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short and sweet week 7

Thank goodness that the short play ‘Level 2’ was performed before interval on Friday night! I was ready to leave the theatre after the first four plays, and then this brilliant piece, written by Mike McRae, blew my mind! This play is refreshingly original! It was directed with finesse by James Hartley, and performed by a talented team of actors who worked as a tight ensemble.

The premise is compelling! We, the audience members were the PROJECT, and three actors formed the panel which had the job of deciding whether or not “the meat” (US!) should be granted Level 2 status – ie the capacity to be sentient beings! The character making the petition to the panel was the “god” who had created us! The interaction between the creator and the panel was hilarious!

When the panel members first arrived they looked at the audience with bemusement, registering our unpleasant smell!

The creator described us as being composed of meat and calcium sticks, with built-in religion.

Why?

It seemed like a good idea at the time!

The creator, working hard to make his case for advancement to Level 2, described our creation of the world-wide web:

They seem to spend a lot of time trying to stop others from having sex, then all go and look at it on the internet, and they look at cats.

They look at cats having sex?

No – it seems not!

What is a cat?

I can’t possibly recreate the hilarity of this play in this review; you will just have to see it at the Grand Final on 23/3/2014 at the Seymour Centre. I will be very surprised if it is not selected!

MISS PIGGLETON’S EARACHE was also an original, entertaining play, with a rather bizarre storyline! An astronaut battles with the idea that the relationship he has developed with the pig accompanying him on his trip into outer space may have dramatic implications for life on earth as we know it. Phillip Gallop, the writer, director and astronaut achieved effective suspension of disbelief from this reviewer, as I willingly entered into the world he had created. Roslyn Hicks, as the pig, was very cute in her pink leotard and pig nose, and also totally compelling! This was lots of fun!

A FOREIGN LAND, which explored the maltreatment of female convicts on Van Diemen’s Land in the 19th century, was also very compelling. The play followed the story of two female convicts, played by Eloise Westwood & Kirsty McNee, and their brutal guard played by Sam Westley. The play showed that women were transported for a variety of crimes, and that their punishments were cruel and excessive. The effective use of minimal props was very impressive, in the style of Theatre of the Poor; there was no attempt at realism and this ensured a very effective communication of the horror of these scenes. This was a very powerful performance!

The Short & Sweet Theatre Festival runs until 3/3/2014, with the Finals taking place on Friday 21/3/2014 at the Seymour Centre.

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