Heading into BATS theatre, the foyer was heaving for the opening night of the Short + Sweet Play Festival 2016. With so many creatives involved in this project, it was hard NOT to bump into someone you know in the Theatre Scene. It was a literal who’s who of up and coming writers, directors and producers.
After grabbing a drink from the bar, we headed into the Propeller stage armed with a voting sheet to send one team through to the ‘Grand Finale’. We were unsure exactly what that meant, and when the finale will happen, but assumed it could only be a good thing. So, we settled back and let the show unfold.
This is the second iteration of Short & Sweet in Wellington, having run in Auckland for over a decade. The concept is fairly simple, it’s a celebration of the short play and each work clocks in at about 10 minutes. The works in this season come from a pool of international and local scripts submitted by playwrights all over the world which are then shortlisted and offered to directors who are not currently operating as an Independent Theatre Company. Within these frames there are endless bounds that are explored.
Over the two halves we witnessed an improvised play, live musical accompaniment, comedies, Sanskriti Theatre and family drama. My Plus One really enjoyed this variety, even sending me this note to include:
“Funny, grave, unexpected, very raw or highly polished… The variety is impressive. But they all have one thing in common: they’re not boring.”
For me, I also enjoyed the build-up and anticipation that occurred when we watched each scene change happen on stage. A particular highlight of mine was watching a paddling pool get filled with tepid water and then witness the skill of three actresses pretend it wasn’t freezing cold. Even though they were only sitting in it in their bathers.
Overall we felt the night was a great showcase of artists at the beginning of their career. There was ample opportunity for young creatives to try new skills and push themselves into different areas. We had prolonged discussions over who to vote and the merit of each piece. In the end I didn’t vote, because it was too hard for me to choose one overall stand-out.
– Hilaire Carmody
Hilaire is art crazy, theatre crazy, dance crazy, music crazy, comedy crazy, people crazy and most importantly Wellington crazy. You can follow her @hilairec.
‘Short + Sweet’ runs 19 – 22 October 2016, 7pm (90mins) at BATS Theatre.
Check out their website for the wellington 2016 programme. For a list of winners and awards for the 216 season check out their Facebook.