The fourth week of Short+Sweet’s Sydney festival opened tonight, and it was an opening I could hardly wait for. My play, The Commuter, is in this week’s line up, so it was always going to be an exciting night.
It surprises me how deep the emotion runs of seeing my vision for a play realised on stage. The cast Luke Berman pulled together for The Commuter gave me one of the greatest buzzes I’ve experienced in a long time, and I think Adam O’Brien captures beautifully the nervous white guilt phenomenon I was exploring in this play. It doesn’t wear off, that cathartic feeling of seeing something you imagined into existence come to life on stage, and I feel truly indebted to these performers for the work they’ve put into the play.
I knew Geoff Sirmai from his performances in Canberra of Joanna Weinberg’s Every Single Saturday, and was very pleased to see him deliver the American Tourist in The Commuter with such great energy. Charlotte Connor admirably balances the manic and focused nature of the mother, and Nik Nikitenko is amazing as the eight-year-old boy whose instincts spark the commuter’s catharsis.
I have something of a bias perhaps, but I think The Commuter is a great way to end this week’s Short+Sweet offering. It is preceded by some excellent plays, particularly Jilted, which starts the second act. Kerrie Spicer’s script is hilarious and it is delivered with great timing by its cast. Sarah Knowles in particular should be commended for the difficult task of delivering her character’s pathos honestly enough for Sam Smith’s humour to shine.
I was also particularly taken with Hide, a very dark comedy that blurs notions of shelter and protection, in which Laura Holmes and Chris Miller keep the audience on edge for just the right amount of time (which in a ten-minute play festival is probably about nine minutes). Josh Hartwell’s script for A Different Client is both raw and heart-warming, which is a rare and challenging combination, and Greg Wilken and Roberto Zenca have drawn Hartwell’s characters out wonderfully.
But nothing outshines the joy of seeing my script come to life again, and its position at the end of the evening just adds to the pleasure of seeing the thing realised.
This week’s offering from Short+Sweet runs til Sunday, and there are four more weeks of short plays before the Gala Finals in March. Bookings and more info from Short+Sweet.
- Short+Sweet Sydney 2013 (Week 1) (chilver.net.au)
- Short & Sweet 4 review by Bronwyn Fullerton (Sydney Arts Guide)
Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 8:56 am
Great achievement, I hope it gets the great reviews it deserves.
Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 9:39 am
Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 12:44 pm
Congratulations. You were always destined to do something different and you have achieved that as a play write. Well done Mr Chilver 🙂
Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 6:19 pm
Aww, thanks Tracey!
Thursday, 7 February 2013 at 12:59 pm
I wanted to drop you a line after coming across your Foyer Talk website online. Thank you so much for what you wrote about my play, Jilted. It’s a fantastic feeling to read positive feedback from someone who has no connection (and no bribes in place) with your play. I enjoyed your play also and thought the actors, particularly the lead character (Adam?) were fantastic. I’m sorry I seem to have pipped you at the post in terms of getting through to the next stage, but I will look out for you in future Short and Sweet productions where I am sure our paths will cross again.
Cheers, Kerrie Spicer
Thursday, 7 February 2013 at 5:36 pm
Lovely to hear from you, and I completely understand what you mean about the value of compliments from people without any kind of vested interest! It’s just a different kind of awesome! Never apologise for winning! It was well-deserved and I’ll keep an eye out for your plays too