Review: Energetic insights into life of young

By Paul Simei-Barton

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

With 60 young people working alongside seasoned practitioners ATC's celebration of youth theatre has thrown up three plays that coalesce into a wildly energetic, multi-vocal snapchat on what it is like to be young and alive in these troubled / muddled times.

Shoulda Woulda Coulda is a devised work embracing the random nature of everyday experience as it samples a bewildering array of personal and political issues.

A soundtrack of ever-changing news items sets the tone and director Ahi Karunaharan orchestrates riotous explosions of pandemonium punctuated by quiet, intimate moments in which individual cast members engage the audience with conversations about the things that matter most in their lives.

Angels (Reborn) written by Tanya Muagututi'a and Joy Vaele takes us deep within the subculture of Pacific Island church life where music offers an opening through which four mates can escape the all-encompassing influence of their religion.

It is rare to find contemporary drama in which religious convictions are treated with respect and director Lavinia Uhila lets her cast speak from the heart as they use singing, dance and irrepressible humour to express their conflicted emotions.

BRAVADO! establishes a boldly experimental vibe with the band Galaxy Bear performing a live gig while the drama erupts out of makeshift spaces on the dance floor.

Four young women - Frith Horan, Natasha Hoyland, Beanie-Maryse Ridler and Billie Staples - have woven a densely poetic script that draws on pop songs as it articulates a search for meaning.

What: ATC Next Big Thing Festival

Where: Basement Theatre to July 30.

- NZ Herald

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