Multi-genre, multi-city festival of collaboration
Short+Sweet turns 20

Multi-genre, multi-city festival of collaboration

'Rosa & Leo is a brutally honest emotional journey through one of history’s darkest and most horrible times.'

Olga Tamara in Rosa & Leo.
Adam Szudrich

Short+Sweet is known as the ‘biggest little play festival in the world’ and it’s turning 20 this year. What began as a modest festival in inner Sydney has now become a multi-genre, multi-city festival of creative collaboration in more than 20 cities in 15 countries across the world. The rule is that each new piece cannot run for more than 10 minutes.

This year, featured in the final week of the festival, is multi-award-winning Rosa & Leo by prolific Adelaide-based, Sydney-born writer Adam Szudrich. It’s inspired by the true story of his grandparents’ survival of the Holocaust.

“My grandfather survived Auschwitz and my grandmother endured the horror of three camps. Their memories, pain, hopes and joy form the backbone of my play,” Szudrich told The AJN.

“I wanted to write a story that was accessible to a new audience and be authentic and respectful to those who survived.

Rosa & Leo is a brutally honest emotional journey through one of history’s darkest and most horrible times.

“The horrors of the Holocaust are not staged, but manifest in memories. They illuminate humanity through a universal perspective that reflects and questions the world we live in today. The character of Rosa was inspired by my grandmother. She loved to have people over to her house to hear her stories of survival.”

Szudrich explained that through the festival, he has met some of the most eclectic, artistic and generous people who he is proud to call friends.

While his grandmother never had the opportunity to see the play, she did read the reviews of the production which has been staged all around the world more than 25 times.

“She was very proud of all the awards the play won,” Szudrich said. “She passed away, but continues to tell her stories on stage.”

Rosa & Leo is showing October 7-9 at the Tom Mann Theatre, Surry Hills. Full information and tickets at

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