Posts Tagged ‘Mohamed Khadra


The National One-Act Play Festival: final results

I saw the one-act plays again, the three best of the 87 plays entered into the National One-Act Playwriting Competition, and I enjoyed them so much more this time! Well, I wouldn’t say that Bruce Olive’s The Knock on the Door can really be “enjoyed” but I certainly appreciated it more the second time, as opposed to being quite unaffected by it on only the second night of the season.

The atmosphere at Noosa Arts Theatre was celebratory from the outset. And why wouldn’t it be? As Paul Ritchie, the current president of Noosa Arts said in his speech to launch the official proceedings, the general standard of plays has, again this year, improved. Two of the three playwrights were present (Mark Langham was on stage somewhere, being “an actor more than a writer.” His wife was there in his absence) and the founding members’ daughters and sisters, sponsors and audience members were all in fine form.

Brisbane based actor and director, Karen Crone, was present in the Adjudicator’s seat. She was able to provide some valuable feedback to the artists involved. I hope to see next year, a little more time during proceedings, afforded to the adjudicator. The majority of audience members are interested to hear the comments that come from an experienced professional theatre practitioner and any positive feedback is invaluable for the playwrights, performers and directors involved. There are artists who absorb positive and constructive criticism like sponges. Some of those artists will even consider the advice and apply it to their upcoming work, continuing to raise standards.

While we’re on the subject of comments and positive feedback, I attended at the theatre on Sunday, Michael Futcher’s Playwriting Master Class. Three of the fifteen playwrights present had entered scripts into the competition this year and didn’t appear to understand exactly what it was that was missing, or unsuitable or unappealing or whatever about their script. I know some feedback from the Reading Panel is provided and I would like to see an extension of this, perhaps in the form of several readings and rehearsed readings with actors, directors and other playwrights, establishing more of a workshop approach to the process. Perhaps, if this sort of creative collaborative process is not allowed in the lead up, this could take place in the weeks following the competition’s conclusion. I firmly believe that one cannot get better at the things one does without observing what else is out there and paying some attention to the response from audiences, adjudicators and critics. You may not agree with one person’s perspective, however; if the general feedback is starting to sound the same, you should know that you might have something to work on.

Seeing the plays again on Saturday, I felt that either some major work had been done or that the actors had simply committed and settled into their roles. I was more convinced by the relationship in the first play, Jenny Bullimore’s Star Crossed and I enjoyed Mark Langham’s Nothing again but without the number of beers being consumed being an issue (they’d halved the consumption. It made much more sense) and I actually felt – strongly – for the mothers in The Knock on the Door. It’s a shame we are sometimes only ready for the season towards the end of the season, isn’t it?


Best Play: NOTHING By Mark Langham

NOTHING By Mark Langham









Runner Up: THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR By Bruce Olive











Best Director: LIZA PARK

Karen Crone & Liza Park














Karen Crone & Frank Wilkie













Best Actress: JENNI MCCAUL

Karen Crone & Jenni McCaul













Adjudicator’s (Commendation) Awards: REBECCA PLINT  & MICHAEL PARLATO

Congratulations to all playwrights, directors, actors and the team at Noosa Arts Theatre for a fantastic One-Act Play Festival in 2011. Meanwhile, the Noosa Longweekend continues. This week, I’ll be enjoying Caroline Nin’s Hymne A Piaf, the premiere of David Williamson & Mohamed Khadra’s At Any Cost?, Supper Club with Mrs Bang! (aka Sheridan Harbridge), Oscar Theatre Company’s [title of show] and Sandra Bates’ Directing Master Class. Bring it on!