Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

25/06/2013 - 29/06/2013

Production Details

What’s more choice than Short+Sweet?

Short+Sweet in association with Development Programmes at THE EDGE presents 

Short+Sweet – Dance, Song and Theatre 2013

28 May – 30 June, at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE.

Short+Sweet is back and it’s taking over Auckland ten minutes at a time!

Come join us for five weeks of fast and furious, bite sized performances featuring some of Auckland’s best writers, directors, choreographers, dancers and actors.

And to celebrate our fourth year of Short+Sweet we’ve got something new for you. We’re not only bringing back Short+Sweet Dance and Short+Sweet Theatre but we’re premiering our new favourite, Short+Sweet Song – it’s musical theatre time!

Whichever genre you choose, it’s a night at the theatre where you never know what’s going to happen next and you get to vote for your favourite performance at the end of the night.

Short+Sweet – The biggest little festival in the world – produces hundreds of the best ten minute plays, dance works and musical theatre pieces from across the globe each year and hits Auckland for its fourth year in a row this May/June.

Each night Short+Sweet presents ten performances, each no longer than ten minutes. A feast of styles and subjects, the next new work is only ever ten minutes away and there is always something for everyone.

‘It’s exciting; it’s a great night out for the audience and it’s the perfect taster for someone who might never have been to dance or theatre before. It’s only ever 10 minutes to the next piece so if you don’t like that one you don’t have to wait long until the next one starts!’ Says Sums Selvarajan, Festival Producer.

As well as presenting some of the best ten-minute theatre in the world; Short+Sweet has also opened doors and launched careers of many artists across the globe.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved, to try something new, showcase their talent and work with people they may have never met before’ says Jonathan Hodge, Artistic Director of Theatre and Song.

Within the three genres of Dance, Theatre and Song the performances are split into groups. Dance and Theatre both have a top 20 split into Week one and two and one wildcard group performing once only on the middle Saturday. Song has one just one week for its premiere season. 

The Top 20 (or 10 for Song), perform from Tuesday – Saturday (ten shows per week) while the Wildcard shows (Dance and Theatre) get one matinee performance on Saturday to strut their stuff and wow the audiences and judges as they decide who makes it through to the Gala Final.

On the final Sunday the best ten of the season (decided by the audience and judges) are performed one last time. The judges choose their best production, playwright, director and actors and the people’s choice award for the whole season is also announced.

‘The audience play a huge part in picking the winner. It’s very exciting for everyone and it’s going to be a fantastic three weeks’ says Jonathan ‘So make sure you are there to cast your vote’.

If you prefer watching the 100 metre sprint to the full marathon, love the drama of Project Runway, the pressure of Master Chef, and the talent of X Factor get down to Short+Sweet.

Funny, moving, absurd, touching and now musical, you can expect the unexpected with Short+Sweet — so are you in, or are you out?

Full Festival programme available here

Ticketing Information 

Tickets $25 adult, $20 concession (concession available for 65+, students and children under 14 years) and $35 Gala Finals from 0800 BUY TICKETS or (service fees apply) 

Group Bookings (more than 6 people) – Call 09 357 3354. 

For media enquiries, please contact Alex Ellis on 0275026542 or

Performance Schedule  

Short+Sweet Theatre

Tuesday 18 – Sunday 30 June

Theatre for the easily distracted. Short+Sweet Theatre – the fast and furious festival where Auckland’s best writers, directors and actors present 10 minute plays with all the impact of a full length show. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe you’ll cry; it’s all about to happen, ten minutes at a time.

Week 1
Tuesday 18 June – Saturday 22 June 2013 (Tues – Wed 7pm, Thurs – Sat 8pm)

Saturday, 22 June (3pm)

Week 2
Tuesday 25 June – Saturday 29 June 2013 (Tues – Wed 7pm, Thurs – Sat 8pm)

Gala Final:  Sunday 30 June (3pm & 7.30pm)

Diverse line-up ranges from macabre to a bit of whimsy

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 28th Jun 2013

Everything from slice-of-life realism through to surrealistic flights of fancy are on display in the second week of the Short+Sweet Festival. The pressure-cooker intensity of a 10-minute time limit has stirred up an outpouring of creative energy that covers a rich variety of theatrical forms.

Several works look for a pathway through the minefield of relationship issues, with playwright Adam Szudrich finding a fresh perspective on sexual politics as he asks us to consider the hapless husbands of black widow spiders, while the We Are Sailors company offers a macabre twist on the concept of a trophy partner. [More]


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A truly professional evening of bona fide entertainment

Review by Nik Smythe 26th Jun 2013

Is it already an entire year since the Herald Theatre was last overrun with enterprising crews of capable, spirited practitioners*?  Actually not quite: 2012’s programme played in September/August.  No matter. 

We Are Sailors’ Feature Wall, directed by Phoebe Borwick is presumably devised with the cast of Saraid Cameron and Susannah Smith-Roy, as industrious female psychopaths Pat and Dot and a handful of hapless token blokes.  A well-chosen opener with a bit of everything: contrasting characters, humour, violence, death, desire, intrigue, a macabre set, a little black dress and a perversely heart-warming musical number.   

Where You’d Least Expectby Aroha Awarau is an endearing character-piece directed by Simon Clark with genuine charm, which sees actors Cassie Baker and Matt Baker brought together by fate on the iconic Short + Sweet sofa.  On this occasion it’s in a cheap motel room, and the lovable pair are the unlikeliest of awkward wallflowers at a low-budget swingers’ party. 

Theatrical auteur James Crompton is writer, director and co-star of true-story based Hongi, also starring Lee Ah Yen Fa’atoia, whose cardboard ATM machine is also an impressive prop.  Essentially a simple cautionary tale, Compton’s slow-witted patsy character is as frustratingly compliant as his new best mate is silver-tongued and menacing. 

Spidermen exploits every available ironic gender-role-reverse-cliché that playwright Adam Szudrich could cram into the strict timeframe.  Monica Mahendru directs Daley Winter and Preston O’Brien as an amusing couple of sensitive romantic male arachnids living in abject fear of their wives’ cannibalistic urges.  More comedy sketch than play, with excellent costumes.

Deftly scripted by Pete Malicki and directed by Catherine Boniface, V.D. has Jess Holly Bates as Sophie the lonely caustic cat lady in training, cynically anticipating another solitary, chocolate-loaded February 14th when a mysterious anonymous delivery sends both her hopes and paranoia into overdrive. Albeit an outstanding tour-de-force solo performance, when she gets worked up Bate’s gnashing teeth can tend to upstage her (a bit like Sam Neill’s mo in Harry). 

Concluding the first half, writer/director Glen Pickering’s Our Last Holiday is the most straightforwardly dramatic piece of the evening.  Matt Baker (again) plays an embittered film director, slugging cheap scotch and looking at scripts when his ex-wife (Sheena Irving) arrives to clear out her things.  A solid piece with a psychological twist, when supportive producer friend (Rohan Glynn) arrives we begin to understand what is actually going on. 

Second-half opener Fruit Salad is an exuberantly rampant comedy by Jodie Ellis with echoes of Ab Fab. Directed by Christine Becker, Ellis plays Jade, the sensible long-suffering daughter to her jet-setting gay party-animal father (Simon Shreeve), coming to his rescue when an extended debauchery-filled Cuban holiday comes to an ignoble end.  Brisk and hilarious, it is book-ended by scenes requiring impressively speedy costume changes. 

Northland Youth Theatre are back in town next, following up last year’s ambitiously conceptual amoeba sex-comedy. Lust Is Blind is written and directed by Summer Millett and skillfully performed by Georgia-May Pope, Ava O’Brien, Kipling Davies-Colley and Zelde Morrison-Smith as a quartet of bickering facial components: forehead, nose, and two eyes – one green, one blue (David Bowie’s perhaps?).  Easily the most original piece of the night, if not the most theatrically effective.

Hot on their heels, The Blue Balloon boasts the largest cast, and probably takes the runner-up prize for originality, although it is somewhat reminiscent of classic 50s French film The Red Balloon, in that it explores the effect that a seemingly supernatural occurrence has on an entire community. Written by Angie Farrow and directed by Jesse Hilford, and laden with numerous charming, engaging characters, the density of this work would require a second and possibly third watch to properly grasp its nebulous message. 

Not kept busy enough performing two lead roles, Matt Baker directs playwright Greg Gould’s Last Drinks.  Rachael Blampied plays the luckless would-be bride opposite (also again) Rohan Glynn’s oddly frank multiple failed-suicide case.  An appealing piece of work hinging on the kind of morbid humour that can be quite refreshing in an existential reality-check sort of way. 

Finally, Dead Leg Theatre Company’s Lucky C*nt-ry is a multi-character two-hander directed by & featuring Jess Holly Bates (again once again) with Romy Hooper, alternately presenting a series of cosmopolitan, upmarket, down-home and various in-between personages expounding what they find worthwhile and/or challenging about life in this glorious country.  The uncredited script utilises a compelling vernacular, whereby every line is prefaced with ‘Tell her…’, ostensibly offering advice on how to explain these issues to a young child.

Whew! So, eleven shorts do make quite a long night, but not as long as it could seem with a less driven, connected and energetic assortment of companies producing a truly professional evening of bona fide entertainment. Of course having imbibed eleven distinct and eclectic works of varying brain-challenging degrees, there’s inevitably a kind of arbitrary aspect to voting immediately afterwards. 

Not to detract from how effective and entertaining the more skit-like examples are, I tend to favour the story-led works. Still there’s any one of five shows I might have ticked in a different moment. As it happens, I chose Last Drinks for its minimalism and dark humour.   

* I almost said spirited young practitioners … While plenty of people involved are properly grown up, ‘getting on’ even, the overall vibe is essentially a peppy, youthful one.  Not to mention that the ten-minute format could be regarded by some as ideal for the attention span of the modern youth.


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