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Short + Sweet: Meet the finalists

Here’s a look at all the performers who made it to the final rounds of the 10-minute each play competition

  • Time Flies.Image Credit:
  • Blabbermouth.Image Credit:
  • Gejje.Image Credit:
  • True to You.Image Credit:

Attention spans are brittle things; and the world is adapting to them. Not only is information getting the to-go treatment but so is entertainment. Just take a look at the well-known Short + Sweet festival, which has twirled its way across Australia and Asia and finally landed on Dubai’s shores six years ago.

With 10 ten minute plays, the annual fest held at the Junction, Al Serkal Avenue, is for those who like quick flashes of fun. The prize up for grabs — to be dispensed on March 3 — at the event is up to Dh20,000 in cash, besides trophies. After more than 80+ plays have been performed over more than a month (segments were held over weekends), the fest has drawn together nearly 300 people, and a three-day stand-off will determine the prizes.

Rashmi Kotriwala, theatre fiend and Junction owner, explains the lure of the format. “It works well for those who lack patience or attention for long shows. In one show you get so much variety that if you don’t like one play you can snooze for ten minutes [until] the next one comes on that piques your interest. Add to that, there is audience voting making it interactive, and people get to choose their favourite play and vote for it, thus playing a part in getting their favourite play to the next level.”


Here’s a look at the 13 finalists who battle it out on stage for the big prize from Thursday to Saturday.


Name of play: Udaan

Language: Hindi

Director: Richa Anand Nigam (Independent)

Description: Jilted by her younger husband, Simran is forced to move out of her own home to make way for her husband’s young, attractive new lover. Will she let him have his way? Or can she ruin his plans? A delay in her flight schedule has the answer...


Name of play: Mayan Calendar

Language: English

Director: Ellen Sian (Beyond The Veil)

Description: When the ‘worst didn’t happen’, the Mayan Calendar Society call a meeting to discuss the future of the group.


Name of play: True to You

Language: English

Director: Suraj Sadeesh (Tall Tales Production)

Description: Watch a drab and disastrous blind date turn into a life-changing encounter as two duplicitous individuals indulge in an exchange of untamed honesty.


Name of play: Controlling Interest

Language: English

Director: Phil, Gemma & Shirley (American School of Dubai)

Description: Five successful young businessmen gather for a staff meeting when two persuasive young businesswomen arrive to negotiate the ultimate deal.


Name of play: One Night Stan

Language: English

Director: Anna Jacob (Orb Theatricals)

Description: Three different women. Three different dates. One common factor. About one night…


Name of play: Checkout

Language: English

Director: Meghana M Fareed (Tall Tales Production)

Description: Have you ever paid close attention to who scans your groceries when you go to your favourite supermarket? Checkout is a day in the life of four checkout operators and what they’d really like to say instead of “Have a Nice day!”


Name of play: Time Flies

Language: English

Director: Farrah YN (Independent)

Description: Time Flies is the naive romance between two doomed mayflies who discover during their first date that their life span is only 24 hours.


Name of play: It’s Not You It’s Me

Language: English

Director: Phil, Gemma & Shirley (American School of Dubai)

Description: Exploring the painful art of breaking up through comedic and awkwardly realistic characters, who make you feel relieved not to be the receiving end of these fatal relationship words.


Name of play: Gejje (Anklet Bells)

Language: Kannada

Director: Siddhartha B Jose (Independent)

Description: A storyteller finds himself pining for something that isn’t; he is completely paralysed and dependent on his wife. In his turmoil, he wants to die. His wife wants him to live. Will he ever hear the anklet bells he so desperately desires to hear?


Name of play: Facebox

Language: Arabic

Director: Medhat Mustafa (Art Box Group)

Description: It’s Sawy’s life and daily fight between humans and their virtual life… Who is really controlling whom? And what will be if “they” decided to appear? A black comedy about our smart life waiting for you.


Name of play: Smell of Rain

Language: English

Director: Akansha Mittal Goenka (Independent)

Description: He is a busy man, always on the run. She is all for taking time out, living in the moment. Who will change whom and how?


Name of play: Blabbermouth

Language: English

Director: Sabiha Majgaonkar (Orb Theatricals)

Description: The point of their encounter was business. He — the client. She — the service provider. Little did they know that their fates were intertwined?


Name of play: Before It’s Too Late

Language: English

Director: Joelle Thomas (Independent)

Description: 1988. 2015. 2040. A woman’s journey through activism in a changing world.



Coveted categories: Best Judges’ Choice Play; Best People’s Choice Play; Best Actor; Best Actor Runner Up; Best Actress; Best Actress Runner Up; Best Director; Best Script; Best Regional; Language Play; Best Newcomer Male; Best Newcomer Female; Best Independent Theatre Company; and Spirit of The Festival Award


Don’t miss it!

The finals of the Short + Sweet festival will run from March 1-3 at The Junction at Alserkal Avenue, between 7.30 and 10pm. Tickets for the show cost Dh60 for students; Dh110 for others on day one and two. On March 3, tickets are Dh150.