Brendan Kelly and Jess Waterhouse
Short+Sweet Canberra 2015 wrapped up on Saturday 15 August with the Gala Final at the Courtyard Studio Theatre. I am delighted that The Truth About Mum and Dad picked up a few gongs: People’s Choice and Best Script.
My cast were also among the winners! Brendan Kelly took out best male actor for his portrayal of Jason, and Jess Waterhouse was nominated for best female actor for playing Mel. Brendan and Jess nailed their performances and took my script to a whole other level. Congrats and gratitude to both.
Truth be told, I am humbled the play took out the awards it did. There were a bunch of fantastic plays on offer that could have scooped the awards pool.
Alison McGregor’s Beautiful, featuring her beloved burlesque character Sparkles, was a shining light throughout the festival – funny, clever, poetic, and theatrical in every sense of the word.
Ruth Pieloor’s Baby Blues, featuring a hilarious puppet baby, wonderfully exposed the (often self-inflicted) neuroses of a new parent. As a new father, this one struck a few chords for me!
Pete Malicki and Alex Broun, veterans of the 10-minute-play format, also put up some great work. Malicki’s The Long Game was tightly written and superbly performed by Sydney-based actor, Yannick Lawry. Broun’s Grace was spectacularly staged and moving. When these guys put up work, you’re rarely disappointed.
My favourite play at the Gala however was Kirsty Budding’s Sluts and Stars. Budding is a driven and talented local playwright and theatre-maker. Her work with younger performers is especially outstanding. Sluts and Stars was another great example of her ability to crack open the mind of a modern teenager in a way that is enlightening, empathetic, and not afraid to ask the important questions.
The end of Short+Sweet Canberra 2015 also marks the end of Kate Gaul’s oversight of the event. After three years as festival director, Kate will be handing the reigns over to local theatre-man Trevar Alan Chilver. No doubt Trevar will bring Short+Sweet back bigger than ever in 2016.
Congrats to everyone involved in this year’s festival. A lot of fun was had by all.