Short & Sweet: Newtown Week 4

The latest on Short & Sweet, Newtown.

Short & Sweet
Newtown Theatre, Sydney

Wednesday, 27 January, 2010

Bumble Bee

Set in a childcare centre, carers Pearl, Maureen and Sally are about to undertake official accreditation. With a series of monologues, they give us an indication of their characters and their different attitudes to child rearing emerge as they interact with the children and each other. Although the script is a little weak, it’s performed well by these Australian Theatre for Young People actors.

Deserted Beach

Two men find themselves in the middle of nowhere. One is a little crazy with theories of world domination; the other starts out normal but soon seems just as weird. Although the concept is interesting and the ending very clever, the execution could use a little work.


A man is facing the demise of his elderly mother and describes his last moments with her. It’s a well-written piece however the performance feels more like a drawn out book reading than a monologue. It’s all one pace and needs a bit more to sustain the audience, even just for 10 minutes.

Black Jack and Diane

A young girl witnesses her mother being shot and runs to tell her father. The shooter is a young man who was aiming for possums not humans. We see each of the characters’ perspective as the events unfold and realise that sometimes tragedy can have a positive outcome.  This is one of the better-performed plays and is very well directed and staged, however the ending seems incomplete.

The Interview

Two recruiters with two different jobs are vying for the attention of one young girl who knows she is in a position of power. The plot is entertaining and is full of so many twists and turns, you’re never quite sure where it’s going next. Although they seem to be aiming for a mid 20th century British style, the accents and setting is confusing and inconsistent.

Parting Shot

Olivia is being fired by her boss Mr Proctor and he’s doing his best to let her down easy. She isn’t going to take it lying down, however, so goes to great lengths to improve her circumstances. It’s fairly pedestrian to start with but as the plot thickened, we realise there is more than meets the eye for both characters.

Life of Death

Death is a man in a black suit who is drowning in the paperwork and bureaucracy of coordinating the deceased. Enter Garry, an easy-going Aussie who wants his death to be a bit more extraordinary than most. Here is an example of an ideal Short and Sweet play. It is funny, very well performed and has a plotline with twists and turns that are perfectly contained within 10 minutes.


A blind woman is helping out her young male friend with his writing but much to her disdain, he adjusts the plotline of the story to focus on her predicament. It is a well-performed piece with some interesting twists however its imperfect ending reminds us that sometimes in life things don’t work out as we all hope it will.

You Pissed in my Bed

The title gives a fair bit away – Timara accidentally pisses in Stan’s bed. This unexpected intimacy brings out their inner most thoughts and fears. It is a well-acted piece with some great insights into short and long-term relationships. Although the nudity is completely unnecessary, it recovers into a sweet and poignant show.

Ladies Boot Camp

Four girls are taking on Etiquette and Basic Understanding of Customer Service course at the local TAFE. They’re all stereotypes with funny voices and show little character depth. It’s a pretty adolescent play with far too much yelling although the ending is quietly amusing.

A Toothbrush Tale (we’ll always have peach tiles)

Two toothbrushes, Pink and Blue, are parting ways after their humans break up. It’s a very unique concept that is strangely engaging as we consider the perspective of this mundane bathroom implement. The two performances are great and is a cute ending to this evening of theatre.

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