Short+Sweet Launches 19th Season

February 12, 2020 by Geoff Sirmai
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The biggest little theatre festival in the world breezes into the Sydney summer scene with its 19th big year of the popular 10×10 minute format.

And it all takes place Thursday to Sunday at the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills from 13 Feb.

This year’s line-up of plays (announced at this Wednesday’s launch event at the Tom Mann Theatre) offers almost a hundred new short plays over the 8 weeks of heats and subsequent finals – all climaxing in the Gala Awards Finals on the Anzac Day Weekend.

Short+Sweet has spread the popular 10-minute format in theatre, dance, cabaret & comedy across Australia and the globe with festivals as far afield as NZ, India, Malaysia, Ireland and the Middle East. Its Hollywood festival is the world’s go-to showcase for actors, writers and directors for stage and screen. Its Sydney alumni include Rose Byrne, Josh Lawson, Damon Herriman, Andrew Steel and QTC artistic director Lee Lewis.

The 2020 fest will again feature judges’ voting and the People’s Choice audience votes. Among the many industry judges this year are actors Amanda Muggleton, Tony Bonner, Peter Mochrie, Peter Kowitz, Danny Adcock and casting agents Faith Martin & Jo Briant.

Highlights of the week 1 & 2 line-up (opening Thursday 13 Feb) are over the page…

Festival director Sarah Purdue said this year’s offerings were unique, diverse and ground-breaking.

“For the first time, we have a play – Silent Agreement by Davo Hardy – entirely in Auslan (sign-language). Playwrights – even visiting directors are coming from all over Greater Sydney… and beyond to Adelaide and even Los Angeles. Our actors hail from India, Spain, France, London and Malta. And many have won international awards for their work.”

Gordon Williams is bringing out his mini-musical Lenny, You Slay Me directly from its success at Short+Sweet Hollywood. Dean Carey is among the directors… and ACT IV Theatre Company returns to the S+S stage with a uniquely female take on dating in Love Me Tinder. Artists range from student age to veterans, first-time festival participants to ‘regulars’ totting up their 20th play and 15th year! The short form structure means there is always another great piece – comic, romantic, thrilling – just 10 minutes away. “The ‘alchemy’ of S+S is its unique strength,” adds Purdue. “From a mix of youth, experience, new and established talent comes gold!”

Short+Sweet Theatre opens at the Tom Mann Theatre, 136 Chalmers St, Surry Hills on 13 Feb and runs through to April 26 (Thurs-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 1pm and 6.00pm).

There are 10+ plays a night with a new program each week. The gala finals take place on the Anzac Day weekend. Tickets are $27, $24 Concession, and $15 for full-time students on Thursdays.

More info, weekly program and bookings are all available at or email

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