Milk.

Most quirky amongst this top 30 line-up is Youandamoebaby, which documents a pivotal moment in the history of procreation. Surprisingly, this wild storey between amoebas is pitch-perfect and delivers a credible love storey regardless of its unlikely context.

All and all this year’s Short + Sweet Theatre top 30 has housed an exciting and competitive arrangement of plays showcasing both emerging and proven talent. This Sunday, the line up will be cut down to its essentials in the competitive and unmissable Gala Final.

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