To this critic, as to many Short+Sweet patrons, this programme of two peformances of 12 plays over the weekend of the 20 and 21 March was the most keenly anticipated of the programme. Why? Because it featured WAAPA students who have just commenced their one year Diploma of Acting course. What burgeoning talent could be exposed here? Could the audience be the first to see, and quite possibly brag about these luminaries in the future?
The programme held twelve 10 minute works, the first six directed by Dr Gabrielle Metcalfe and the second six directed by Tom Heath, both faculty members at WAAPA.
As with my past review I am not permitted to reveal personal favourites for this programme as the final judgements rely upon not only choices of the invited judges but, as always, the votes cast by entire audiences of all heats. I will limit my remarks to the standard of writing, direction and performance.
As expected the themes were a totally mixed bag: incisive social comment, wry humour, personal angst, and disillusionment amongst them. In my opinion there were three absolutely outstanding productions, a number of worthy works and few that featured disappointing writing, distracting staging and most frustratingly poor vocal projection. Surely that is one of a director's most basic of demands and instructions, though as noted above these performers have only just commenced their journey of instruction at WAAPA.
The writing was again of diverse quality but mainly very strong. A fascinating array of ideas and issues passionately explored. Some broad-ranging such as global warming, animal rights and conservation of species to more human topics such as a love triangle, domestic violence and parental obsession.
It will be fascinating to view the final programme as selected by judges (from the local Arts Industry) as well as audience members. These shows will run from 8-10 April with the final announcements of Best Production, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Male and Female Actors as chosen by the Judges. Excitingly, then the overall People's Choice will be announced at the finish of the performance on the night of the 10th April.
Perth Theatre Trust and Short+Sweet present
Venue: Subiaco Arts Centre | 180 Hamersley Rd, Subiaco, Perth WA
Dates: 10 March – 10 April 2021
Bookings: 6212 9292 | shortandsweet.org/festivals/shortsweet-perth
SPECIAL NOTICE REMINDER*
Season 3: Short+Sweet Perth – Wed 24 – Sat 27 March @ 7.30pm