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Locals feature in finals for Short+Sweet

Newtown local Debbie Nielson will go head-to-head with herself in early April in two plays competing in the international short theatre festival Short+Sweet.

Neilson stars in Diary of Marilyn in which Marilyn Monroe questions who she is in and out of the public light and also in You Won’t Believe where she plays a vengeful school girl who enters the world of online dating only to meet a very alien scammer.

Both plays are monologues and have been chosen for the Judges Choice Semi-Final on Saturday April 2, with four of the ten semi-finalists to progress to the Gala (Judge’s) Final on Sunday April 3.

The Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills will also host the festival’s Crew Cut Semi-final on Friday April 1 and the People’s Choice Semi-final on Saturday April 2.

Other locals who will feature in the Short+Sweet finals include:

  • Jacqui Duncan from Redfern who (along with David Allsopp from Summer Hill) created Buried Treasure – the story of siblings who tussle over a long-dismissed story of money buried in the garden
  • Alice Furze from Waterloo who stars in Figgy (by Tom Peach and directed by Dana Lowe) as a woman who has “lost” both a fiancée and a husband and starts to embrace life as a single woman.
  • Glebe actor Don Ferguson who appears (alongside Alice Furze) in As Nice as Pie as Adam who devises a scheme any male chauvinist would be proud of.
  • Olivia Aleksoski from Chippendale who stars with Shannon Ryan in Sweet, She (by Jeff Locker and directed by Tabatha Lionheart) – and whose characters meet, touch pinkies and fall in love.

Festival Director Nick Hardcastle said 2021 was an incredibly difficult year for live theatre and he was glad “the biggest little theatre festival in the world” was finally able to complete its Covid-interrupted 2021 season.

“We had to reprogram the Festival on five different occasions due to lockdowns and new variants of Covid causing major health and safety concerns. However, as is the spirit of Short+Sweet – from its 20 successful years and the wonderfully supportive community it has created – we stuck together and persevered.

“Now we’re so excited to finally share with our audience the very best plays of the year … that was!”


Short+Sweet semi-finals and Gala finals
Tom Mann Auditorium, 136 Chalmers St, Surry Hills
See or download the new StageCenta app for all Short+Sweet online bookings and digital voting here.

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