I’m going to declare a few things here – If anyone loves playwright lead projects it’s me. Getting work up and out into the world should be the reponsibility of all artists.

And I particularly love the “put your money where your mouth is” mentality. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – practice is important – not just practice writing, but practice seeing your work. And there is a throng of them – Playwrights: Ruth Melville, Samantha Hardy, Emme Hoy; Co- Set Designer/ Costume Designer: Azure Chapman; Performers: Abi Rayment, Adam Dear, Drew Wilson, Laura McIntosh…

How could I not Support Sama Balson’s project Bite Size?

I had been down as holding a playwrighting workshop for her fundraiser – but unfortunately that was the week I suffered at the hands of a nasty flu – and couldn’t leave the house. So I am already sympathetic to her vision and cause. And why shouldn’t I be?
She has recently returned home to Oz after living in France for sometime running IPAN (International Performing Arts Network), and there are few about with her bright eyed devotion to making work happen.
On this project she is producer/writer/director/designer. (Wow.)

This suite of 6 plays neatly cast amongst 4 actors is housed in the Newtown Theatre – a theatre haunted by The Short and Sweet Festival. However one should not mistake Bite Size for such an undertaking. Afterall Bite Size has not just been granted $1.5 million to exploit… er… I mean “give access to…” Australia’s writers and directors.

Instead, this humble production largely self-funded (with a boost from Marrickville Council) is a suite of work which is not united by theme or style. I am not one to interrogate the pros and cons of each play or writer in such a suite – after all this is not a competition where writers and creatives are pitted against each other for accolades, this is art.

I would suggest that perhaps the set didn’t need to be so elaborate, nor the costume changes need to be so regular. I prefer it is such shows when transitions are kept tidy and the focus is on the writing. (Personal preference) But I appreciate Balson’s bravery in choosing on-stage changes. On the whole the performances that work best are the ones that have a quiet confidence in the words. Performances which don’t need to push or embellish. And Balson keeps that quite even.

Again, I can’t applaud the undertaking enough, and I look forward to seeing more of her work and hearing her vision for what’s next… She has a show Called Lucky which will be the final show for New theatre’s Spare Room Season Next month – which I will be keen to check out.