Posts Tagged ‘short+sweet


Nathan Sibthorpe Talks Short+Sweet 2013

Nathan Sidthorpe

This week Meredith caught up with Nathan Sibthorpe, this year’s Short+Sweet Festival Manager.

She found out what he’s been up to recently, and what you can expect at Short+Sweet 2013.


I saw your work with Delicacy, which was fantastic if not a little macabre; will you be bringing the same ferocity from your direction to the direction and management of the festival?

I had the pleasure of assistant directing DELICACY under the vision of Lucas Stibbard. DELICACY was a unique sort of play – the kind that makes your stomach turn yet leaves you hungry at the end. Although I don’t believe any vital organs are going to be severed, I know that there are a few plays in Short+Sweet that might give you those slightly uneasy feelings – but in only the best of ways! Of course in a strand of up to eleven short plays, I reckon there should be enough to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Kind of like theatrical tapas!


I know you’re managing both the Gold Coast and the Brisbane circuits. I can’t wait to see what you do in Kelvin Grove’s The Loft, but do you think it’ll be tough juggling the workload?

So Short+Sweet this year is made up of four strands, each featuring a selection of ten-minute plays by local artists. Two strands will be performed on the Gold Coast, and then two in Brisbane. All up there are about 35 short plays to keep the festival going. It’s a tough juggle at times, but all of the artists are fiercely independent, and their passion holds everything together! They’re very good at supporting the festival that supports them.


You claim to be the Geek-In Residence, what gives you such a title?

Ha! In actual fact, it’s the Australia Council for the Arts that gives me that title! Well, them in combination with Queensland Theatre Company. My role at QTC started off as a funded position from the Australia Council, as part of their Geek-in-Residence program. I was recognised as a theatre-maker who actively experiments with digital technologies in live performance. I’m also the Twitter guy, the video guy, and the “which iPad app could help me solve this task?” guy.


Can I get any gossip about what to expect at Short+Sweet 2013?

Well, I don’t want to give away too much…. But look out for sexy handcuff pranks, intricate shadow puppets, dangerous spontaneity, feminine hygiene in 19th century England, people finding love, people losing love, people inventing what love could be … Body bags, wrecking balls, serial killers, symbolic balloons, a mime, a pig, a runaway bride, the evil undead… Secrets will be declared, someone will be humiliated, fights will break out, cake will be spilled, someone will die, the world will end, and dancing will happen. In ten minutes or less.


I’ve seen a few articles now saying this year’s is going to be refreshing, is that just hype or can we expect something different?

I think the festival is really growing. This year the standard of work has been really exciting. We’ve got more artists, more plays, and some of the shows are really going to push beyond expectations. It’s particularly exciting to have people like Catarina Hebbard directing, not long after she directed a MainStage show at QPAC for Queensland Theatre Company…. And then Sven Swenson, an award-winning playwright contributing to the pool of scripts. It’s also worth noting that this year is my first year managing the festival – that’s something different for sure! I know I’m finding it refreshing!


Have you been dealing with the selection process directly? If so, what speaks to you as a worthy script and performance for the show?

I have been very closely involved with the selection process this year, which has been an absolute privilege. I’m really interested in scripts that can promise theatricality, that know how and why they are a piece of theatre. I also want these plays to surprise us, to show us something we haven’t seen before, or to make us feel as though we’ve been a part of something bigger. Diversity is also a key factor of this festival – to make sure that each play has a different flavour, something unique to offer. You might hate one that everyone else loves and then fall in love with one that nobody else understands.


I saw some of the shows at last year’s Short+Sweet festival in The Loft, would you borrow a leaf from last year’s book or try to make this your own creation?

I think this year will have a bit of a different feel to last year. As well as there being more plays, there are also bigger concepts and challenging forms. One play relies on skilful shadow puppetry; another tells a story using only one word at a time. The script selections were incredibly competitive this year, so I’m confident that we’ve got some very exciting stories to tell. I’ll also say that we’re often going to have a hell of a mess to clean up after the performances!


Last year’s winners were well deserved, but what’s in it for this year’s yet to be known victors of Short+Sweet 2013? What sort of prizes or accreditations can they expect and do you think it’ll launch some of the more independent or younger competitors? As much as it is a festival it is most certainly a competition too, we mustn’t forget that.


Additional prizes are not yet announced for this year, but every award comes with an original sculptural trophy hand-made by an emerging artist from the Brisbane Institute of Art. There’s also something to be said about the value of the accreditation! After I won the Best Director award in 2011, my CV suddenly started working in my favour. And you might remember Dead Puppet Society got their first big break after winning the Short+Sweet Award in 2009!


An exciting extra incentive has only been introduced in recent years – that the overall winner of Short+Sweet QLD will win a coveted spot in the Sydney Short+Sweet Festival in 2014! (SRT’s So Where Is It? won this coveted spot in 2012 – Ed).


It’s getting close to the show now, less than a month away. Would you do it all again if they asked you back next year?

For sure!


Thanks so much for chatting, Nathan. I look forward to seeing the show in August. 

Thanks Meredith, look forward to seeing you at the festival!

Short+Sweet 2013 dates will be running as follows. Make sure to get your ticket.



The Arts Centre, Gold Coast


Tues 30 Jul, 7pm
Wed 31 Jul, 7pm
Thurs 1 Aug, 7pm
Fri 2 Aug, 7pm


Sat 3 Aug, 7pm
Sat 3 Aug, 7pm



The Loft, Kelvin Grove


Tues 20 Aug, 7pm
Thurs 22 Aug, 7pm
Sat 24 Aug, 7pm


Wed 21 Aug, 7pm
Fri 23 Aug, 7pm
Sat 24 Aug, 3pm


Sun 25 Aug, 3pm
Sun 25 Aug, 7pm


Short+Sweet Brisbane and Gold Coast Gala Final




Best Actor Female

Candice Davie (The Rental Company)

Georgia Cranstoun (Birgitte’s Story Time)

Emily Pollard (The Pond)

Deanna Watt (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)

Carly Rees (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)

Francis Marrington (Half Of Nothing)

Winner: Georgia Cranstoun

Best Actor Male
Sam Ryan (The Pond)
Ben Distledorf (The Rental Company)
Jacob Paint (Wilderness)
Wayne Basset (It Came From The Couch+From The Cradle to the Brave)
Winner: Sam Ryan
Best Director
Keiran Brice (Wilderness)
Casey Woods (The Rental Company)
Lisa Smith (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)
Noel Sheridan (The Pond)
Joshua Mcann Thompson (On The Shelf)
Winner: Casey Woods (The Rental Company)
Best Comedy
Birgitte’s Story Time (The Rental Company)
Genevieve and the Bus Stop
Winner: Birgitte’s Story Time by Georgia Cranstoun+Rio Holland, directed by Georgia Cranstoun+Rio Holland
Best Drama
The Pond (Con Nats)
Wilderness (James McLindon)
From The Cradle to the Brave (Angela Ready)
Winner: The Pond by Con Nats, Directed by Noel Sheridan
Best Wildcard
It Came From The Couch
Winner: Wilderness by James McLindon, Directed by Kieran Brice
Best New Talent
Brea Robertson (On The Shelf)
David Trapp (Meet Cute)
Matt Crawford (The Rental Company)
Ben Distledorf (The Rental Company)
Winner: Matt Crawford (The Rental Company)
Peoples Choice
It Came From The Couch
Genevieve and the Bus Stop (White Rabbit Theatre)
Winner: Genevieve and the Bus Stop (White Rabbit Theatre )
Best Independent Theatre Company
De Love la ( It’s All Very Hush Hush)
The Bare Bottomed Tea Fiends (My Bathroom Musical)
White Rabbit Theatre (Genevieve and the Bus Stop)
The Vertebras (The Theraputic Ex)
De Love la ( It’s All Very Hush Hush) Allison Manson, Chiara Lagana, Jennifer Goulding
The Short+Sweet Award
The Pond (By Con Nats Directed by Noel Sheridan)
It’s All Very Hush Hush (De Love la, Allison Manson, Chiara Lagana, Jennifer Goulding)
The Rental Company (By Mark Cornell Directed by Casey Woods)
Winner: The Rental Company (By Mark Cornell Directed by Casey Woods)
Sean Dennehy Short+Sweet

Sean Dennehy, Queensland Festival Director, Short + Sweet Theatre Festival. Picture: Ric Frearson Source: Quest Newspapers


short + sweet sunshine coast




Submissions for Actors, Directors and Independent Theatre Groups close on May 31st 2012


Got a 10 minute play? Sure you do!


Simon Denver adapted So, Where Is It? from the original one-act play, which he wrote for a festival in a matter of days after Sam Coward said one day over a few beers, “WHY NOT? WE’RE GOOD AT VIOLENCE.”

The 10 minute version only came about when I received a phone call during rehearsals for our gig at The Sydney Children’s Festival inviting us to submit something to Short + Sweet and Sam said, in the dressing room of the Seymour Centre, “WHY NOT? WE’RE GOOD AT VIOLENCE AND IT’S JUST 10 MINUTES.”

So, Where Is it? won Brett Klease Best Actor at last year’s Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival and the 10 minute version took out 1st place in the Gold Coast & Brisbane Short+Sweet competitions. It then went to Sydney (thanks to some of YOU! THANK YOU!), where it won third place.

With so many one-act play festivals happening across the Sunshine Coast, why not do the same? Or register your 10 minute play from the recent season in Buderim. IT’S JUST 10 MINUTES! YOU CAN DO IT!

You CAN do it. But do you need some help taking the red pen to your script? Register first! Just do it and then let us know! We can help edit and workshop your one-act play down to just 10 minutes or help you find a new script to work on.

Check out the vast collection that the 10 Minute Play Master, Alex Broun, has made available online for FREE.

The Short+Sweet QLD 2012 Brisbane+Gold Coast+Sunshine Coast theatre season runs from 1st August to the 19th August at

The Loft (QUT Creative Industries)

The Arts Centre Gold Coast

Lind Lane Theatre, Nambour


June 16th Director briefing and welcome drinks


June 23rd Sunshine Coast auditions


June 30th Rehearsals commence


Remember, it all starts with an idea….. 

This one was just so crazy…it worked!



Short + Sweet comes to the Sunshine Coast

Short + Sweet 2011 Winner Gabe McCarthy

Gold Coast and Brisbane Short + Sweet Winners Brett Klease & Sam Coward

Remember our SRT boys won the Gold Coast and Brisbane competitions?

Remember they came away from the national comp in Sydney in third place?

Should they accept an invite to perform in this year’s Melbourne comp?

This year is your chance to get involved too!



1 AUG – 19 AUG 2012

The Loft (QUT Creative Industries)

Arts Centre Gold Coast

Lind Lane Theatre (Nambour)

Registrations close MAY 30th

Image by Jom Photography

Who can enter Short + Sweet?

INDEPENDENT THEATRE COMPANIES (you can be an established group or just people with a ten minute play idea)

DIRECTORS (established or emerging, choose a script from all over the world, cast it and direct it)

ACTORS (be part of this worldwide festival, auditions announced on June 1)

Short + Sweet believes in the validity of the ten minute theatre form and that ten minute theatre works can stimulate, move and entertain audiences as effectively as longer theatre forms. Through an open call for scripts, general auditions and interviews with directors and Independent Theatre Companies Short + Sweet uses a vigorous merit based process to assemble a season of high quality ten minute theatre which incorporates a broad range of theatrical styles. Through the presentation of these works Short + Sweet aims not only to develop audiences for the ten minute form but to develop audiences for all theatrical forms.


so the boys are off to Sydney Short+Sweet!



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.