Short+Sweet Sydney is here

Short+Sweet Sydney kicks off its record-breaking seventh festival next week with the first eleven tasty theatrical treats of the season.

Newtown Theatre plays host to the first of around 140 ten minute plays chosen from more than 1500 international entries. The Seymour Centre joins the following week with its own parallel program.

Plays were submitted this year from as far afield as Finland, Singapore and Ireland as well as from all over Australia from Geraldton to the ‘Gong and south to Tasmania. The best of these are brought to life by more than 500 directors, actors and technicians in the biggest showcase of independent theatre talent in the world.

There were colourful scenes at the red-themed festival launch on Tuesday night where festival director Vanessa Badham promised the best Short+Sweet ever.

“The response has been utterly unprecedented,” she said.  “The quality and range of the entries that we’ve received have really blown us away.”

Short+Sweet founder Mark Cleary added: “Short+Sweet is making a real impact in the theatre world, not just in New South Wales or Australia, but globally.”

There's a charged selection of political plays this year - many plays about the War on Terror and the occupation of Iraq. There are also spoofs of Australian bush ballads, noir send-ups, risque comedies and a zoological smorgasbord of meerkats, bears, squid, dolphins, dragons, swinging ape-men and even a giant chicken. There are plays about Bob Dylan, Rene Descartes, Eva Braun, Juanita Neilson and Rachel Corrie. There are funny plays, sad plays, plays about sex including a most unusual use for balloons. There are plays about the nature of plays themselves, even plays without characters! 

Short+Sweet presents five weekly programs (with 10 short plays each night) from January 16 at the Newtown Theatre, and four parallel programs running at Seymour Centre Downstairs from 22 January 2008. Ninety (90) plays make up the main program, with the judges’ choice from each of the weeks progressing to the Gala Finals at the Seymour Centre’s Everest Theatre on February 22 and 23.

A series of one-off “Wildcard” performances of another 40 shows will also play 10 at a time on Saturdays at 3pm, with the winner also progressing to the Gala Final.

For more information including the full program and bookings, visit www.shortandsweet.org

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