The second heat of Short+Sweet Theatre kicked off this week and once again, the audience were treated to an eclectic lineup of short stories. I found this subsequent selection of works to be more of a mixed bag with the stronger pieces in the second half.
Culture Clash was my favorite from the first half. A comical, alternative spin on the classic Bard tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, this piece was easily enjoyable with a good blend of comedy, charm and well-executed choreography. With a little polishing I think there is potential for this work to be made in to a full-length play.
The quirky synopsis for We Mean You No Harm Yet peaks your interest immediately and is a taster for the silliness that is to come. The two performers portray a pair of aliens to comedic effect and though the piece gets a bit too self-indulgent near the end it manages to just about toe the line and pull off weird in a good way.
Meanwhile Keep Calm and Carry the Crumb which centers around an insect version of a ‘girls night out’ party is certainly an unusual idea for a narrative yet it works a treat. The plot had great entertainment value and was excellently depicted by the cast, ending the evening on a high.
Another highlight for me was two-hander The Lady and The Tyger. Like a fly in the wall, we watch as a Kiwi backpacker and Parisian meet and make a connection in the most unlikely way. The two performers had great onstage chemistry; you couldn’t help but be drawn in to their conversation. The dialogue was engaging, subtly thought-provoking and I thought was crafted to suit the ten-minute time frame very effectively.
Alexander the Great was another play I felt made excellent use of the ten-minute format. More dialogue-heavy than action-heavy, the strength of this piece lies in the cleverly written narrative which had some adeptly placed and timed humor seamlessly infused in to the script. The cast complemented each other well, delivering their lines superbly.
Overall this week’s offering, like last week, had a good variety to suit any palette. This big little festival is definitely perfect for someone who likes the idea of consuming theatre like they would a buffet – having a little taste here and there, sampling a little bit of everything.
Season 2 is on for another two nights at TAPAC. For more details and the full lineup, head on over to shortandsweet.org.nz.