The Hold Up into Short+Sweet Sydney Gala Final

Super stoked that my short play The Hold Up has won the Judges Choice for Week 6 of Short+Sweet Sydney 2019. We were also co-winners for the People’s Choice vote too!

The cast of The Hold Up (Michael Ubrihien, Philip Meddows and Peter Fock)

As a result, we have been granted direct entry into the Gala Final event happening on 27 April at 7.30pm and 28 April at 6.00pm at the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills.

I’ve had a few plays in Short+Sweet Sydney before, but this is the first time I have taken a Canberra cast to the event, or taken on the role of director.

I’ve also been told that Canberra productions taking part in Short+Sweet Sydney have traditionally found it hard to win over the big city crowds, so I was more than a little nervous about how it would all turn out.

Luckily, my stellar cast of Peter Fock, Michael Ubrihien, and Philip Meddows brought the goods. They were charming, funny, and utterly unflappable in the face of a new stage, new crowd and a few minor technical difficulties along the way.

In fact, they were so good that one reviewer wrote that the play was a:

Quick-fire comedy with so many memorable and just very wrong one-liners, provided huge laughter frenzy all in under ten minutes.

Lynn Belvedere, Sydney Arts Guide

Can’t wait to take this play out for one more spin. Sydney, we’ll be back!


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Holding up Short+Sweet Sydney 2019

After taking out Best Production, People’s Choice, Best Script, and Best Actor (for Peter Fock) at Short+Sweet Canberra 2018, my short play The Hold Up has been invited to take part in Short+Sweet Sydney 2019.

Michael Ubrihien, Peter Fock and Philip Meddows rehearse The Hold Up.

I’ll be returning to the director’s chair along with original cast members Michael Ubrihien and Peter Fock.

Cameron Thomas couldn’t come back as our robber (Shakespeare was calling) but luckily the fabulously talented Philip Meddows has agreed to step into the role.

So far rehearsals have been a blast. I have no doubt these cool cats are going to light up the big city stage!

The Hold Up is in Week 6 of Short+Sweet Sydney from 14 – 17 March at the Tom Mann Theatre (Surrey Hills). Tickets are available at Ticket Tailor.

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The Disappearing Keys

And here it is (a little late, but here all the same)! My second short film, “The Disappearing Keys”, starring John Lombard and Michael Ubrihien. Camera work by Fil Meddows and Jason Macqueen. Amazingly, it was an official selection for the 2017 Canberra Short Film Festival!

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Two Minutes of Movie Magic

A couple of months back some friends and I made a silly but fun two-minute short film/skit. It’s called “The Disappearing Keys” and will be screening on Friday 15th September at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre as part of the Canberra Short Film Festival!

John Lombard as my leading man … and magician

Michael Ubrihien as the villainous thug

Jason Macqueen on the camera and me “directing” …

Big thanks to John Lombard, Michael Ubrihien, Fil Meddows, Jason Macqueen, and Uncle Pete for helping me put it together. I’m still a novice at this filmmaking stuff, but I’m having a blast learning!

Tickets for the festival are available at the Canberra Short Film Festival website.

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Waving my WAND!


So excited to be able to share WAND, my first short film (well, the first one I did more than just write …).

My friends and I shot, edited, and scored WAND in ten days for the annual Lights! Canberra! Action! film making festival earlier this month. We didn’t make the final, but had a blast putting it together.

Big thanks to the stars Helen Way, Arne Sjostedt, Rachel Hogan and Peter Fock for bringing my vision to life. Incidentally, this was Helen’s first time acting in a film, and she absolutely nailed it!

Special thanks to Philip Meddows for his awesome work behind the camera. Although he is credited as cinematographer and co-editor, he was also very much my co-director. Without his experience, technical skills, and advice, there’s no way I could have put this thing together.

Big shout out also to Simon and everybody at Beyond Q for letting us shoot in their store. It was a great location, and we’re so grateful they let us play in their space.

Overall this was a huge learning experience for me. It takes a village to make a film, even one as simple as WAND. As someone who usually writes in isolation, it was a treat to be able to collaborate and learn from such an enthusiastic, friendly, and creative crew. Can’t wait to get cracking on the next one!

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Getting festive with SANTA, BABY!

SANTA, BABY!I’m jolly excited that my new play Statistically Speaking will get a short run as part of Budding Theatre’s SANTA, BABY! short-play showcase on 16 & 17 December at the Courtyard Studio (Canberra Theatre).

Statistically Speaking rehearsal with Felicity Knott and Philip Meddows
Statistically Speaking rehearsal with Felicity Knott and Philip Meddows

Statistically Speaking tells the quirky tale of a statistician looking for love in all the probable (but not predictable) places. It features the ever-awesome Philip Meddows as Milton and the delightful Felicity Knott as Rach. Yours truly will be directing!

Following up from the success of UNWRAP ME in 2014, SANTA, BABY! will include nine short, Christmas themed plays written by Canberra playwrights and performed by local actors. The full line-up includes:

  • Mother and Child by Kate Roediger
  • Statistically Speaking by Greg Gould
  • Christmas Cheers by Frances McNair
  • Gingerbread or Smarties by Zoe Swan
  • Reindeer in Red by Kirsty Budding
  • Christmas in Yorkshire by Harriet Elvin
  • The Christmas Fairy by Adele Lewin and Nigel Palfreman
  • Xmas Is What You Make It by Bronwyn Vanzino
  • Not What You Expected by Judith Peterson

Featuring songs, angels and a visit from Santa, SANTA, BABY! is a Christmas event not to be missed. All profits go to wildlife conservation charity The Thin Green Line Foundation.

Tickets are available via Canberra Theatre.

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Double Dipping at Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

Stargazers @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016
Stargazers @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

It’s that time of the year when the action packed Short+Sweet ten-minute play festival rolls into town and sets up camp in the Courtyard Studio at the Canberra Theatre.

This year I am delighted to have two plays on the bill.

The first is The Assignment, a comedic piece about a group of uni students struggling to work together to finish off an important essay.

The second is Stargazers, a romantic comedy about two teenagers trying to unpack the meaning of life, love and the universe – a hard task made even more difficult when the eccentric Dr Ludwig enters with an earth-shattering interjection.

The Assignment @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016
The Assignment @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

The Assignment will feature Judith Peterson, Mariè Strazdins and Declan Hastings, and will be directed by the awesome Philip Meddows. It will be part of the Wildcard shows at 2:30pm and 7pm on Saturday August 13.

Stargazers will feature Jaslyn Mairs, Austen Saunders and Peter Fock, and will be directed by the ever-insightful Arne Sjostedt. It will be playing throughout Week 2 of the festival from August 16–19 at 7:30pm.

Short+Sweet Canberra runs from 9-20 of August. Thirty ten minute plays, more than half written by playwrights from Canberra and the Capital Region, will be on offer. Tickets are now on sale via Canberra Theatre.

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Last Drinks at At the Gates

At the Gates
At the Gates @ Smith’s Alternative

Fresh from a terrific run at Best of Crash Test last month, my short play Last Drinks will be doing an encore performance as part of At the Gates, a variety show taking place at Smith’s Alternative on 9 July 2016.

At the Gates will showcase a slew of Canberra talent including performance poets, theatre folk and musicians. Performers include Rob Defries, Helen Way, Phillip Meddows, Cara Irvine, John Lombard, Ghost Noises, Barbi Jones, Dylan Hekimian, The Faumuis, and Katherine Berry. The event has been organised and will be hosted by the wonderful Brendan Kelly.

Apart from being a great excuse to indulge in some creativity, At the Gates also aims to raise funds and awareness for the plight of refugees around the world. All proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International.

The show kicks off at 4pm. Entry is $10.

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Last Drinks at Best of Crash Test

Best of Crash Test @ Courtyard Studio
Best of Crash Test (25-26 June)

Super excited that my short play Last Drinks will hit the Canberra boards again as part of Best of Crash Test on 25 & 26 of June.

Last Drinks was my first Crash Test play back in 2012. Since then it has become one of my most performed pieces with almost a dozen productions throughout Australia and abroad. In 2013 it won People’s Choice at Short+Sweet Canberra and was a Gala Finalist in Short+Sweet Auckland. Recently it was part of the inaugural Shorts on Stage ten-minute play festival at Noosa Arts Theatre.

Apart from the buzz of getting to see Last Drinks live again, I’m excited that this version will feature the talents of Rob Defries and Helen Way. Rob and Helen were the first actors to take Last Drinks into the Crash Test arena, and I’ve been itching to get them back in the roles. Added to this, the awesome Phillip Meddows will be directing! What more could a playwright ask for?

Best of Crash Test is a celebration of Crash Test Drama Canberra, a moved reading event aimed at developing original work and fostering creative collaboration. Since kicking off in 2012, Crash Test has played a key role in the emergence of a dynamic, energetic and inclusive ten-minute play scene in the ACT. A number of writers, actors and directors that have taken part of Crash Test Drama Canberra have gone on to enjoy success in ten-minute play festivals and competitions worldwide.

The full line up for Best of Crash Test is:

  • “My Undies are Evil” written and directed by John Lombard
  • “A Dog’s Life” written and directed by Angus Algie
  • “Sprung” by Nigel Palfreman, directed by Kirsty Budding
  • “Cupid’s Waiting” by Kate Roediger, directed by Rob Defries
  • “Cuts” by Mary Langdon, directed by Marcus Freeman
  • “Wardrobe Diplomacy” by Harriet Elvin, directed by Amanda Gillespie
  • “Money Rats” by Kirsty Budding, directed by C.S. Carroll
  • “Last Drinks” by Greg Gould, directed by Philip Meddows

The plays range in subject and style, from outlandish comedy to subtle political satire. All look to be a lot of fun.

The Best of Crash test kicks off at 7pm on 25 & 26 of June at the Courtyard Theater.  Tickets are on sale via Canberra Theatre.  The show is produced by the ever-enterprising Budding Theatre.

Note: this show is not suitable for children. There will be bad words. And sexy words. But mainly bad words.

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The Assignment gets a HD at Crash Test

The Assignment gets the Crash Test treatment
The Assignment gets the Crash Test treatment

My play The Assignment made a great first impression at the last Crash Test Drama Canberra. Not only did it take out the People’s Choice award (as voted by the audience and other Crash Test participants), it also took home Best Director thanks to the insightful and energetic guidance of Philip Meddows.

As a founding member of Crash Test Drama Canberra, it’s awesome to see the format doing so well. Hats off to Budding Theatre for keeping the ten-minute play format alive on Canberra stages. Great to see so many new actors, writers and directors taking part.

From a writer’s point of view, Crash Test is still my favourite way to develop ten-minute plays. It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s never what you expect. It’s also the best way to find out which parts of your play will stand up under the pressure of an unforgiving stage. What dialogue works? What can be left out? Does the story need more attention? Put your hard-earned words in the hands of a Crash Test crew and you’ll find out quick smart.

Big shout out to my fellow Crash Test writers at the last event. The quality of plays on offer was impressive. I especially enjoyed Cupid’s Waiting by Kate Roediger (directed by Annastasia Denton) and My Undies Are Evil by John Lombard (directed by Arne Sjosetd). Both were witty, funny, and subversively insightful.

For info about upcoming Crash Test Drama Canberra events, check out the Budding Theatre website or Facebook page.

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