Short + Sweet is a festival of 10 minute-long theatre and cabaret works. Kind of like one of those degustation menu with many courses in small, digestible portions. On the night I attended, I was served sixteen fast-paced, humorous pieces dealing mainly with relationships and sex, which showcased an array of talented young performers.
In ‘Boys Taste Better With Nutella’, written and performed by Caitlin Hill, a girl and her best friend confront the endless cycle of breaking up and making up. Set within the context of club culture and the oblivion of Nutella binging, they portray a youth that religiously practices detachment. Is marriage even possible in the age of Tinder?
‘Can I Get An Amen?!’, written and performed by Kaitlyn Rogers, crosses the lines between theatre, stand-up and cabaret. A woman sharing her views on a fragmented contemporary world: social media, cask wine, Whoopi Goldberg’s auto-biography, and the cardboard silhouette of a mysterious man. Kaytlyn gives her all in a frantic performance: she is comical and physical, with impeccable technique and sense of rhythm, definitely one of the best performances here.
In ‘Carpet Burn’, by William Pyke, the focus shifts away from sex and religion, towards a reflection on acting itself. A play-within-a-play, the actor is playing an actor auditioning for a director; desperate to get the job. He delivers his text in different ways, each time better than the previous, but the director is looking for something else. Pushed to his limits, the actor has nothing else to give but his own blood to get his attention (and ours).
Now in its fifteenth year, Short + Sweet has grown into an international extravaganza. The format is well suited to displaying emerging talent within a professional context, and although I find it valuable to get the audience involved in the selection process through vote, I am not a big fan of talent contests; I’m left wondering whether the ones who have most friends will go through rather than the ones who deserve it most. You can judge for yourself: the Gala Finals for Queensland will take place on the 26th of August 2016 at Brisbane Powerhouse.