A CROWD OF STARS
A ‘Crowd of Stars’ is a commentary on the difficulties of getting old and the relationships that form in times of crisis.
Ruby Webster lies in her hospital bed invisible to the visitors who come to see her; she relies on the the comfort of strangers after her terrible accident.
‘Coma Sutra’ is an almost monologue about a guy who’s popular with buses and struggling to wake up from his porn-packed, regret-filled coma.
Every now and again you write something that you think is actually rather good (rather than the usual feeling of, hmmm…). I felt that with ‘Coma Sutra’. The voice of the main character, Matt, is actually my internal voice (yes, with all that swearing), put into a male body, so it felt really genuine to write.
I also wrote with an actor in mind, something I used to do when Deborah Bradshaw regularly acted in my pieces. This time, my muse for the character of Matt was the flame haired lovely that is Aaron Nilan, quite simply, no one else could have played the part so well.
“Even though I’m dead from the brain stem down, my cock is on fire.
All the black holes are just filling up with SEX. Just a random succession of moist holes, tits, thighs and sweat you know? It’s like some cheesy hotel porn is playing in my head all the time. I try to reach down and like… you know (grins sheepish) and I can’t. How frustrating is that?”
Based on the many work place obsessions I’ve had over the years and the imagined lust of others. A stolen glance over the water cooler, a tender touch as you change the toner in the photocopier. Offices are hot steamy beds of passion if you ask me.
A ten minute comedy about a PA (Alex) who’s desperately in love/lust with her charming boss (Dan). Her passions spills over into obsession with shocking results.
- Winner Best Play, Crash Test Drama UK 2010
- Winner Best Play, Stage Rage 2009
- Winner Best Actress, Stage Rage 2009
The night finishes appropriately with a new play by one of Short+Sweet’s most popular playwrights Kate Toon’s Crush, directed by Catherine Hollyman.
Alex (the vivacious Niki Simpson) is the perfect PA, she loves her boss Dan (recent NIDA grad, the debonair Don Christopher). Loves him so much she wants to lick him and bite him and rip off his underwear with her teeth! A sometimes creepy comedy about office obsession which had the audience literally rolling in the aisles.
Benita de Wit | Aussie Theatre
Alex is obsessed with her gorgeous boss Dan. As she takes us on a tour around the office we learn that Dan does not reciprocate her affections. Kate Toons script was brought to life by Niki Simpson’s brilliant portrayal of Alex. Director Catherine Hollyman created a play with spirit and humour that left the audience smiling.
Alex Broun | Festival Director.
A ten-minute play.
This was my second play and the most ‘successful’ so far, based on a semi-true story. Bazza, the Aussie male in the piece did exist. The play was also made into a short film ‘The Postcard’.
The study of a put upon wife who finds love and lust in an Australian pub.
- Judges Choice No 3. Movie Extra TV show, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival, Jan 2008
- Finalist, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival, Jan 2008
- Nominated for Best Comedy Writing, Melbourne Short & Sweet Festival Dec 2007
‘This one made my night. Great script by Kate Toon; hilarious performances by Matt Butcher, Simon Dooley and most especially Deborah Peebles. Unhappy English tourists are in full whingeing-Pom mode when local boy Bazza decides to give them a friendly welcome. A funny, clever and entertaining clash of cultural stereotypes.’
Short and Sweet Website
‘Week 2 at the Newtown saw a result from the judges that was so razor-thin that you could cut yourself shaving with it. In a week overflowing with excellent comedies and some beautiful dramas, Kate Toon’s Bomb Disposal edged out Patrick Lenton’s hilarious The Interview. Bomb Disposal won the popular vote at the Newtown with 26.2%.’
‘Kate Toon knows how to write a short play. She deftly combined past tense description with present action, balanced the authentic characters well, gave an original plot that surprised and maintained interest and actually gave her characters problems that resulted in definitive action. Supported by engaging performances and well paced direction, this was my favourite of the night.’
‘Bomb Disposal by Kate Toon was a lightweight but entertaining satire of national stereotypes about Aussie blokes and Whingeing Poms.’
Bomb Disposal provided just the right change of mood. An overbearing English tourist (played brilliantly by Jonathan Dyer) encounters Aussie pub culture. The dialogue between him and his female companion (Clare Callow) is a clever counterpoint of their differing points of view, nicely accented by the laconic Australian (Matthew Green).
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Barbara and Geoffrey go pot-holing in the Jenolan caves and realise this adventure might be their last.
- Crash Test May 2010. Winner ‘Peoples Choice’ Crash Test Drama, Sydney, May 2010.
- Winner Best Actor – Kim Knuckey
- Winner Best Actress Runner up – Imogen Carn.
The way men talk in pubs has always bemused and amused me. This play is based on overheard conversation.
Stevo and Davo meet every week to watch the footie but, this week, Davo has something to say.
I had to write one play about Advertising, having spent so many years working in and around hideous advertising types. This is my homage to agencies and all their strange goings on.
As the ad agency brainstorm how to market their new product, Mulv, dark secrets about their methods are revealed.
First, in Kate Toon’s Mulv, the quartet of performers enact a pitch-black comedy about a gang of marketing executives who are deciding how to sell the foodstuff of the title, a green meat substitute made of human flesh. This single-act piece is, believe it or not, the lightest of the three.DAVID POLLOCK | The Scotsman
OLIVER (WITH A) TWIST
A fast furious interpretation of the Oliver Twist story
PLAY (WITH) MISTY FOR ME
In the last year I’ve made many early morning trips to the dog park and have been intrigued, amazed and sometimes pleasantly surprised by the strange assortment of individuals I’ve meet over the poo bags. Some are willing to divulge their life story in the time it takes for your dog to fetch a stick, do a wee and sniff some bushes. The play is a partially true account of a couple I met a few months back.
What does a dog bring to a relationship? Other than the need to clean up poo and wake up at six to take it for a walk? Can a dog really be a substitute for a long wanted baby?
- Gavin Williams was awarded ‘Best Actor’ prize for his performance of Jeremy in ‘Play (with) Misty for me’ at Crash Test Drama.
- Voted 3rd Peoples Choice S&S Singapore, Week 2.
I’ve had a few dodgy personal trainers, one of whom told me I was “built for comfort and not for speed”. I wanted to honour the profession of personal training with this play.
Daniel is a personal trainer that hates his client, in fact he hates all fat people. But Daniel loves chubby Sarah and the only way to make her realise is to push her to the limit.
“Coming in third in the People’s Choice, just another two votes back, was Kate Toon’s very funny (and a little disturbing) Push Yourself, well directed by Deborah Peebles, in her directorial debut, with Craig Purdon as a creepy personal trainer and Emma Butschek as the object of his affections.”
Alex Broun | Short & Sweet Festival Director
”In Push Yourself, writer Kate Toon takes the theme of the relationship between a personal trainer and client. Emma Butschek gave a pleasing naturalistic performance as the girl who just wants to get fit and has an obsessive and increasingly inappropriate trainer (Craig Burdon). There are lots of positional and verbal innuendo jokes directed in a suitably schizophrenic manner by Deborah Peebles.”
Felicity Burke | www.aussietheatre.com
”Push Yourself, written by Kate Toon and directed by Deborah Peebles, explores the relationship between personal trainer Daniel (Craig Purdon) and his client Sarah (Emma Butschek). With a bright and easy-to-watch performance from Butschek, this play bubbles along nicely interspersed with suitably suggestive stretches.”
Augusta Supple | www.australianstage.com.au
Inspired by the events that took place inn April 1986 at Chernobyl’ in the Ukraine.
Chernobyl’ has become a metaphor not only for the horror of uncontrolled nuclear power but also for the collapse of the Soviet system; it’s secrecy and deception, it’s disregard for the safety and welfare of workers and their families, and inability to deliver basic services such as health care and transportation, especially in crisis situations.
Sasha and Faddei are excited by their new life, but their hopes and dreams are shattered by the horrific events one spring morning.
Reaction is beautifully written, performed and directed. The stage was kept simple – a breath of fresh air after so many set heavy pieces – and this allowed the simple subtle relationships to develop. A couple meets, fall in love and set up house. They have a child and expect to live an ordinary life. Only, he happens to work in a nuclear plant, in Eastern Europe and works the night shift on 26 April 1986. This disaster unfolds through the eyes of the couple. Tom Pelik and Amelia Tranter worked so well together on stage it had such a feeling of reality and added a great poignancy to the piece. 4 and ½ stars.
Suzi Mackay | AussieTheatre.com
Ah what could have been. Several of my female friends are getting to that stage where they have to decide between a partner who doesn’t want a baby, and taking the risk to find someone who does.
Lucy loves Rob. Rob loves lucy. But there’s on thing they can’t agree on. Some times it’s the little things (like Socks) that make you realise it’s just not going to work.
Winner of Judges Choice | Brisbane Short and Sweet
Kim Parrish won Best Actress Runner up
“I have always been drawn to real ‘human’ stories, the things that make us all who we are, and how we interact. Sock is so deceptively simple, and so very relatable. It takes us on such a massive journey in only 10 minutes, with sweetness, sincerity and and a strange familiarity. I feel so lucky to have worked on Kate’s lovely script with two brilliant actors. Sock is a joy.”Lisa Smith | Director
SOUP AND SPARROWS
As my grandma’s health decline her love of quavers (UK crisps) increased. Visits were increasingly strange as she slipped from present to past, sometimes lost in memory, sometimes possessed with an urgent need to find her handbag. This play was written in remembrance of Mai Etherington.
Sue is looking after Mai and she’s not even her mother! Mai’s happy as long as she has her crisps and gets to watch her program. A study of difficult relationships.
This face-paced, tongue-in-cheek direct address piece was written in around 30 minutes and was based on the many conversations I’ve had with friends over the years.
Claire and Helen debate the pros and cons of being married versus being single.
- Nominated Best Script Canberra Short and Sweet 2012
- Nominated Best Overall production Canberra Short and Sweet 2012
- Winner Actress Canberra Short and Sweet 2012
- Winner ‘Most Popular Play’ Playtime, Sydney, Mar 2010
- Winner ‘Special Playwright’s Prize’ Crash Test Drama, Sydney, Sep 2008
‘Liz McColl and Saskia Post in Kate Toon’s Sushi Wushi Woo were certainly the highlights of the night.’
Chris Thorp | www.artshub.com
“Sushi Wushi Woo, the theatrical dessert, truly kept the best for last, as two actresses explored the virtues of married v single in a delightfully orchestrated, smartly played piece of theatrical wordplay.
As a degustation of food and theatre, Four Faces of Love certainly has me wanting more of the dinner theatre genre.”
Neil Litchfield | Stage Whispers“Kate Toon’ s script seemed to draw it’s inspiration from life itself rather than imagination. This was assumed through its ability to place the audience on stage with our characters in the middle of their selection dilemma.The only criticism this reviewer has is that there should have been more. This would be great as a full length play and perhaps with a third character in the fray.”
“In Kate Toon’s Sushi Wushi Woo, directed by Danielle O’Keefe, Libby Fleming and Renee Lim (or Fleur Beaupert, on other occasions), two women muse on strategies and tactics implicit to the modern dating game, discussing the perils and pitfalls, highs and lows, ins and outs. It’s played with relish by both actors, who capitalise on the knowing recognition of the audience, just as the script intends. It’s eminently suitable fare for the venue, sliding down as well as the passionfruit sorbet in a chocolate box.”Curtain Call
THE BADGER GAME
Based on the true story of Jean Lee, the last woman hanged in Australia, this is my first foray into ‘serious’ drama
The Badger Game is the story of Jean Lee, a small time crook and prostitute, and the last woman hanged in Australia. In 1940s Melbourne, Jean and her lover Bobby were infamous for running the classic con, ‘The Badger Game’, which involved trapping and seducing married men, then blackmailing them.
When Bobby’s prison cell mate, Norman, joined the pair, events took a dark turn. Their final con devolved into madness and murder. Under the shadow of the noose, love and loyalty were put to the test. Just who will blame whom to save their own skin?
“Toon’s The Badger Game is the strongest piece, a short, multi-act play about Jean Lee (Emanda Percival), the last woman to be hanged in Victoria, Australia. It’s a sharp, emotionally brutal shock, and Nicholas David Whyatt’s portrayal of Lee’s mercenary lover steals not just this final play, but the entire show.”DAVID POLLOCK | The Scotsman
THE MUMMY MONOLOGUES
This was written during my mummy phase. I knew nothing of motherhood and so got all the information from a copy of Pregnancy magazine and a long chat with my mum.
A 30-minute black comedy comprises four monologues from women with differing experiences of pregnancy. The dialogue is spliced together in fast-paced scenes and direct address.
Nominated ‘Best Play” Newtown Theatre, Aug 2008, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival One Act.
Written during my mummy phase, this play was based on a conversation I overheard between two mums at Leichhardt Leisure Centre
Two mums, two toddlers and an acrobatics class. The only thing harder than mothering is hearing advice on mothering.
‘A fan of Kate Toon, I lapped up Tumbletots, a kinder-gym meeting of two contrasting Mummies, played by Renee Palmer (‘My son said flambe yesterday’) and Suzie Thomas (‘Your son certainly looks”robust.’). I can see how Kate resists a false climax or ribbon-bow conclusion, opting instead for the spirit of the encounter. Could there be a stronger story – or is an attuned ear and sharp eye more than ample? Discuss.’
David Astle | Cassowary Crossing
- The Sixteen things she said, SoACt 2013 Tenx10 Play Fest, Jun 2013.
- Coma Sutra, Sydney Short and Sweet Finals, Mar 2013.
- Coma Sutra, Sydney Short and Sweet, Feb 2012.
- Coma Sutra, Dehli Short and Sweet, Dec 2012.
- Coma Sutra, Auckland Short and Sweet, Sep 2012.
- The Sixteen things she said, Crash Test Drama, Sydney 2012.
- Swings and roundabouts, SIH, Sydney 2012.
- Sushiwushiwoo, Short+Sweet Canberra, Aug 2012. Nominated for Best Drama and Best Overall Production, Winner Best Actress, Caroline O’Brien.
- Tumbletots, Frivolities at Fiveways, Aug 2012.
- Push yourself and Crush, Not Quite Cabaret, Paddington, Sydney, Jun/Jul 2012.
- Coma Sutra, Crash Test Drama Final Aug 2012. Winner Best Actor, James Hartley.
- Coma Sutra, Crash Test Drama, Jul 2012. Winner Judges Choice.
- Coma Sutra, Script in Hand, Sydney, May 2012.
- Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Sydney Short and Sweet, Jan 2012.
- Bomb Disposal, First reading of full-length version, Uniting Productions Gosford.
- Sushiwushiwoo, Play with your Shorts, AnyWhere Theatre Festival, Nov 2011.
- Sushiwushiwoo, Play with your Shorts, The Pad, AuchenFlower, Nov 2011.
- The Sixteen things she said, Script in Hand, Sydney, Oct 2011.
- Sock, Melbourne Short and Sweet, Oct 2011.
- Sock, Brisbane Short and Sweet, Oct 2011.
- Sock, Canberra Short and Sweet, Sep 2011.
- Sushiwushiwoo, Crush, Not Quite Cabaret, The Exchange, Balmain, Sep 2011.
- Sushiwushiwoo, Play with your Shorts, Coorparoo Bowls Club, Brisbane, May 2011.
- ‘Oliver with a Twist, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Paddington, Sydney, May 2011.
- Tumbletots, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Paddington, Sydney, May 2011.
- Bye Bye Bee’s, a ten-minute play, Script in Hand, Sydney, Apr 2011.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Red Bennies Melbourne, Apr/May 2011.
- Tumbletots, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Red Bennies Melbourne, Apr/May 2011.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Red Bennies Melbourne, Apr/May 2011.
- Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a ten-minute play, 10×10 Festival, WaggaWagga, May 2011.
- Sock, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Paddington Sydney, Apr 2011.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, Not Quite Cabaret, Paddington Sydney, Apr 2011.
- Reaction, a ten-minute play, Sydney Short and Sweet, Feb 2011.
- Sushiwushiwoo, as ’Love, Gloves and a Guidebook‘, Hurly Burly Theatre, Avoca Picture House, Feb 2011.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Crash Test Drama, UK, Feb 2011.
- Sock, a ten-minute play, reading, Crash Test, Nov 2010.
- Sock, winner ‘Best Play’, Crash Test Drama, Sydney. Also came 3rd in Peoples Choice and won Best Actress Runner up for Kim Parrish.
- Sushiwushiwoo, as part of ‘The Four Faces of Love’ Slide Bar, Darlinghurst, Sydney, Sept 2010.
- Soup and Sparrows, a ten-minute play, reading, Best of Writers Anonymous, Imagine Festival, 9 Oct 2010.
- Push Yourself, a ten-minute play, reading, Best of PLAYTIME Imagine Festival, 9 Oct 2010.
- Tumbletots, a ten-minute play, reading, PLAYTIME, 20 Oct 2010.
- Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Crash Test Drama final, Sep 2010.
Soup and Sparrows, a ten-minute play, reading, PLAYTIME, Sydney, 23 Sep 2010.
Push Yourself, as part of ‘Play with your Food’, Paddington Arms, Sydney, Aug/Sep 2010.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, Reading, PLAYTIME, Sydney, Aug 26 2010.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, Reading, Crash Test Drama UK, Reading, England Aug 22 2010.
- Play (with) Misty for me, a ten-minute play, Performance, Short and Sweet Singapore, Jul 2010
- Mates, a ten-minute play, Reading, PLAYTIME, Sydney, Jul 2010.
- Nibbles, a ten-minute play, Reading, PLAYTIME, Sydney, Jun 2010.
- Reaction, a ten-minute play, Reading, Writers Anonymous, Sydney, Jun 2010.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, Performance 10×10 Festival, WaggaWagga, May 2010.
- Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Winner ‘Peoples Choice’ Crash Test Drama, Sydney, May 2010.
- Push Yourself, a ten-minute play, Performance, PLAYTIME, Sydney, May 2010.
- Bomb Disposal, a ten-minute play, Performance, PLAYTIME, Sydney, Apr 2010.
- Mates, a ten-minute play, CAT Awards, Canberra, Feb 2010.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, Performance, Sydney Short & Sweet, Feb 2010.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, reading at Stage Rage, Nov 2009.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Melbourne Short and Sweet Festival, 29 Nov 2009.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Brisbane Short and Sweet Festival, Sept 2009.
- Crush, a ten-minute play, reading at Writers Anonymous, Sep 2009.
- The Badger Game, One act play, Edinburgh Festival, Aug 2009.
- Mulv, a ten-minute play, Edinburgh Festival, Aug 2009.
- A Crowd of Stars, a ten-minute play, reading, Crash Test Drama, Aug 2009
- Play (with) Misty for me, a ten-minute play. Reading, Crash Test Drama, Jun 2009.
- A Crowd of Stars, a ten-minute play, reading, Actors Anonymous, Jun 2009.
- Mates, a ten-minute play, 10×10 Festival in Wagga Wagga, May 2009.
- Push Yourself, a ten-minute play, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival, Seymour Centre, Sydney, Jan 2009.
- The Badger Game, a one-act play, finalist for Crime Scenes, Fusebox Theatre, Enmore, Sydney, 2008.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Xmas Sushi, Newtown Theatre, Sydney, Dec 2008.
- Dial L for Love, a one-act play, Xmas Sushi, Newtown Sydney, Dec 2008
- Tumbletots, a ten-minute play, Melbourne Short & Sweet Festival, Final 30, Melbourne, Dec 2008.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Crash Test Drama, Sydney, Sep 2008
- Mummy Monologues, a ten-minute play, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival One Act, Newtown Theatre, Aug 2008.
- Sushiwushiwoo, a ten-minute play, Melbourne Festival, final 30, Reading, Melbourne, Jun 2008.
- Bomb Disposal, a ten-minute play, reading, Outhouse Theatre Co. New York, USA, May 2008.
- Tumbletots, a ten-minute play, reading, Outhouse Theatre Co. New York, USA, May 2008.
- Bomb Disposal, a ten-minute play, reading, Bite Size Theatre company, Brighton, UK, Mar 2008.
- Bomb Disposal, a ten-minute play, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival, Feb 2008.
- Bomb Disposal, a ten-minute play, Melbourne Short & Sweet Festival, Dec 2007.
- The Fallen, a one-act play, Finalist, AA Journey into Sin, Sydney, 2007.
- Missing so Much, a ten-minute play, Sydney Short & Sweet Festival, Feb 2007.