This week’s two streams “Bronte” & “Fairlight” feature thrillers, sexy comedies, quirky families… and friendship!

Bronte  (Thur & Sat 7.30pm, Sun 2pm) features Life Lessons, by Melbourne writer Steve Wheat and directed by Sari Simpson, stars Camille Qurban and Oli Stening. When a man finds out that his girlfriend’s first sexual encounter was with her teacher, morals are challenged…

Angela Blake directs Mark Harvey Levine’s LA 8am – “Some things can be reduced to numbers; some can’t…” Starring Blake with Talin Agon, Sam Wallace and Hamish MacDonald

In Like Father, also by Steve Wheat directed by John Tsioulos, a father visits his son in jail, only to open up family wounds and hidden abuses.

Natalie Calavas’ How to Heal, directed by Sizu Devery sees two grieving friends revisit past trauma and ultimately, brings about a better understanding and the start of healing.

Ian Robinson’s How to Write a Prize-winning Play in 10 Minutes or Less, directed by Jo Bradley, depicts that dreadful writer’s curse (worse than writer’s block): trying to write a play while your girlfriend insists on having sex with you…

Nicky Denovan’s Armchair Critic starring Paul Byrne and John Hooke, every writer’s fantasy: a reviewer is carpeted by his editor! Short+Sweet veteran Felix Carlyle directs.

Plus Kindling, writer/director Tommy James Green: Deep in the woods at night, a young woman confronts a witch she believes has abducted her child.

Fairlight (Fri 7.30pm, Sat 2pm and Sun 6pm) features A Clue in the Library by Steven Hayet, directed by Emma Carolina-Wolf. A man is dead and Professor Plum and Miss Scarlet are on a quest to find the killer – as soon as they conquer the absurd Library of Congress cataloguing system! Laura Hefer and Reo star.

Two Psychics Meet on Tinder: They already know how the relationship will play out, so is there any room for mystery? Gina Cohen directs Adam Szudrich’s hilarious take on online dating.

You Won’t Believe, written and directed by Frank Leggett (who has had 8 plays performed in 25 Short+Sweet festivals around the world!) is a tour de force one-hander for Debbie Nielson, herself a young ‘veteran’ of 10 years of the festival… and 20+ plays and cabarets. Having spent her whole life caring for a dominating mother, Grace enters the world of online dating only to meet a VERY alien scammer!

In Salsa Dancing by Natasha Yim, horrified daughter Angie watches her mum go dancing to meet single men. Why can’t she just use an app, like everyone else?? But grandson Braden is her social director, so all is ‘sweet’! Director Elizabeth Munro knows the scene well herself(!) and casts real-life mother and son (Ruth Smoother and Joash Stuivenberg) as Braden and Angie! With Denise Kitching as cool grandma Naomi.

Friendship written & directed by Bar Silverstein, is about exactly that: 4 friends gather for weekly wine and whine… but Sarah is caught in an internal storm her friends can’t see. Alexandra Rigby, Samantha Proctor, Josie Mura and the writer – all graduates of the Atlantic Theater Company in NY reunite for Bluebird Theatre Co.

Bogbodies by young US writer Annabel Webster, directed by Guillermo Martin Sepulveda: after her father disappears, a teenager living in the swamplands finds solace in her only friend: the decomposing corpse of a 16 year old girl. Emma Johnston and Natassa Zoe star in this weirdly powerful piece, with dancers Vanessa Pino and Vladimir Maldonado, choreography by Sandra Lucas, original music by Peter Johnson and Scott Watkins-Sully.

Plus Audience Participation written and directed by Andrew Thomson.

Short+Sweet plays Thu-Sun to Aug 22 at the Tom Mann Auditorium 136 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills.

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