22
Mar
12

so the boys are off to Sydney Short+Sweet!

UPDATE

 

This is a message call to action from Darren Heskes (Origianl Theatrical Works on the Sunshine Coast)!

 

So much money is regularly tossed into sports and athletes by governments, corporations and individual with the prospect of seeing home-grown athletes come seventh in a national or international competition. Here on the Sunshine Coast we have three local actors poised on the precipice of national victory at the “Short and Sweet” 10 minute play competition with an original work and barely an iota of publicity and few willing to support financially. Works like “So, where is it?” by Simon Denver, ably re-inforced by Messrs. Klease and Coward have a degree of artistic credibilty and a longer lasting significance, far more so than a sponsored and government funded no name athlete coming last in his or her heat at this year’s London Olympics. If you don’t like the point I’m trying to make then don’t complain afterwards if you have made no effort to support the cause of these worthy and well proven thespians. Sure we’ll hear throughout the media of local athletes coming home heroes when their best was not good enough but isn’t it time we show support to the Arts especially when it comes to financing their endeavours. I don’t want to see them standing on the side of the Bruce Highway hitching a ride down to Sydney next week for the finals of the “Short and Sweet” comp…Do you? Sure…they may look funny soaked to the skin as passing trucks splash giant mud puddles into their faces, but they a representing both you and I. Blimey…the Sunshine Coast needs some positive publicity considering the general state of theatre in this region. Do we always have to be regarded as Brisbane’s muddy, rain drenched inbred untalented second cousins? We have a chance to hold our heads up for a change. So what are you going to do about it?

 

Thanks, Darren!

 

Remember that violent little play the SRT boys came up with for a couple of one-act play evenings on the Sunshine Coast? Remember they cut it down to just 10 minutes for the Gold Coast Short+Sweet Festival and the Brisbane Short+Sweet Festival, both of which they won, becoming the Queensland champions? Right. So next week, they’ll compete in the Short + Sweet Festival Gala Finals at the Seymour Centre, in Sydney. BOOM!

Here’s the whole story: By default rather then design, Suncoast Repertory Theatre (SRT), a fully self-funded Sunshine Coast-based company, has found itself flying the flag nationally, for Queensland theatre.

Written and directed by Simon Denver, So, Where Is It? stars two of the Sunshine Coast’s best performers, Brett Klease and Sam Coward. Described as

“Noir, very noir with a wicked, wicked twist”

the play is based around an interrogation. Its coarse language and extreme violence have been challenging the actors and audiences alike.

Short and Sweet is a deceptive title – it’s actually been a long journey for SRT. It started exactly where it finishes next week, in a dressing room at the Seymour Centre. As Writer and Director, Simon Denver explains, “Last year SRT were performing for the Sydney Children’s Festival at the Seymour Centre when one of those five degrees of separation phone calls came in. Someone told somebody, who mentioned it to someone else that the Gold Coast Short and Sweet festival had a cancellation and did we have a 10-minute piece we could take down. We said yes – even though we didn’t have a piece ready – and thought, “Great, a couple of days on the Goldie!” Thanks must go to to Sean Dennehy, who trusted me enough to make that call and offer the spot in the program (“You know it can only be a ten-minute play, don’t you?”) and to our wonderful friends, Lisa and Craig, who generously accommodated all of us – including the five year old – on the Gold Coast.

Clowning around at The Seymour Centre during The Sydney Children's Festival

Luckily, the boys had a one-act play, which had been devised over beers and cigarettes on our back patio and received well at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival (Klease was awarded Best Actor), which could be cut down to 10 minutes, in accordance with Short and Sweet guidelines.

Simon notes, “It wasn’t until we got down to the Gold Coast Events Centre and saw the calibre of the festival that we realised what a major event the Short and Sweets are! The standard was amazing! Our “couple of days on the Goldie” turned into a highly focused work blitz.” They won and went on to become the Brisbane Short and Sweet champions two weeks later.

So, Where Is It? was invited to compete in the Top 100 preliminary finals in Sydney and upon winning their heat in Week 10 last week, they’ll compete next week for the honour of Best 10-Minute Play in Short+Sweet Sydney 2012. We thought it odd that the invite was not simply for the Gala Finals, as opposed to an invitation to (essentially) start at the bottom again in the NSW heats (10 weeks of heats)! Having already won the Queensland finals, it does seem strange (and somewhat sinister) that some people/festivals interstate continue to perpetuate the myth of the poor country cousin, doesn’t it? I hope to see that change and, in the future, to have the opportunity to celebrate interstate winners who go directly into the Gala Finals, without having to prove themselves again at the same level of the competition. It seems redundant and remiss. Another obvious advantage about making just one trip to Sydney to compete, rather than two, is the cost involved. A second trip next week is getting costly for a company that is self-funded and has never asked a favour of anybody.

“Regardless of the outcome we are satisfied with our journey,” says Simon. “Six months ago we had never even heard of Short and Sweet. Next week we share a stage with the best six plays from Sydney Short and Sweet, the best two from Melbourne Short and Sweet and the best one from Newcastle Short and Sweet”.

It has its critics but there is no denying the Short and Sweet festival is a national and international phenomenon. It’s a massive coup for this little Sunshine Coast company. If you’d like to help them get there, email me for account details. A big thank you to those friends and fans who have already contributed.

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1 Response to “so the boys are off to Sydney Short+Sweet!”



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